It’s a very rare occasion when a film written and directed by a filmmaker of Nigerian descent, starring a mostly Nigerian cast, telling a story set primarily in Nigeria, with a production crew partly comprised of Nigerians, is distributed in the US theatrically by an American company. Therefore, when it does happen, it’s certainly noteworthy and should be highlighted.
Faraday Okoro’s feature film debut, Nigerian Prince, will bear that honor when Vertical Entertainment opens the film in US theaters as well as On Demand, starting on October 19, 2018.
The first winning film from the “AT&T Presents: Untold Stories” initiative, which is a multi-tier alliance between AT&T, Tribeca and the Tribeca Film Institute that supports underrepresented filmmakers, Nigerian Prince’s story takes its inspiration from the long-running, infamous Nigerian letter scam (originally known as 419 – a number which refers to the section of the Nigerian Criminal Code dealing with fraud). In brief, the sender, who claims to be a government official or member of a royal family, requests assistance in transferring millions of dollars of excess money out of Nigeria and promises to pay the person a hefty percentage for his or her help. The message is always of an “urgent, private” nature.
In director Okoro’s film, a stubborn first generation Nigerian-American teenager named Eze is sent to Nigeria by his mother, against his will. While there, Eze opts to retaliate by teaming up with his cousin, Pius, a desperate “Nigerian Prince” scammer, to swindle unsuspecting foreigners in order to earn money for a return ticket back to the US.
Scripted by Okoro and Andrew Long, the film stars Antonio J. Bell, Chinaza Uche, and Tina Mba.
Executive produced by Spike Lee and Biyi Bandele (Half of a Yellow Sun), and produced by Oscar Hernandez, Bose Oshin, and Okoro, Nigerian Prince was made under the “Untold Stories” initiative which awarded director Okoro $1 million in April 2017 to produce his feature film with mentorship from the Tribeca Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Institute.
Ahead of its US theatrical and on demand release on October 19, via Vertical Entertainment, Shadow and Act has your exclusive first-look at the trailer and poster for Nigerian Prince.