C.J. Obasi’s phenomenal black-and-white, pidgin English film, Mami Wata, has clinched the NOSC’s selection for the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the 96th Academy Awards in March next year.
The committee of 14 industry experts revealed in a statement on Sunday, the 15th of October, 2023, that it had chosen the film for ‘its relevant theme and unique approach to a story of Pre and Post-colonial African societies,’ while complimenting its technical and artistic excellence.
Mami Wata, a folklore melodrama written and directed by C.J. “Fiery” Obasi is set in Iyi, a fictional West African seaside community where the title goddess’ spiritual and existential influence over a minor, volatile indigenous population is challenged in an order of defiant momentum. A concourse of epic splendour and a deplorable communal self-reflection offers a rich caste of dramatical irony.
The film, which first debuted in local cinemas in September, features an incredible cast which includes: Evelyne Iyi, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Kelechi Udegbe, Emeka Amakeze, Rita Edochie and Tough Bone. So far, it has screened in cinemas across the world and has landed many favourite spots with the international film community.
In January, Mami Wata won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival for its high-end cinematography. For the 19th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) slated for the 29th of October, 2023, the movie scored an unprecedented number of nominations.
At the spur of the masterpiece, the NOSC chairperson, Stephanie Linus, has urged Nigerian filmmakers to strive for higher marks on both the home and global fronts.
Speaking on the selection, the star actress said “I’m excited to announce a milestone in our NOSC journey: our first Pidgin film submission to the Academy, marking our commitment to diversity and global representation,”
All eyes are now fixed on the IFF Executive Committee as they undertake the painstaking task of determining who makes the fiercely contended shortlist for the 96th Oscars ceremony on March 10, 2024.