Okoro was among five finalists listed for an award being given by AT&T, the Tribeca Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Institute to a promising young filmmaker, with a focus on underrepresented perspectives.
After a game-show-like pitch-off, Okoro won the transformative grant. His thesis project would have a million-dollar budget.
But the money came with pressure: For example, it was to be filmed in Africa.
The film, “Nigerian Prince,” follows a Nigerian-American high schooler whose mother sends him to live with his aunt in Lagos. There he befriends his cousin, a professional scammer who sends phishing emails, among other deceitful business pursuits.
Winning a $1 million grant to make his film was “much different than winning the lottery,” Faraday said, “because I still had to make the movie for it to mean anything. And I could really feel that.”