Grants & Awards
Date Awarded: Summer 2009
Directors(s): Andrew Berends
Company Credit: Storyteller Productions
Film Status: Completed
URL: » Delta Boys page
About the Film:
Delta Boys explores the untold stories of the Niger Delta and the Niger Delta militancy. This intimate look at the militias, their goals, and their global impact, follows the lives of two militants: Ateke Tom, the “Godfather” of the Niger Delta Vigilante Force, and Chima, a 21-year-old who escaped prison with Ateke’s help. The film also documents life in a tiny fishing village where Mama, a 22-year-old, struggles to give birth to her first child with the help of a traditional midwife and no access to modern medical care, while raids are launched from a militant camp across the river. The personal stories of Chima, Ateke, and Mama reflect a broader global struggle, one between entrenched power and corporate interests and an underserved population. Nigeria is the world’s eighth largest exporter of oil. Yet, despite this natural wealth, the majority of Niger Deltans continue to live in poverty. Ateke’s militants, along with other groups, have called for a greater distribution of wealth and jobs. When their requests have been ignored, they’ve attacked oil installations and pipelines, kidnapped foreigners, and made the entire Delta a no-go zone. But many feel that while the Niger Delta struggle is legitimate, the militants’ motives are not so pure.
About the Filmmakers:
Andrew Berends is currently in production on Delta Boys, a documentary film about exploitation and militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
In 2004 Berends spent six months working unembedded in Iraq to film The Blood of My Brother about an Iraqi family whose oldest son was killed by an American patrol and When Adnan Comes Home about a teenager who was badly burned in a fire while in boy’s prison in Baghdad. For The Blood of My Brother Berends received the International Documentary Association 2006 Courage Under Fire award. When Adnan Comes Home was awarded Best Documentary at the 2007 Vail Film Festival.
Berends’ previous documentary film Urk about Dutch fishermen on the perilous North Sea was nominated for the International Documentary Association – Pare Lorentz Award.
Festival & Award Highlights:
Stranger than Fiction Film Series, Spring 2012 – World Premiere