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With Tiger’s Tail, Victor Okpala offers a bold summer awakening movie

By Shaibu Husseini
16 July 2022   |   4:05 am
The buzz amongst cinemagoers is the anticipated cinema release of Tiger’s Tail, the new movie by the busy motion picture practitioner Victor Okpala.

The buzz amongst cinemagoers is the anticipated cinema release of Tiger’s Tail, the new movie by the busy motion picture practitioner Victor Okpala. Comments on cyberspace and word of mouth indicate that fans can’t wait for the cinema release of the star-studded romantic thriller.

Indeed, there is high-level expectation for the action packed movie, which opens in cinemas across the country from July 22. Co-written by Okpala, Tope Akinbode and Diche Enuwa, the romantic thriller deals with social issues of love, thuggery and the menace of street kids.

The movie stars the inimitable Zubby Michael, Kelechi Udegbe Nosa Rex and Alexx Ekuboh. Further joining the illustrious cast are notable actors Etinosa Idemudia and Tacha Eke in her first ever movie appearance before or after her exploits in the Big Brother Nigeria (BBN) House. With over 40 TV movies, 10 TV series and about 5 cinema projects in his kitty, critics say that Okpala has what it takes to deliver a movie that will definitely meet the eager movie crowd with favour. Okpala assures in this interview that cinemagoers will find Tiger’s Tail as ‘a story well told’.

The Journey To Tiger’s Tail
Entire film took us about six months to do, but principal photography was less than a month. The experience was bitter sweet in the sense that we were confronted by the same menace we were trying to curb. Some days, street urchins who are popular as ‘Agberos’ would not allow us film in certain areas in Lagos for hours until we part with huge sums of money.

The sweet part was when we filmed in a slum around Alpha Beach area of Lagos. Despite the trouble we went through, we bonded with a lot of children who loved what we were doing and encouraged us by joining as background actors. Some of them were seeing a movie team live for the first time in their lives and you could see the excitement.

It is with that kind of spirit that we put in our best to deliver this romantic thriller that deals on social issues of love, street kids, thuggery and a lot of other issues. It will educate, entertain and encourage those who are on the wrong path of life to turn a new leaf. People should go and see it a enjoy a story well told

Motivation For The Movie
THE motivation was to begin a conversation on street children and how NGOs can raise funds and begin a rehabilitation process for them all. I really want our street rid of this menace. I co- 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 was a very good one, as many of them are my friends or we became friends on this project. Working with these actors was pure bliss, not of course without the usual little challenges here and there, but they were amazing set of people to work with.

Alexx Ekuboh has been my friend and working 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 has been a friend. You cannot have issues with Etinosa because she is a free spirit. And then, Lady Tacha; she was awesome. It was her first ever movie before or after BBN house.

All the actors on the project were amazing and have continued to be so supporting and promoting the movie. It’s a family affair and I love them all. I would love everyone to go see Tigers Tail in the cinemas. We are very hopeful with Tigers Tail that it will resonate with the audience across board and give people a worth for their money.

Enter Victor ‘Eagle Eye’ Okpala
VICTOR Okpala is a hardworking filmmaker who is passionate about his work. I have always been a lover of arts right from childhood- from literary and debating society to cultural groups in secondary schools. After JSS 3, I switched from science to arts class and off course, my parents were alarmed, but it has paid off today.

So, I knew I would end up in the arts sector. When I got into the university, even though I was in the social sciences, I was always with the theatre department rehearsing and holding drama sessions. Once I left school, I knew where to go, but had to work a bit here and there then off to film school. Once I got back, I registered my company and started with television series production.

I produced and directed Eagle Eye, which was syndicated in about 18 stations nationwide. While doing television, I started working with other filmmakers as producer or line producer, and then went on to direct and the rest they say is history. Till date, I have done over 40 TV movies, three cinema movies and over 10 TV series.

No one particular is more memorable than the other; each of them have given me experiences I would not have learnt in a film school and can’t trade for anything in this world. I would say my journey has been very rewarding and we thank God. Am not at the top yet, but we are working to get there. As for the ‘Eagle Eye’, which has become somewhat my middle name, I earned it from the popularity of my first television series Eagle Eye.

Growing Up and Life Off The Set
MY growing up was very interesting; I grew up in Lagos with my grandmother in Surulere. I attended Surulere Secondary School, after that, I proceeded to University of Nigeria Nsukka where I had a degree before coming back to Lagos to start my career. Jesus has always been my role model, though I got a lot of inspiration from my grandmother who by the way was one of those who was among the Aba women riot of 1929. A very brave businesswoman, I took a lot from her.

As for life off set, I am 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 socialise during the weekend mostly or when am out of the country. My social circle is so small that you will wonder.

Next Project On The Plate
ONCE Tiger’s Tail is done, we will be working on a slate of contents before the year ends. We have a series and another movie project already in the works. So, no rest till Jesus comes. As for my ambition, it is to keep getting better at my craft and believe that all good things will follow.

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