Mami Wata

shot in 2021

produced by: Fiery Film Company (Nigeria)

selection / prize

  • Final Cut – Venice Film Festival 2021
  • World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award: Cinematography (for Lílis Soares) – Sundance Film Festival 2023
  • Meilleur décor & Prix de l’image – Fespaco 2023

feature film

In Iyi village, villagers worship the mermaid deity MAMI WATA and turn to their healer MAMA EFE, the intermediary between them and Mami Wata, as well as Mama Efe’s daughter, ZINWE, and her protégé, PRISCA. When their children begin to die and disappear, JABI, a local resident, casts doubt on the population, while Zinwe flees, driven by her own anguish. Soon, the arrival of a rebellious warlord, JASPER, tips the scales in Jabi’s favor, and with the village under new control, Prisca and Zinwe must plot to save their people and restore Mami Wata’s glory to Iyi.

in the press

“A rich, expressionist parable, if there was a more gorgeous looking film at Sundance this year, I didn’t see it.” — CNN entertainment

Mami Wata is a historical first for Sundance. It’s the first homegrown Nigerian film to debut at the festival, the culmination of a five-year process that’s taken Obasi and his wife/producer Oge Obasi to workshops and labs around Africa and Europe, including a slot at Final Cut in Venice in 2021. The extra time spent developing the film pays off on screen: From its opening title design to the last notes of Tunde Jegede’s score, “Mami Wata” is a work of art.” — IndieWire