After making two films in Iraq, another struggle for power and oil caught my attention – this time in Nigeria. I had seen striking images of heavily armed militants moving throughout the creeks of the Niger Delta in speedboats, sabotaging flow-stations, blowing up pipelines, and kidnapping foreign oil-workers.
I researched the story and learned that while Nigeria is the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States, the inhabitants of the oil-producing Niger Delta region live in poverty. So, I traveled to Nigeria to try to meet the militants, and start my next film. (To learn more about DELTA BOYS, please visit www.deltaboys.com)
DELTA BOYS follows the lives of militant “Godfather” Ateke Tom, and Chima, a 21-year-old who left home to join the fight. The film also shows life in a tiny fishing village caught in the crossfire of the conflict. Mama, a 22-year-old, struggles to give birth without access to modern medical care, while rebels launch raids from a camp across the river.
The militants have called for greater distribution of wealth and jobs. But many feel that while the Niger Delta cause is just, the militants’ motives are not so pure.
After filming for eight months in the Niger Delta, I was captured by the Nigerian Army, detained by the government for ten days and expelled from the country. I am very grateful to my friends and colleagues who campaigned so hard for my release, and to all of you who helped out in so many ways.
(To read more about my detention in Nigeria,visit: helpandy.wordpress.com/)
DELTA BOYS has received support from three terrific organizations: The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, Cinereach and The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund.
Unfortunately, the generous grants from these three institutions only covered about a
third of the cost of producing the film. The remainder of the budget has come
from my own savings.
Even now, with the film virtually complete, I am faced with substantial costs. Final sound design and mix costs $9000. Color-correction and final output to tape will cost somewhere between $5000 and $10,000. Licensing of over four minutes of archival and news footage used in the film will cost as much as $25,000 plus $2000 for music. I easily need $40,000 to $50,000 to finish DELTA BOYS, so I’m reaching out to you through Kickstarter to help. I’ve set a goal of $15,000 which would be a tremendous boost.
In return for your support, I am offering a number of rewards.
You can pre-order the DELTA BOYS DVD, or buy the complete Andrew Berends Documentary Film Collection on DVD.
An awesome DELTA BOYS T-shirt.
Full-size 24x36" DELTA BOYS Movie Poster.
I am also offering two limited edition prints.
A lovely 20x30" image of three schoolgirls before an impending storm in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria.
And a beautiful 12x30" black & white local image from here in Brooklyn, out at Rockaway Beach during Hurricane Irene.
I am so grateful for your support! Independent documentary filmmaking isn't easy, but it is so important.
I hope that DELTA BOYS will help raise awareness about the
oil conflict in the Niger Delta. We are overly dependent on oil to produce,
transport, and fuel virtually everything that we consume. The Niger Delta is
just one of many regions on Earth that is being pillaged in the service of this
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