5:14 pm - Sunday October 20, 2019

HISTORIC MOVIE ON MISSING CHIBOK GIRLS: Nigeria’s Documentary ‘Daughters of Chibok’ win The LION OF AWARD at Venice Film Festival…Movie reflects true life story of Yana Galang, 51-year old woman whose daughter was among the 276 girls kidnapped in April 2014 from their school dormitory in Chibok, northeast Nigeria * Nigeria born Film Director, Joel Kachi Benson determined to take the world to the women of Chibok still living in incredible pain of their kidnapped daughters’ absence *His words: “When my name was announced as the winner and I walked up on stage, it was the most surreal thing ever! Almost like an out of body experience. But I knew this was an opportunity to remind the world that Chibok is still here and the story doesn’t have an ending yet. And so we must not forget” * ‘Everyday, I wash and fold my daughter’s clothes — praying that she will one day be released from the den of Boko Haram. Rifkatu my daughter, for five years I have wept and waited, praying for you to return. I will not stop praying for you. I will never stop, and I know that one day my prayers will be answered’-Galang cries *PLUS how crew spent several days in the small village in Borno State speaking to families of those affected by Boko Haram abductions BY AHMED ALWALI/MOVIE REPORTER, VENICE


HISTORIC MOVIE ON MISSING CHIBOK GIRLS:

Nigeria’s Documentary ‘Daughters of Chibok’ win The LION OF AWARD at Venice Film Festival…Movie reflects true life story of Yana Galang, 51-year old woman whose daughter was among the 276 girls kidnapped in April 2014 from their school dormitory in Chibok, northeast Nigeria

* Nigeria born Film Director, Joel Kachi Benson determined to take the world to the women of Chibok still living in incredible pain of their kidnapped daughters’ absence

*His words: “When my name was announced as the winner and I walked up on stage, it was the most surreal thing ever! Almost like an out of body experience. But I knew this was an opportunity to remind the world that Chibok is still here and the story doesn’t have an ending yet. And so we must not forget”

* ‘Everyday, I wash and fold my daughter’s clothes — praying that she will one day be released from the den of Boko Haram. Rifkatu my daughter, for five years I have wept and waited, praying for you to return. I will not stop praying for you. I will never stop, and I know that one day my prayers will be answered’-Galang cries

*PLUS how crew spent several days in the small village in Borno State speaking to families of those affected by Boko Haram abductions

BY AHMED ALWALI/MOVIE REPORTER, VENICE

HE HAS BROUGHT NIGERIA INTO A STATE OF HONOR IN THE WORLD. JOEL KACHI BENSON, A-38-YEAR OLD NIGERIAN HAS WON THE PRESTIGIOUS LION AWARD AT THE JUST CONCLUDED VENICE FILM FESTIVAL with his evergreen documentary film titled ‘Daughters of Chibok’.

This prolific documentary by this filmmaker on the missing Chibok girls won best virtual reality story at the festival’s closing ceremony on Saturday night. The documentary, which also had its premiere at the festival, tells the story of Yana Galang, whose daughter was among the 276 girls kidnapped in April 2014 from their school dormitory in Chibok, northeast Nigeria.

For the records, when the Chibok girls were kidnapped, there was global outrage, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai called them her “sisters”. Then US first lady Michelle Obama, said she saw her “own daughters” in them and and Hollywood stars lent their voices to the movement..

Following government negotiations with the terrorists, 107 of them were eventually released, while 112 remain missing. The film’s director, Joel Kachi Benson, said in his acceptance speech: “With this VR film, all I wanted to do was to take the world to the women of Chibok, who five years after their daughters had been kidnapped, are still living with the incredible pain of their absence. I felt it was wrong for us to forget or even doubt and move on.”

Benson, who runs a virtual reality film studios, VR360 in Lagos, Nigeria told CNN: “When my name was announced as the winner and I walked up on stage, it was the most surreal thing ever! Almost like an out of body experience. But I knew this was an opportunity to remind the world that Chibok is still here and the story doesn’t have an ending yet. And so we must not forget.”

Five years on, the world appears to have forgotten and the Chibok story no longer commands global attention. But one mother has not given up hope. Yana Galang’s daughter Rifkatu is one of those still missing.

Every month, Galang, 51, washes and folds her daughters clothes — praying that she will one day be released. “Rifkatu my daughter, for five years I have wept and waited, praying for you to return. I will not stop praying for you. I will never stop, and I know that one day my prayers will be answered.” Galang says in the documentary. Benson, 38, says he stumbled on making the film about the missing girls out of curiosity to find out more about the infamous kidnappings for himself.

“When the story broke out years ago, there was a lot of talk about it. Some people thought it was fake; others thought it was political,” he said.

“I guess my original reason for making this film was curiosity, I wanted to get the information myself,” he added. The crew spent several days in the small village in Borno State speaking to families of those affected by Boko Haram abductions. The end result is an immersive storytelling style that give the audience a chance to feel and see what the characters in the story are experiencing through virtual reality. “I have always felt like my experiences in the northeast were not fully captured. But the moment I wore a VR headset for the first time, I knew I had found a way to engross people into my stories,” Benson reportedly said.

*Addition reports by CNN

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