Amata Wins Best Screenplay for Niger Delta-The Story of Black Gold
Nigerian-born film director, producer and writer Jeta Amata became the first from his native country to capture the prestigious Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay for his epic film Niger Delta-The Story of Black Gold at the 14th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in Miami Beach on July 10.
“Wow! This is a first for Nigeria,” said Amata as he accepted his Grand Jury Prize at The Fillmore Theatre. “Niger Delta-The Story of Black Gold graphically tells our story of good and evil, greed and power, and depicts shady government officials, greedy oil companies and violent rebels fighting for control of the scarce oil resources that run the world.”
Amata hails from a family of veteran Nigerian filmmakers that includes Ifoghale Amata, Zack Amata and his father Fred Amata who also stars in the film. He has also produced award-wining films ‘The Amazing Grace’, ‘Mary Slessor’ and the musical ‘ Inale’.
However, winning at the ABFF marked his first major achievement in America, but judging from the initial reviews of Niger Delta which garnered comparisons to Hotel Rwanda it will certainly not be his last.
Many of the spectators who saw the film during its two days of review left the Colony Theatre gripped in a wide range emotions, from sadness, to crying, to anger and shameful. Most were informed about a subject matter that greatly impacted them although they were not aware of it.
Filmed in Nigeria and America, Niger Delta tells the story of an unlikely woman hero, portrayed by award winning model and actress Mbong Amata, who earns a scholarship to a prestigious American university from one of the corrupt oil companies, only to return to her homeland of Nigeria risking her life to expose that company.
“We believe that Niger Delta will shed light on the degradation of the environment caused by oil exploration in the Niger Delta and ignite a multi-national movement that will persuade oil companies and governments to help clean it up,” added Wilson Ebiye, one of the co-producers.
Niger Delta-The Story of Black Gold, a Wells and Jeta Entertainment Production, is targeting a fall 2011 national release, and after garnering so-much praise and admiration at the ABFF, the buzz and anticipation makes this a must see film.
According to Executive Producer , ‘Captain’ Hosa Okunbo, “Niger Delta is a powerful and timely story which will compel the stakeholders to build infrastructures that will improve the living conditions of the indigenous people.”