In a sea of all the impressive Nigerian short films we’ve been getting this past year, we may have just gotten the best one yet: Ifeoma Chukwuogo‘s incredibly moving Bariga Sugar which first premiered at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) last year.

(Photo: Fizzy K Pictures)

(Photo: Fizzy K Pictures)

Directed, co-produced and co-written by Ifeoma (and Ikenna Edmund Okah), the 21-minute short film is set in the 90s and follows Ese (Halimat Olarewaju), an 8-year-old who lives in Bariga Sugar – a brothel in Lagos – with her mother, Tina, one of Bariga Sugar’s working women.

Often lonely with dreams of one day ruling the brothel, she forms an unlikely friendship with Jamil (Tunde Azeez), a new child in the brothel.


(Photo: Fizzy K Pictures)

While speaking with Konbini about what inspired her film, Ifeoma said:

“I was inspired by Ikenna’s premise – and the Oscar-winning documentary, Born In Brothels, inspired us to write the screenplay the way we did.

Ikenna wanted to tell a story about true and pure friendship in (or against) a bleak situation.”

When you actually take the film apart, it’s kind of a miracle that Bariga Sugar works at all. It’s a period piece led by child actors – but Ifeoma shows what a skilled director is capable of: bringing so many moving parts together flawlessly.

What’s even more impressive, is that this is only Ifeoma’s first short film out of film school – and she already shows so much promise, we are already impatiently waiting to see what she does next.

Source: Konbini