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

Unique: Decanalog Sundance Competition has picked up the North American rights to the title. Mami Vatais the third feature film by Nigerian filmmaker CJ “Fiery”; Obasi.

Based on West African mermaid folklore and mythology, Mami Vata Set in the remote West African village of Iyi, where Mama Efe (Rita Edochie) serves as a mediator between the people and the all-powerful water god Mami Wata, reads the synopsis. However, suspicion is sown among the people when a young boy goes missing from the virus, along with Efe’s devoted daughter Zinway (Uzomaka Anyunoh) and skeptical protégé Prisca (Evelyn Ili Juhen) at a crossroads. The film won the Special Jury Prize for Best Cinematography at Sundance.

The picture was shot entirely in the Mono department in Benin, West Africa. The main cast includes Evelyn Ili, Uzomaka Anyunoh, Kelechi Udugbe, Rita Edochie and Tuff Bone. Further credits include cinematography by Brazilian DP Lilis Soares, who shot in black and white, editing by Nathan Delanoy, and production by Oge Obasi.

“Releasing a film like this is such a special occasion, and we are honored to share this incredible piece of modern Nigerian cinema with North America,” said Decnalog co-founder Lisa Ley. “Dekanalog can’t wait to mesmerize audiences with this extraordinary picture.”

Obasi said: “I am very excited Mami Vata Will be distributed in North America by Decanogg, a company with a true heart and soul for a new kind of cinema. I am excited to see how the audience accepts our vision and labor of love.

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