‘Mami Wata:’ West African Folktale Lands US Deal Following Sundance Debut 

‘Mami Wata:’ West African Folktale Lands US Deal Following Sundance Debut 

EXCLUSIVE: Dekanalog has picked up North American rights to the Sundance competition title Mami Wata, the third feature film from Nigerian filmmaker C.J. “Fiery” Obasi.

Based on West African mermaid folklore and mythology, Mami Wata is set in the remote West African village of Iyi, where Mama Efe (Rita Edochie) acts as an intermediary between the people and the all-powerful water deity Mami Wata, the synopsis reads. However, doubt is sown amongst the people when a young boy is lost to a virus, with Efe’s devoted daughter Zinwe (Uzoamaka Aniunoh) and skeptical protégé Prisca (Evelyne Ily Juhen) at a crossroads. The film picked up the Special Jury Award for Best Cinematography at Sundance.

The pic was shot entirely in the Mono Department in Benin, West Africa. The principle cast features Evelyne Ily, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Kelechi Udegbe, Rita Edochie, and Tough Bone. Further credits include cinematography by Brazillian DP Lílis Soares, who shot in black and white, editing by Nathan Delannoy, and Oge Obasi produces.

“Releasing a film like this is such a special opportunity, and we are honored to be sharing this incredible piece of modern Nigerian cinema with North America,” said Dekanalog Co-Founder Lysa Le. “Dekanalog cannot wait for audiences to be hypnotized by this extraordinary picture.”

Obasi added: “I’m super excited that Mami Wata will be distributed in North America by Dekanalog, a company with a true heart and soul for a new kind of cinema. I’m amped to see how the audience receives our vision and labor of love.”

The deal for the Oge Obasi-produced film was negotiated by Dekanalog and CAA Media Finance.