Nigerian Political Doc ‘The Supreme Price’ Gets European Release




London, UK: Thursday 5th February 2015 – Ahead of Nigeria’s forthcoming pivotal elections scheduled for 14th February 2015, the timely and powerful critically acclaimed feature length documentary film THE SUPREME PRICE, which traces the evolution of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles, is set to feature in a series of prestigious screenings across Europe. Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March the film will feature in the United Nation’s CINÉ ONU programme across Europe (UK, Austria, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg); will play in the Movies that Matter Film Festival at The Hague, Netherlands in March in the Matter of Act Competition sponsored by Amnesty International and summer screenings will also take place at the new Bertha DocHouse screen at London’s Curzon Bloomsbury with dates soon to be announced.

Ciné-ONU is one of the United Nations’ most successful outreach initiatives in Europe. It involves screenings of highly acclaimed, award-winning films and documentaries relevant to a specific UN issue, followed by a Q&A with reputed speakers.

Directed and Produced by award-winning filmmaker Joanna Lipper (Growing Up Fast, Little Fugitive, Inside Out: Portraits of Children) and winner of the Gucci Tribeca Spotlighting Women Documentary Award and Best Documentary at Africa International Film Festival 2014 (AFRIFF), THE SUPREME PRICE has been officially selected for over 12 international film festivals on five continents including Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2014 and AFI Docs 2014.

In 1993 Nigeria elected M.K.O. Abiola as president in a historic vote that promised to end years of military dictatorship. Shortly after the election, Abiola was imprisoned as another military regime seized power, and his wife, Kudirat, took over the leadership of the pro-democracy movement, organizing strikes and marches and winning international attention for the Nigerian struggle. Because of this work, she too became a target and was assassinated in 1996. Director Joanna Lipper elegantly dovetails past and present as she tells this story through the eyes of Hafsat Abiola, who was about to graduate from Harvard when her mother was murdered. Her father died in prison two years later under mysterious circumstances. Determined not to let her parents’ democratic ideals die with them, Hafsat returns to Nigeria after years in exile and is at the forefront of a progressive movement to empower women and dismantle the patriarchal structure of Nigerian society.

THE SUPREME PRICE provides an unprecedented look inside of Africa’s most populous nation, exposing the tumultuous, violent history of a deeply entrenched corrupt culture of governance where a tiny circle of political elites monopolize billions of dollars worth of oil revenue while the masses remain impoverished.

Filmmaker Joanna Lipper said, “I am honoured that the UN, Movies that Matter and Bertha Dochouse will be bringing my film to audiences throughout Europe. The volatile situation in Nigeria has made international headlines since the kidnapping of over 250 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in 2014. This film offers a moving story of a mother and daughter against the backdrop of a landmark Presidential election and its tumultuous aftermath along with historical context for the complex current political climate in Nigeria and its impact on the rights of women and girls.”

10 – 15 Feb – Human Rights Human Wrongs Documentary Film Festival – Oslo, Norway
26 Feb – 1 March – Family of Woman Film Festival – Idaho, US
26 Feb – 5 March – Austrian Women Film Days Festival – Vienna, Austria
6 March, 19:00 – Ciné-ONU – Luxembourg
6 March – Women Take The Reel Film Festival – MIT: Cambridge, MA, US
9 March, 18:30 – Ciné-ONU – Vienna, Austria
17 March – Ciné-ONU – ICA: London, UK
March (tbc) – Ciné-ONU – Brussels, Belgium
16-21 March – Luxor African Film Festival – Egypt

19-22 March – IREP: iRepresent International Documentary Film Festival 2015 – Lagos, Nigeria
21-28 March – Movies that Matter Film Festival – The Hague, Netherlands
26 March – Innovation in Democracy International Conference – Athens, Greece
26-29 March – New Voices in Black Cinema Festival, BAMCinematek – Brooklyn, New York, US
9 April, 19:30 – Ciné-ONU – Cologne, Germany
9-15 April – African Film Festival: New Zealand Trust – Auckland, New Zealand
20-22 May – International Women’s Forum (IWF), Cornerstone Conference – Johannesburg, South Africa
June – Bertha DocHouse screen at Curzon Bloomsbury, London, UK
For interviews, reviews, stills, press kit and trailer please contact:


Joanna Lipper is an award-winning filmmaker and Lecturer at Harvard University where she teaches Using Film for Social Change in the Department of African and African-American Studies. Her work as a documentary filmmaker has been supported by the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, ITVS, Britdoc Foundation, the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, Women Make Movies and Chicken & Egg Pictures. Her latest documentary, The Supreme Price, received the Gucci Tribeca Spotlighting Women Documentary Award and won Best Documentary at Africa International Film Festival. An extended trailer from the film was commissioned to launch Gucci’s Chime for Change Women’s Empowerment Campaign at TED 2013. Previous films Lipper has produced and directed include Inside Out: Portraits of Children (1996), Growing Up Fast (1999) and Little Fugitive (2006). Lipper is the author of the nationally acclaimed book Growing Up Fast. Her photography has been published and exhibited in the US and overseas.

For more information please visit:

“Taking a long historical view of a troubled country struggling to emerge from a military dictatorship is Joanna Lipper’s documentary “The Supreme Price,” about Nigeria’s female-directed democracy movement. After a military coup in 1993, M. K.O Abiola, a pro-democracy leader who was considered the victor in aborted presidential elections that year but never took office, was imprisoned in 1994. Four years later he died under suspicious circumstances. After his imprisonment, his fearless, eloquent wife, Kudirat, took over the movement’s leadership, but she was assassinated in 1996. The history is told through the eyes of their daughter Hafsat Abiola, a Harvard-educated crusader for human rights and democracy who now leads a movement to dismantle the country’s patriarchal structure.” – The New York Times.

“Ms Lipper has used previously unseen archive footage to great effect with the story moving effortlessly between past and present, talking heads and footage from the campaign trail, personal moments and public opinions. There are moments of terrible sadness… But Ms Lipper just as deftly includes moments of surreal comic horror… The themes are heavy: murder and injustice, in a country ravaged by oil money and military rule. It hardly sounds like a recipe for an uplifting film, but Ms Lipper has been careful to ensure that the story is more about going forward than dwelling on the tragedy of the past… it is surely a good thing that a film like this now exists, touching on the issues the kidnappings brought to life and showing how important women are to a country like Nigeria and why it is in everyone’s interest to listen to them.” – The Economist

“The Supreme Price is a deeply profound and beautiful experience, and an integral film to watch.” – Indiewire

“Excellent… Lean, lucid… No hashtag activist, Lipper does an excellent job of using her film as a vehicle for the voices and concerns of Nigerians, and especially of Nigerian women, who are traditionally expected to stay at home while men operate in the public sphere.” -Village Voice & LA Weekly Critics Pick

“In her latest film, Joanna Lipper dives into the crucial fight to educate women on a local and global scale…. Lipper presents a comprehensive look at a complex history and masterfully weaves an evocative story of politics, justice and women’s rights that will undoubtedly resonate with viewers worldwide just as the April 2014 schoolgirls abduction has.” – BET

Some of the best documentaries tell inspiring stories of people overcoming the unthinkable… With an uptick in kidnappings and killings, the situation in Nigeria is looking bleak. How exactly did the country get to such a state? Joanna Lipper’s film looks at the pro-democracy movement in the corrupt African nation but also gives a helpful tutorial on Nigerian politics.” – The Washington Post
“The Supreme Price is one of ten films all human rights activists should see.” – Huffington Post