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New film to retell Niger-Delta struggle

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By TERH AGBEDEH

Up Creek Without A Paddle by Tarila Thompson

In the first quarter of next year Tarila Thompson’s film Up Creek without a Paddle will premiere in cinemas around the world. Currently undergoing post production process in South Africa, England and Bulgaria, the filmmaker told Arts Lounge that the film “tells the story of the Niger-Delta militants’ struggle in raw details as witnessed by inhabitants of the communities”.

Shot for over a six-month period at several locations in the jungles and creeks of Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers and Lagos states, as well as Berlin in Germany, it features Omotola Jolade-Ekehinde, Van Vicker, Patience Ozokwor, Ernest Asuzu and Eddie Ugbomah, among many other Nollywood greats.

The film directed by Thompson, who also plays the role of Diongoli, features over 1,000 indigenes of the Niger-Delta including ex-militants. Describing Up Creek without a Paddle as “the next big film out of Africa”, Thompson also revealed it parades a long list of foreign actors and crew among them; Germany’s Jean Denis Roman, South Africa’s Andrew McKenzie and Bulgaria’s Miloskeiv Metodi.

An expose on the ills and politics of the multinationals against the inhabitants in the Niger- Delta region of Nigeria, the film tells the story of Diongoli who like other grassroots young men acquires the fundamental educational qualification but is denied employment by the oil firms. He finds to his chagrin that he is not alone as the whole community suffers in one way or the other under the weight of the activities of the multinationals. He starts a militant group to agitate for development of the region.

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