Nigerian actor and filmmaker, Ike Nnaebue’s first documentary ‘No U-turn’ has gotten a commendation at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival which was held in Berlin, Germany between February 10, 2022, and February 20, 2022.
An excited Nnebue said the recognition felt like an encouragement pat on the back.
“When No U-Turn received an official selection from the Berlinale, I felt an encouraging pat on the back. Receiving a Special mention for my first documentary film felt like the documentary world swinging wide open its doors and welcoming me in heartily. All thanks to the amazing program that is Generation Africa. This is the generation of Africans that changes the narrative.” said Nnaebue.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, documentary jury member Susanne Schüle said “We give the Special Mention to a film that sensitively gives voice to the people of Nigeria who are in a state of constant transit in their desperate search for a viable future. We rejoice with Ike Nnaebue and his team for No U-Turn.”
The film is one of two from STEPS’ latest documentary project Generation Africa which were selected to play at the film festival. The other Generation Africa film selected was ‘No Simple Way Home,’ by Akuol de Mabior, which also was the first South Sudanese film selected in the history of the festival.
No U-turn follows the Nigerian director, Ike Nnaebue as he takes a journey through West Africa to North Africa – crossing Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Morocco- in a quest to understand the motivations of young people traveling to Europe through the back way. Nnaebue makes this journey 26 years after his own attempts to get to Europe the same way when he was young, which he abandoned on the way for fear of the dangers of the road. Along the road, he connects with young people to find the answer to the question of why young people still travel this dangerous route even with the proliferation of images of black youth killed, robbed, and enslaved in their attempts to cross the desert while others drown in the sea crossing.
No U-turn is a Nigeria, South Africa, and France co-production, produced by Christilla Huillard-Kann for Elda Productions (France ), Don Edkins, and Tiny Mungwe for STEPS (South Africa), and Okechukwu Omeire for Passion8 Productions (Nigeria). The film is produced in partnership with, among others, CNC & World Cinema Fund. (Nation)