Alaskaland

This was the official website for the 2012 film, Alaskaland. The content below is from the site's 2012 archived pages.

Alaskaland tells the story of Chukwuma, an Alaska-raised Nigerian struggling to balance his cultural heritage with the pressures of the larger world around him. 

After a family tragedy forces a two-year estrangement from his younger sister Chidinma, the siblings reconnect in their hometown. Although their time apart has created new frictions, they find their reconciliation bringing them closer to each other and to their roots in this gorgeous, knowing debut film.

Two years later the siblings reconnect to find their estrangement has created new personal and cultural frictions in ways that bring them closer to each other and their roots, as well as help them define what it means to be a Nigerian in Alaska.

Director's Statement

Chinonye Chukwu

I am an anomaly. I was born in Rivers State, Nigeria and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. My parents, Nigerian immigrants, came to Alaska to establish themselves as engineers. I grew up eating my mother's jaloff rice for dinner and wanting to go dog mushing with my friends on weekends; avoiding cousins that make fun of me for not knowing my native language, and moose that plant themselves on my front yard. I grew up having to balance my traditional Nigerian upbringing, with my American, and more specifically, Arctic surroundings, and it is this dichotomy that serves as the impetus for 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. 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. I hope 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, I hope ALASKALAND inspires people to see themselves in one another, while embracing the unique qualities that contribute to their greatness and strength. 

About Fairbanks

The second largest city in Alaska, Fairbanks is the home of subarctic temperatures in the winter, 24 hours of daylight in June, the breathtaking Aurora Borealis about 200 days of the year and a rich history that spans over a century. The following gallery is just a very small glimpse into this unique town and the beauty it offers to the world.

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SCREENINGS: New York African Film Festival | Chicago International Film Festival | New Voices in Black Cinema | Philadelphia International Film Festival | Trenton International Film Festival | Drake University | Montreal International Black Film Festival | DePauw University | Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival | Pan African Film Festival | Anchorage International Film Festival

Cast

Alex Ubokudom

("Chukwuma")
Raised in Southfield, MI. Upon taking advice from a mentor, he received his MFA from the American Conservatory Theater. His list of credits have included: "The Wanderings of Odysseus", "Brother's Size" and "Potnah".

Chioma Dunkley

("Chidinma")
A member of Philadelphia's Freedom Theater for over eight years, Chioma has starred in over a dozen plays, including "Our Town In Old City" and "A Separate Sun." as well as the short film, "The Dance Lesson."

Chijike Nwoga

("Uncle Uzonna")
A booming presence, Chijike is just beginning his journey towards realizing his natural talents as an actor. Although a trained nurse by day, Chijike has always wanted to be on stage and in front of the camera. alaskaLand is his first film.

Leland Martin

("Brandon")
A budding new actor, Leland hails from the small town of Willingboro, New Jersey. As a child Leland always possessed the ability to mimic whatever he saw, and from an early age showed a great talent to entertain.

Corey Campbell

 

AlaskalandMovie.com