‘Daughters of Chibok’ Wins Best VR Story Award At 76th Venice International Film Festival

Nigerian film, ‘Daughters of Chibok’, has won the best virtual reality (VR) immersive story for linear content award at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

The film, which addresses the impact of the kidnapped Chibok girls on their surviving family members, also aims to remind the global community on the need to rescue the remaining 112 school girls still in Boko Haram captivity.

‘Daughters of Chibok’ jointly produced by Northeast Humanitarian Innovation Hub and the VR360 Stories, depicted a particular mother, who frequently washes the clothes of her abducted daughter in readiness for her return.

The award was presented to Joel Kachi Benson, the Nigerian producer of the film during the 76th Venice International Film Festival on the 7th of August 2019.

The Venice VR Jury of the 76th Venice International Film Festival, chaired by Laurie Anderson and composed of Alysha Naples and Francesco Carrozzini,

Speaking on the award, 38-year-old Joel Kachi Benson said:

“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.

I guess my original reason for making this film was curiosity, I wanted to get the information myself.

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 in my stories.

One of the most shocking things I found out was that none of the parents had received any form of support since the incident. Not therapy, not psychosocial support, nothing.

I know it will never replace a missing child, but it will make a hard life just a little easier.

I dedicate this award to the woman in the story, Yana, who shared her story with me.

Because of this award, the world will hear of Chibok and remember the girls still in captivity.

Yana Galang’s daughter Rifkatu is one of those still missing. Every month, 51 years old Galang, washes and folds her daughters clothes – praying that she will one day be released.

In the documentary, Yana Galang talks about prayer being her primary source of comfort. She is also the woman leader among the mothers of the missing girls. This means that a lot of time she holds meetings and engagements trying to comfort traumatized mothers.

According to Yana Galang in the documentary:

“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.”

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 ‘Daughters of Chibok’ 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.

One thought on “‘Daughters of Chibok’ Wins Best VR Story Award At 76th Venice International Film Festival”

  1. Oh my God, it’s been five years already. How I wish I was a part of this publication somehow. It’s unbelievable to hear that they’ve not received any kind of support since then. Kai, Nigeria!

    My love to Yana, I so wish to hug her and tell her it will be alright. Hoping to see the documentary soon.

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