BY Mark Babatunde, 12:41pm January 27, 2017,

‘Waiting for Hassana’ on Abducted Chibok Girls Premieres in U.S.

Waiting for Hassana’ is a story of resilience in the midst of tragedy. Photo Credit: Premium Times

A film telling the story of the more than 200 Chibok girls who were abducted from their school dormitories in April 2014 by the Islamist group Boko Haram recently premiered in the United States.

The short documentary, entitled “Waiting for Hassana,” became to first Nigerian production to be screened at the prestigious Sundance International Film Festival when it premiered on Friday, January 20th.

The film was produced by Uzodinma Iweala, a Nigerian-born award-winning writer, filmmaker, and medical doctor whose novel “Beasts of No Nation’’ was recently made into a movie of the same title starring actor Idris Elba.

“Waiting for Hassana” tells the story of the Chibok abductions from a single perspective with a narrative performed by one of the 57 escapees.

It is a story of resilience in the midst of tragedy, with Iweala, adding that the film was the product of a team of Nigerians dedicated to telling their own stories to themselves and the world.

The film’s director is Ifunanya “Funa” Maduka whose previous works include the feature for the movie “Half of a Yellow Sun,’’ and the Oprah documentary “Building a Dream.’’

“We know the global story. Now we hear the personal one. As the director, my aim was to visually and sonically plunge audiences in to the psychological and emotional landscape of our subject,” Maduka said.

“My hope is that audiences will leave feeling inextricably linked to her life and her story – that it will become as much their story as it is hers.

“That radical intimacy is, to me, the basic and necessary function of art. It was also important to me that a Nigerian told this story, and I am proud that our crew reflects that drive.”

Other producers who worked on the project include Edward Tyler Nahem, Ann and Andrew Tisch, and Nnamdi Asomugha, a Nigerian-born American and former NFL cornerback who bankrolled the project.

“Waiting for Hassana” was shot over the course of 2016 in Nigeria by acclaimed Nigerian cinematographer Victor Okhai.

Held in January every year, Sundance is reputed to be the largest independent film festival in the United States. It exhibits new works from leading American and international independent filmmakers and takes place in Park City, Utah, as well as at the Sundance Resort. The 2016 edition drew an estimated 46,660 people in attendance.

Last Edited by:Abena Agyeman-Fisher Updated: January 27, 2017


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