Comox Valley filmmaker Chukwumuobi Obasi is one of a few creators chosen to launch his short film as part of the first Black Creators Edition from Telus Storyhive.
The funding project, supported by the Black Screen Office, celebrates Black excellence on screen from projects filmed and produced across B.C. and Alberta by emerging Black content creators. He received $20,000 in production funding, training and mentorship for his film Lights.
Obasi previously received a $20,000 Storyhive grant in 2019 to create a pilot for his web series drama, Home Stay.
The Nigerian-born, Valley filmmaker began making films about five years ago while balancing his career working in youth services.
“I like writing stories … and this is a fictional movie based on a real event,” he explains and added Lights is about a teenager living in a group home who craves to be noticed despite dealing with mental and emotional challenges.
Obasi said he drew upon his work experiences and stories of some of the individuals he worked with in the past who faced massive challenges and broke barriers in order to integrate back into their respective communities.
He drew upon local crew and cast within the Valley to create the film and used a casting director in Nanaimo for the main character.
On Feb. 16, Obasi will screen the film at the Sid Williams Theatre as part of a presentation entitled A Night of Short Films, where he will include his other film Family Fortune (about a man who attempts to reunite with his family 30 years after he deserted them when he finds out he is terminally ill), and part one of Senior Mates, Obasi’s next project which he hopes to turn into a feature film.
“I wrote part one of it, and it’s about two seniors who lost their mates and are now roommates while dealing with their grief,” he described.
Tickets for the screening are available on the Sid Williams Theatre website (www.sidwilliamstheatre.com/events) and Lights is available for viewing on Telus Optik TV channel 707 and on Storyhive’s YouTube channel.
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