ABOUT THE FILM
ALASKALAND tells the story of Chukwuma, an Alaskan-raised Nigerian struggling to balance the expectations of his traditional Nigerian parents and the larger world around him. After his parents are killed in a tragic car crash, Chukwuma is separated from his younger sister, Chidinma, who moves to Nigeria with their Uncle until she becomes of legal age.
After two years the siblings reconnect to find their estrangement has created new personal and cultural frictions in ways that bring them closer to each other and their roots, as well as help them define what it means to be a Nigerian in Alaska.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER -- Chinonye Chukwu, Writer & Director
I am an anomaly. I was born in Rivers State, Nigeria and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. My parents, Nigerian immigrants, came to Alaska to established themselves as petroleum engineers. I grew up eating my mother's jaloff rice for dinner and wanting to go dogmushing with my friends on weekends; avoiding cousins that make fun of me for not knowing my native language, and moose that plant themselves on my front yard. I was living in two completely different worlds and didn't realize how unique that was until I went to college outside of Alaska. When I started pursuing my passion for filmmaking, I realized I had an experience that is worthy of sharing with the world and will give me an opportunity to pay homage to a place and a culture that has helped shape my sense of self and the world around me. So, several months later, I wrote a script.
I have already written and directed two award-winning shorts, Igbo Kwenu! and The Dance Lesson, both of which examine the ideas of community and identity, but in very different ways. Together, these films have screened at several festivals and venues, and have helped me earn the prestigious Princess Grace Award in narrative filmmaking, awarded to only two people in the country each year. I have been successful in the short film format, but am now ready to expand upon these contradictory themes of cross-cultural (and cross-generational) identity into a fully nuanced story.
A CALL TO ACTION -- What We Are Asking
In March and April 2011, we shot the film ALASKALAND, and have been editing ever since. We recently completed the edit and are now beginning composing an original musical score and the myriad of other finishing touches needed to complete the film - but we need your help. There is a lot that goes into this final stage of the creation process: sound design, color correction, sound recording, digital compositing, titling, and the list goes on. We have already had such amazing support from different community members across the country, but we are still in need of additional financing to cover the remaining post-production costs for the film.
We are asking for a financial contribution towards the completion of ALASKALAND. The money raised will go towards the post-production services listed above.
A COMMUNITY EFFORT -- It's Not About Me
Making this film is about so much more than just me or the rest of the cast and crew. It's about giving you the opportunity to help tell a story that has never been told before, to bring characters and cultures to the screen that are as complex as we are; it's about being a part of a community that is making a movement come alive.
I can't do this on my own. The cast and crew can't do this on their own. But with your support, we can really make this happen!