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10:57 | Ireland | 2021
When an ominous mold appears in their room, two African brothers seeking asylum are faced with a dark entity lurking within their direct provision center.
Derek Ugochukwu graduated with a Master’s Degree in Screenwriting for Film & Television from the National Film School, IADT in 2019. His short, To All My Darlings, inspired from his Nigerian-Irish community to reveal the wonderful multicultural side of contemporary Ireland, was shortlisted for the 2021 BAFTA Student Awards. It also won the Audience Award for best short film at the 2021 Dublin International Film Festival and received the Spirit of the Festival Award at Catalyst International Film Festival.
Derek’s graduate feature script Consequences is currently in development with Screen Ireland as part of the 2020 inaugural Spotlight development scheme, aimed at fostering new and diverse writing talent.
Virgin Media announced Derek as one of the successful ten writers shortlisted for its 2021 Discovers Competition for his short film Pediment. In addition to his skill as a writer/ director, Derek is also an actor known for his roles in Cold Courage, Nightflyers, Honest, and other feature films.
The idea for this short began when I came across a photo of an Asylum seeker who was suffering from a skin infection caused by some mould at his direct provision centre during the pandemic lockdown in 2020.
At a very uncertain period, this young man found himself deprived of medical attention and a transfer to a new centre. As an immigrant myself, I became outraged and curious as to
how this was even possible. So, the image of that young man’s grossly infected skin became my talisman for this short film.
Similar to most Asylum seekers, our protagonist, Ikenna, is living in a new country where the language, culture and race are vastly different from his. Not really knowing where you belong or how you fit in is a reality I and many immigrants can strongly relate to. With no parental figure, Ikenna’s only support system is his brother who is a lot older than him. These factors in addition to the living conditions at his direct provision centre only elevate Ikenna’s social exclusion and desire for validation. As such, exploring the political as well as the psychological aspect of such struggles through the point of view of a thirteen-year-old asylum seeker becomes necessary. I want to push contemporary audiences to go on this nightmarish reality with young Ikenna, in order to engage with an underrepresented protagonist and gain new perspectives. My goal for this film is to address real societal issues in a creative genre style that is rarely seen on our screens.
Ashraf Tumuheirwe, Aaron Katambay, Barry McEvoy