Power to the People

Against the backdrop of exploring the business and politics of electricity generation and distribution, a teenage girl goes about her daily chores at home in a southern Nigerian village oblivious that, if things were different, her life would be easier.

‘Power to the People’, produced as a television documentary, follows two government-employed electrical engineers to communities where intervention projects were carried out by a governor bent on changing the current narrative on power in the State he governs.

  • Koko Eyo
    Production Manager
    In a Jungle
  • Success Efiom
  • OtoObong Ekpenyong
    By Africans about Africa, If Only, Eno's Demons, Mo
  • Uduak Etukudo
  • OtoObong Ekpenyong
    If Only, Eno's Demons, Mo, In a Jungle
  • Meyen Etukudo
    Executive Producer
    In a Jungle
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Television
  • Genres:
    Television Documentary
  • Runtime:
    30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 31, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    1080p .mov
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - OtoObong Ekpenyong

OtoObong Ekpenyong holds a Bachelor of Art in Christian Education and has produced digital content in faith-based organizations for over a decade. In the 2013 and 2014 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) training sessions, he emerged one of the best in Sound for Film and Cinematography respectively and won the festival’s talent development scholarship in 2014.
In 2015, he was one of 18 African filmmakers trained at Montana State University (MSU)’s Social Justice Documentary Filmmaking Workshop in Bozeman with funding by Ford Foundation.
In 2016, while chaperoning 13 other Africans to the same workshop - which he also served as teaching assistant, he directed his first short - a documentary themed around the essence of the workshop; 'By Africans About Africa’ - which has screened at iRepresent International Documentary Film Festival, Lagos Island, Lagos.
In 2017 he embarked on his debut short - ‘If Only’, produced courtesy of a seed grant by Ford Foundation, underwritten by Africa International Film Festival’s talent development initiative which has been screened at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF) in San Jose, California, at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Victoria Island, Lagos and at the Lake International Pan African Film Festival (LIPFF) in Nakuru, Kenya.
In 2018 he embarked on his sophomore short - ‘Eno’s Demons’, a hybrid documentary project produced for mental illness awareness which has been screened at Screen It Film Festival (SIFF) in Gold Coast, Australia at Inshort Film Festival, Victoria Island, Lagos and Amazing Shorts Film Festival in Madrid, Spain - where it won Best African Short Film Award.
In 2019, he was commissioned by the Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Power to document the intervention projects by its Power Sector Office and produce this documentary for television.

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Director Statement

Government after government, during pre-election campaigns in my country, repeat the now tiring rhetoric of “we will provide free education, good roads, hospitals…” et cetera. Electricity power is usually one of the frontline promises in such pitches but many years after our democratic rule as a country, many communities are in darkness most of the time as they are yet to experience the reality of these promises.

Interestingly, ‘power to the people’ happens to be a popular slogan for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) - the party the current serving governor of the State in question runs under. Imagine the irony when a PDP-led government has nothing to show with regards to their ability to provide electricity power to its constituent. I was aware of all of this when I was commissioned to make this documentary for television.

So finding the story in all of the afore-mentioned background and underlying expectation was an interesting challenge for my producing partner (Uduak Etukudo) and I but I had made it clear that I will lead the team to tell a story that I would be proud to put my name on. However as we followed the field engineers to the communities and filmed, the thought kept running in my mind that what we know nothing about can truly affect our quality of life!

And therein I found the solution to my storytelling approach; I would attempt to humanise the plot by placing a snippet of a teenage girls daily life in one of the communities side by side with all the issues surrounding the business and politics of power generation and distribution. My hope with this is that we see that what goes on in the corridors of power, whether we know about it or not, affects the quality of our everyday life.