CJ Obasi’s ‘Mami Wata’ Wins Big At Sundance 2023

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Fast rising movie director, CJ Obasi’s accolade collection continues to grow after enjoying a successful outing at the recently concluded 2023 Sundance Film Festival. His fantasy drama film, Mami Wata took home the World Cinema Dramatic: Special Jury Award for Cinematography.

Mami Wata was selected in November to partake at Sundance 2023, in the World Cinematic Drama category competing against 11 films. It was also was the first homegrown Nigerian film to feature in the famous anuual event.

Accepting the award on behalf of the film’s director of photography, Lilis Soares, described the win as a dream come true. In his own words, “It means a lot…. This was a dream, we worked so hard on this. A testament to what we were trying to create with the cinematography of the film. Lílis would say, ‘Aesthetics is political.

Obasi described his motivation for making Mami Wata as benining with a visit from a spiritual being. Speaking to Variety he said, “It was really vivid. It was in black and white. In the vision, the goddess’ eyes are red, but also very soft. There was a kindness to her eyes. When I came to, I said, OK, so my next movie is ‘Mami Wata.”

Mami Wata tells the tale of, Prisca and Zinwe, daughters of Mama Efe who must rise to defend their village when it comes under attack and restore the glory of the Mermaid goddess of the land of Iyi.

Following its world premiere at Sundance 2023, Mami Wata will be making its African premiere at the Fiction Feature Competition of Man-African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) 2023.

Check out the teaser for Mami Wata below;

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