NIGERIAN PRINCE, directed by Faraday Okoro, is the first winning film from AT&T Presents: Untold Stories created by AT&T and Tribeca. NIGERIAN PRINCE follows Eze, a stubborn first generation Nigerian-American teenager, and his cousin, Pius, a desperate Nigerian Prince scammer. After Eze’s mother sends him to Nigeria against his will, Eze retaliates by teaming up with Pius to scam unsuspecting foreigners in order to earn money for a return ticket back to America. The film is currently in theaters and available on demand.
We had a chat with Faraday, here are the excerpts.
How did you come up with the idea for this interesting and compelling tale of deception, passion, and self-discovery?
o The idea came to me while I was working in a computer lab in college. I realized I could tell a story that was both thrilling and personal.
What was the most challenging and most rewarding part of making this film?
o For me, the most challenging part of filmmaking is finding funding. The most rewarding part is screening the film.
What role does being from an immigrant family, and being a person-of-color play in your storytelling?
o It plays a huge role. I want to tell films that not only included people of color; I also want to portray them honestly.
What's next on your plate?
o I’ve started working on several new projects. Since I’m still developing these films, I can’t talk about them just yet.
What are your favorite filmmakers, films, and TV shows?
o The Remains of the Day, Schindler’s List, The Thin Red Line, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Animal Kingdom, Michael Clayton, The Apartment, The Verdict, Half Nelson, Chinatown, Dr. Strangelove, Jackie Brown, Crimes and Misdemeanors, just to name a few.
What's your practical advice to other aspiring filmmakers and storytellers?
o I think aspiring filmmakers should learn about the history, craft, and business of filmmaking, and watch as many films as they can. Also, I think aspiring filmmakers should soak up as much knowledge (politics, literature, sports, music, science, etc.) as possible in order to tell stories that are thought provoking and entertaining.
ABOUT FARADAY OKORO
Faraday Okoro is a New York City based Nigerian-American filmmaker. Named after Michael Faraday, a 19th century English physicist and chemist, the idea of pursuing a career in science has been instilled in Faraday since birth. Though, despite his upbringing and name for that matter, Faraday was inspired to pursue a career in filmmaking after watching 20 minutes of the film Road to Perdition.
He graduated cum laude from Howard University, a historically black college in the heart of Washington, DC. At Howard, he was awarded the Trustees’ Scholarship, which allowed him to attend college tuition-free. Currently, Faraday is completing an MFA in filmmaking at NYU’s Graduate Film Program, where he is a recipient of the Peter D. Gould Scholarship.
Faraday’s debut short film Full-Windsor has screened in 14 major film festivals, including the Los Angeles Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and the Montreal World Film Festival. His short film Blitz premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was also selected to the Palm Springs International Shortfest. Additionally, his work has aired nationally on PBS Television and GaiamTV, and is streaming online via Indieflix. In 2016, Faraday was included in MovieMaker Magazine/Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters To Watch list.
Faraday is the inaugural recipient of AT&T / Tribeca Film Institute’s ‘Untold Stories’ prize, a $1 million production grant intended to support underrepresented filmmakers in the making of their first feature film.
You can listen to the full chat/podcast of our conversation with Faraday below (updated 10/26).