A layered homage to the cultures and environment that shaped ALASKALAND Director Chinonye Chukwu
Tuesday, November 21, 2013 This week NWD spotlights ALASKALAND Director Chinonye Chukwu. Taking the director’s chair, Chinonye Chukwu sees herself as an anomaly in more ways than one. Chinonye was born in Rivers State, Nigeria and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. Her parents, Nigerian immigrants, came to Alaska to establish themselves as engineers. Chinonye grew up eating her mother’s jaloff rice for dinner and wanting to go dog mushing with her friends on weekends; avoiding cousins that made fun of her for not knowing her native language, and moose that plant themselves on her front yard. Chinonye grew up having to balance her traditional Nigerian upbringing, with her American, and more specifically, Arctic surroundings, and it is this dichotomy that serves as the impetus for her film ALASKALAND.
“I wanted to tell a story that was true to the insecurities and complexities I’ve had to navigate my entire life, while constructing a layered homage to the cultures and environment that have informed who I am” states Director Chinonye. “The main events in the film are not autobiographical, but the isolation Chukwuma feels in navigating his different worlds, the difficulty he faces in realizing his own greatness, and the journey of forgiveness his family must make, have all been a part of my reality.”
The story of ALASKALAND is specific and universal at the same time. Chinonye hopes it gives everyone a peek into a world that most have never seen, particularly from a perspective that has never been portrayed on screen before. But most importantly, she hopes ALASKALAND inspires people to see themselves in one another, while embracing the unique qualities that contribute to their greatness and strength.
“The art of independent film making truly relies on the vision of the filmmaker and every once in a while, you are lucky to find a filmmaker that can bring their vision to light” states New World Distribution CCO Cary Floyd. “Chinonye Chukwu, is that filmmaker and ALASKALAND is that film.”
Chinonye Chukwu’s ALASKALAND is expected to be released on iTunes December 3rd with more platforms coming online soon.
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