Director Ike Nnaebue takes up the road he travelled more than 20 years ago when he was 18 and wanted to reach Europe. A road movie that starts in Lagos, Nigeria, and ends in Tangiers, Morocco, passing through Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo, Mali, and Mauritania to meet those who today, despite the dangers, dream of going elsewhere in Africa or Europe. The film reveals fragments of migrants’ lives, their fears and hopes, anger and resignation, but above all the reasons that push them to leave: family pressure, unemployment, socio-economic context accentuated by the pandemic, and thirst for freedom. Ike Nnaebue reveals his intimate side. A single ticket from Lagos to Tangiers, or how hope transcends fear.
Ike Nnaebue, a renowned Nollywood director, goes back to the path he took at the dawn of his adult life when he wanted to reach Europe. Born into an Igbo polygamous family, he lost his father at an early age. As a child, he had to leave school at the age of 13 and worked as an apprentice to a parts seller who, according to Igbo tradition, was supposed to help him financially to set up his own business when he came of age, but did not keep his word. Ike was 18 years old, ready to start his life, and suddenly, the possibility of planning his life came to an abrupt halt until his friends told him about the possibility of reaching Europe by road. Stories came to him that young Nigerians had gone to a town called Las Palmas, on a Spanish island, where there were fruit-picking jobs that paid well and allowed them to send money and cars home. This was in 1998. Ike decided to leave with his three friends to try a great adventure. Their plan was simple: the head for Cotonou in Benin, then Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, until Tangiers in Morocco, the gateway to Europe. But in Bamako, an encounter with a stranger who told him about the dangers of the road leading to the end of his journey. Ike never made it to Europe. Returning to Nigeria without money was not an option, so he spent two years in The Gambia working in some theatre and film productions. Two years later, he was back with his family. He is 21 years old and has found his way in life. Today, when social networks and television flood us with images of servitude, pain and atrocities that make it impossible to ignore the dangers of the road, Ike Nnaebue embarks on this journey again to try to understand what drives so many young African men and women to migrate today. A road movie through the landscapes and cultures of West Africa that puts into perspective the realities experienced by young people in Africa today. By recounting their journey, the director brings his own to live in his first feature-length documentary.
Ike’s first commercial film False continues to generate lots of buzz within the film community and among African movie fans. False, which Ike wrote and directed, was released in 2013 and won a Golden Icon Academy Award (GIAMA) out of the three nominations the movie received. False went on to become the highest nominated movie of the year. Ike’s 2015 film, Sink or Swim, won Best Narrative Feature at the 2016 Newark International Film Festival and has received several nominations and official selections at prestigious international film festivals. In Loving Daniella, Ike explores the abyss of mental illness from a very unlikely perspective.
Christilla Huillard-Kann is CEO and producer at Elda Productions. Prior to this, she was deputy director at Radio France, commissioning editor at ARTE France, producer at Lagardère, journalist and editor at France Inter, a French Public Radio channel. For a short time, she worked as a demographer at Unesco. She holds a M.Phil in Demographics and Econometrics at SciencesPo and a MSc in Economics.
PASSION 8 COMMUNICATIONS
Okey Omeire is an audiovisual content developer and content producer with valuable experience in documentary film production, music production, sound engineering, movie score composition and photography in Nigeria. In the last year, he has done pioneering directing and cinematography work in the Nigerian horror film genre. His work with smartphone filmmaking continues to pave the way for its mainstream emergence in Africa as a pop-culture mainstay in cinema, with the sixteen-episode series Don’t Call Me Baby. With a repertoire of over two hundred original film scores to his credit, he is leading the charge in the silent evolution of music and sound design in the Nigerian cine-space.
Don Edkins is a South African documentary filmmaker and producer based in Cape
Town. He has produced documentary film projects that have been broadcast around
the world, such as Steps for the Future, Why Democracy? and Why Poverty? earning
multiple international awards, including an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, and the
Special Teddy Award at the 63rd Berlinale for Steps for the Future. The Peabody
awarded Why Poverty? Project, with documentary films from 21 countries, was
screened globally by 70 broadcasters. He is Executive Producer of AfriDocs, a free-to-
view VOD platform and broadcast strand across Africa that screens the best African
and international documentary films. He is currently producing a new documentary film
project with African filmmakers across the continent, Generation Africa, around the
theme of migration. He is a mentor for the Berlinale Talents, Durban FilmMart, and
Docs by the Sea in Indonesia, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Tiny Mungwe is a documentary film and arts producer. She currently works at STEPS
(Social Transformation and Empowerment Projects) where she produces Generation
Africa, a pan-African anthology of 25 documentary films from 16 countries in Africa, on
the topic of migration. Mungwe’s films include Akekho uGogo, a 48 minute
documentary about urban youth culture, which screened at several festivals including
the Durban International Film Festival, Apollo Film Festival and DOKANEMA Festival.
Her short film script Evelyn was selected for the National Film and Video Foundation
(NFVF) Women Filmmaker Project and she directed another short film in the program,
Daddy’s Boy. She has written for some of the highest rating South African television
dramas such as Muvhango and Matatiele, and was one of the directors on the series
Uzalo. For several years she worked as a festival organizer and programmer for four
international festivals, namely Time of the Writer, the Durban International Film
Festival, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival and Poetry Africa. During that time she also worked on the program for Durban FilmMart (the co-production market of the festival) and Talents Durban (a career development program for emerging African filmmakers in partnership with Berlinale Talents). She continues to work as a program curation associate for the Durban FilmMart. She also programmed and curated the city of Durban’s inaugural book and art fair, ARTiculate Africa.