‘Daughters of Chibok,’ a documentary by Joel Kachi Benson has won an award at the 76th annual Venice International Film Festival.
The short virtual film from Nigeria won the best virtual reality story at the festival's closing ceremony on Saturday night, September 7, 2019.
The documentary’s victory at the festival coincides with its premiere at the festival after screening in Nigeria during the 5th remembrance of the kidnapped Chibok Girls.
Speaking at the ceremony, Benson said, "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."
Speaking further, the filmmaker said, "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."
‘Daughters of Chibok’ competed in the linear content category, among 12 other Virtual Reality films selected from around the world.
Representing Nigeria and Africa in the category, ‘Daughters of Chibok’ joined other VR movies from countries including France, China, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Italy, Taiwan, and Israel.
The 11-minute long film sees Yana Galang, mother to Rifkatu, narrating how she got married at a young age, had eight children, and the kidnapping of her daughter alongside other 275 girls in April 2014 from their school dormitory in Chibok, northeast Nigeria.
The documentary, which is the first-ever VR documentary on Chibok Girls, shows the high hopes of a broken mum trying to forge ahead in life after the kidnap of one of her daughters.
A peasant farmer planting, harvesting and selling seven bags of groundnuts in a year, Benson says Rifkatu’s mother is trying to live above the poverty level.