Wilfred Ukpong Nigeria’s multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and researcher recently received a special film award at the ITB Berlin, the world’s largest annual tourism trade fair. His Afro-futuristic short film Future World won the excellent golden award out of 120 international film entries under the Eco-Tourism category at The Golden City Gate Film Festival during the fair. The film written, produced and directed by Wilfred Ukpong is set against the backdrop of a fictional ecologically ravaged dystopian world called Mutanda and explores different concepts as varied as marginalization, decay, loss, grief, hope, evolution, and rebirth.
Involving the talents of more than 100 community youths in the Niger-Delta of oil rich nigeria, the film follows a large group of human-alien hybrids among four human-alien mothers and their relationship with an oil field engineer through perilous expeditions, struggle for their land and their search for a perfect world.
Receiving the award, Wilfred Ukpong, said that “the 7-minute film narrative conflates around climate change, environmental pollution, and health-related issues and draws from true-life stories, and regional myths to create a captivating abstract universe pulsing with some of the most profound historical, ecological, and socio-cultural issues of our time.”
Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, His Excellency, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar who received the award from the organizers of the International Film Festival held in Berlin in March, 2018, on behalf of the artist, formally presented it to him. He was assisted by Senator Sabi.
After the screening of the film before the audience, Senator Saraki observed that the message in the film is “quite clear and apt,” noting that “it is an early warning of the impending danger in the Niger Delta,” and advised that “all the stakeholders must take it seriously.”
The 40-minute court métrage will be screened at international film festivals, art exhibitions, and cinemas with the aim of increasing awareness around socio-environmental issues facing the Niger Delta, as well as the exciting creative possibilities within the region.