Article written

  • on 30.11.2014
  • at 10:14 AM
  • by evelina

Nigeria: ‘Real TV’ Fights Violence with Glitz & Glamor – Nollywood’s Jeta Amata 0

Washington, DC — Conflict related to Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria captures headlines, but another region of Africa’s most populous nation also grapples with unrest. Since the 1990s, violence has plagued the Niger River Delta, which includes nine southern states, including the three leading oil producers – Rivers, Delta and Baylesa.

A widely acclaimed 2012 film, Black November – Struggle for the Niger Delta , documented the region’s economic inequality and grinding poverty alongside the vast wealth produced by oil operations. The film’s director and producer, Jeta Amata, now is producing Dawn in the Creeks , a television series that follows teams of young people from the Delta as they make films in the style of the fast-growing Nigerian film industry, ‘Nollywood’. During a recent visit to Washington, Amata talked about the series, as well as his career and his family’s film-making history. He was joined in the conversation by Jeffrey Hawkins, the U.S. Consul General in Lagos, whose office is funding the series.

Why did you decide to make this television series?

Jeta Amata: . I’ve said this has been the most important thing I’ve done. Forget all the films that I’ve done. This involves collaborating with the right people and sending the right messages. It’s been amazing. The possibility of mass violence is very, very high in Nigeria. No doubt about that. So how do we send out a message for peace and use the media? Why use the media? The Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, is the third largest in the world [editor’s note: in terms of title produced, Nollywood ranks second only to India’s ‘Bollywood’ and surpassing Hollywood.] What better way to send the message than that!

Dawn in the Creeks follows me going into three different Niger Delta communities and picking seven people from each of these communities and training them on how to make films. Support comes from the U.S. Department of State. They’re identifying the fact that there is a possibility of mass violence coming into the Niger Delta and they’re thinking of ways to prevent this.

Continue reading on: All Africa

Photo credit: All Africa


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