‘Oloture’, a Nigerian film inspired by a 2014 trafficking investigation by PREMIUM TIMES has received rave reviews.
The film is currently trending on NETFLIX in Nigeria, Morocco, Ukraine, France, Portugal and South Africa.
Other countries include Brazil, Oman, Switzerland, Qatar, Romania, Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Russia.
The film premiered on Netflix on Friday.
The PREMIUM TIMES’ article, which was titled ‘Inside Nigeria’s Ruthless Human Trafficking Mafia’, was written by investigative reporter, Tobore Ovuorie.
It was published on August 12, 2014.
Ms Ovuorie was motivated by years of research into the plight of trafficked women in the country, as well as the loss of a friend, to go undercover in a multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise.
She emerged, bruised and beaten but thankfully alive, after witnessing orgies, big-money deals in jute bags, police-supervised pickpocketing, beatings and even murder. The report was lauded by many.
The producers acknowledged PREMIUM TIMES and Ms Ovuorie in the end credit as having inspired the storyline for ‘Oloture’.
Directed by Kenneth Gyang, ‘Oloture’ follows the story of a journalist who goes undercover as a prostitute to expose human trafficking but she only finds a world of exploited women and ruthless violence.
The film, which shows how sex workers are recruited and exploited overseas, was written by Craig Freimond and Yinka Ogun.
It stars Sharon Ooja, Beverly Osu, Omowumi Dada, Segun Arinze, Omoni Oboli,Omawumi, Ada Ameh, Ikechukwu, Blossom Chukwujekwu and many others.
The film premiered on October 31, 2019, in Tunisia, before screening at Carthage Film Festival.
Speaking with this newspaper on Sunday, Mr Gyang confirmed that the film was inspired by our report.
He said, ‘‘When I met with my colleague, Ishaya Bayo, about two weeks ago was the first time he told me about the PREMIUM TIMES report. I told him I haven’t heard and he asked if it was inspired by it, I said I have seen a lot of stories about trafficking but I haven’t read any elaborate story on it. I think at some point Kiki Mordi and one other person actually talked about it’. But, when I watched it, I saw that it is actually credited to PREMIUM TIMES and the reporter. I am yet to read the article Ishaya sent to me’’.
The director also added that although they already had a good script, his personal experiences and encounters shaped the film’s artistic and dramatic aspects as well as the overall direction.
Asked how he got his actors to perfectly interpret the sex, rape and steamy scenes, Gyang said, ‘‘I usually have notes and I wrote down how I wanted the film to look and I explained to them how I wanted the rape scene.”
‘‘The rape scene that was written at first is very brutal and all of that but because I felt no politician would want to get himself inside any form of trouble and wouldn’t want that kind of stress. That is how we actually arrived at shooting that scene. I live in Abuja and I know about all these orgies that these politicians actually organise. So, I understand what it is and you can actually hear stuff about what is going on when you go to those parties and or even from your friends.”
‘Oloture’ premiered on October 31, 2019 in Tunisia, before screening at Carthage Film Festival.
Netflix acquired distribution rights to the film in September 2020.
Read the 2014 investigation by PREMIUM TIMES below.