There is a lot of excitement among moviegoers as the expected release date of Tiger’s Tail, the new film from busy film practitioner Victor Okpala. Cyberspace commentary and word of mouth shows that fans can’t wait for the star-studded romantic thriller to hit theaters.
Indeed, there are high expectations for the action-packed film, which hits theaters nationwide on July 22nd. Co-written by Okpala, Tope Akinbode and Diche Enuwa, the romantic thriller deals with social issues such as love, brawls and the threat of street children.
Starring the inimitable Zubby Michael, Kelechi Udegbe Nosa Rex and Alexx Ekuboh. Other members of the illustrious cast include the notable actors Etinosa Idemudia and Tacha Eke in their first film appearances before or after their exploits in Big Brother Nigeria (BBN) House. With over 40 TV movies, 10 TV series and around 5 theatrical projects under his belt, critics say that Okpala has what it takes to deliver a film that will definitely delight eager moviegoers. Okpala assures in this interview that moviegoers will find Tiger’s Tail “a well told story”.
The Journey to the Tiger Tail
The entire film took us about six months, but the shooting took less than a month. The experience was bittersweet in the sense that we faced the same threat we were trying to contain. Some days street kids known as “Agberos” would not allow us to film in certain areas of Lagos for hours until we parted with huge sums of money.
The sweet part was when we were shooting in a slum in the Alpha Beach area of Lagos. Despite the difficulties we went through, we befriended many children who loved what we were doing and encouraged us by joining as background actors. Some of them were seeing a film crew live for the first time in their lives and you could see the excitement.
With that kind of spirit, we tried our best to deliver this romantic thriller that deals with social issues like love, street kids, fights and many other topics. It will enlighten, entertain and encourage those who are on the wrong path in life to turn over a new leaf. People should watch it and enjoy a story well told
motivation for the film
THE motivation was to start a conversation about street children and how NGOs can raise funds and start a rehabilitation process for all of them. I really want to rid our street of this threat. I wrote the film with my amazing friends – Tope Akinbode and Diche Enuwa – but I directed it. I also worked with an amazing cast and crew and most of the actors were A-listers.
Working with A-list actors has been very good as many of them are my friends or we became friends on this project. Working with these actors was pure bliss, not without the usual little challenges here and there of course, but it was an amazing group of people to work with.
Alexx Ekuboh has been my friend and work partner for many years, so it was very easy to work with him. Zubby Michael is a brother and we bonded as brothers. Nosa Rex was a friend. You can’t have problems with Etinosa because she’s a free spirit. And then, Lady Tacha; She was great. It was her first film before or after BBN House.
All the actors on the project were great and continued to be so supportive and encouraging of the film. It’s a family affair and I love them all. I would love for everyone to see Tigers Tail in theaters. We’re very confident that Tigers Tail will resonate with audiences across the board and give people bang for their buck.
Enter Victor ‘Eagle Eye’ Okpala
VICTOR Okpala is a hardworking filmmaker who is passionate about his work. I’ve been an art lover since I was a child – from the literary and debating societies to cultural groups in secondary schools. After JSS 3 I switched from science to art class and of course my parents were alarmed but today it paid off.
So I knew I was going to end up in the arts sector. When I got to university, although I was in social sciences, I was always in the theater department, rehearsing and holding acting sessions. When I finished school I knew where I had to go, but I had to do a bit of work here and there and then off to film school. When I came back, I registered my company and started producing TV series.
I produced and directed Eagle Eye, which was syndicated to about 18 stations nationwide. While in television, I started working with other filmmakers as a producer or executive producer, then I directed, and the rest is history. To date I have done over 40 TV movies, 3 feature films and over 10 TV series.
No one is more memorable than the other; Each of them gave me experiences that I wouldn’t have learned in film school and that I can’t trade for anything in the world. I would say my journey has been very rewarding and we thank God. I’m not quite there yet, but we’re working on getting there. As for “Eagle Eye,” which has become something of my middle name, I earned it through the popularity of my first TV series, Eagle Eye.
Growing up and living off the set
MY upbringing was very interesting; I grew up in Lagos with my grandmother in Surulere. I attended Surulere Secondary School after which I went to University of Nigeria Nsukka where I graduated before returning to Lagos to start my career. Jesus was always my example, although I received a lot of inspiration from my grandmother, who incidentally was one of those involved in the 1929 Aba women’s uprising. As a very courageous businesswoman, I took a lot from her.
As far as life outside of film goes, I’m really a very private person and a lot of people don’t know that. I like to work and go home and relax. I really do find time to relax and socialize, mostly on weekends or when I’m out of the country. My social circle is so small you’ll be wondering.
Next project on the disc
WHEN Tiger’s Tail is complete we will be working on a bunch of content before the end of the year. We already have a series and another film project in the works. So don’t rest until Jesus comes. My ambition is to keep getting better at my craft and to believe that all good things will follow.