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Special Screenings
Traveling Festival


Sweet Crude

Sweet Crude
93' (Nigeria, USA)

Director:  Sandy Cioffi
Producers:  Sandy Cioffi, Laurie Hicks, Kathleen McInnis, Tammi Sims, Kate Wolf, Leslye Wood, Cliff Worsham


The Niger Delta is a powder keg. Escalating unrest and kidnappings by militants have shut down as much as 40% of oil production in the region. The Nigerian government continues to make and break a long string of promises to resolve the crisis. The international community is standing by while impending war looms. Oil spills, dredging and acid rain from gas flaring have destroyed habitats, killed the fish population, fouled the soil and poisoned the villagers. Their villages lack potable water, sanitation, infrastructure, healthcare and schools. There is a long legacy of non-violent protest in the Delta, but it has consistently been met by the Nigerian government with violence—not only against individuals who have spoken out, but against entire communities. As a result, a new armed resistance, MEND, emerged. They began kidnapping oil workers to bring international attention to the crisis and in the years since, the region has become increasingly unstable. Yet they have repeatedly stated their desire to negotiate. Sweet Crude is about the humanitarian, environmental and economic devastation in the wake of fifty years of oil extraction—and the opportunity for the international community to do something.


Sandy Cioffi has produced and/or directed several films, including the critically acclaimed Crocodile Tears, Terminal 187 and Just Us. Sandy has worked extensively with the Hate Free Zone in Seattle, producing films about treatment of immigrants post-September 11th. In 2005-2008, Sandy made four trips to the volatile Niger Delta in Nigeria to film Sweet Crude, documenting conditions there and interviewing the region’s key stakeholders, including leadership of the armed resistance movement. In April 2008, she and her film crew were detained by the Nigerian State Security Services and held in military prison for seven days. As an educator, Sandy has worked extensively with young people—as an artist-in-residence at many middle and high schools in Washington State, and through the mentor/apprentice film program at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center.

Contact Information:

Sandy Cioffi
Sweet Crude LLC
3751 E. Columbia Street
Seattle, WA   98122
E-mail: info@sweetcrudemovie.com
Web site: www.sweetcrudemovie.com

©2009 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
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