Nollywood movie on Chibok Girls wins an International Award

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A Virtual Reality (VR) documentary movie, ‘Daughters of Chibok’ has won a prestigious award at the 76th Venice International Film Festival.

The Chibok Girls based short film by Joel Kachi Benson which was premiered at the Festival won best virtual reality story on Saturday, September 7, 2019.

‘Daughters of Chibok’ which tells the story of the kidnap of 275 female students in April 2014 from school dormitory in Chibok, Northeast Nigeria.

The 11-minutes VR film which represented Nigeria and Africa in the category competed with other VR movies from France, China, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Italy, Taiwan, and Israel.

The first ever VR documentary on Chibok girls shows a woman who tries to survive the pain, the shock and the emotional torture of the of the kidnap of her daughter.

Accepting the Award during the event, the Director of the movie, Kachi 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.”

“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.”

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Last week I shared pictures and a message of how grateful I was to be at the Venice Biennale, rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names and the best minds in the world of virtual reality. For me it was great, just to be here, and have my film play alongside theirs. That was enough for me. I never knew there was more to come. As the festival began to wind down, I remember asking the curator if he’d be able to squeeze me in to attend the closing ceremony so I could watch the awards been given out, and he smiled and said he’d see what he could do to get me in. Two days ago he called me and said there’d be no need for that…our film #daughtersofchibok would be receiving an award, so I’d have a seat reserved for me. And so here we are, bringing home The Lion award for Best VR Story. The young boy who roamed the streets of Ijeshatedo during the day and slept in empty churches at night because he had no home to go to, is now on the world stage. Now if that’s not God, I don’t know what is. I thank everyone that has supported me on this crazy incredible adventure…my wife, my friends, my teachers (@timski67 and @joycectsang who taught me the importance of always “wrapping it in story”), @cobhamsasuquo who made the most incredible music for the #daughtersofchibok, and my team who’ve had to deal with all my mood swings and mad experiments. God has been too kind to me…I don’t know why…but I’m grateful. I’d have loved to end this with something profound, but I’ll just repeat what the someone in Venice said to me, and hope that it inspires someone – “Joel, you’re this guy that no one had ever heard of, who just came out the blues, and now you’ve put your country on the world’s vr map. You just proved that with faith and courage anyone can soar to the top”. #daughtersofchibok #virtualrealityworld #virtualrealitynigeria #labiennaledivenezia @imisi3d @iamaniwura @northeastihub @vr360stories @cobhamsasuquo @murphy_akande @timski67 @facey813 @iamshabz

A post shared by Joel Benson (@kachibenson) on

The owner of virtual reality film studios in Lagos, VR360, took to his Instagram page to express his joy over the award.

“I still can’t believe this. It’s like a dream….our VR film #daughtersofchibok won a Lion Award in the VR category of the Venice biennale!!!!! Somebody tell me it’s a dream!!!!”

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