“Mami Wata” Makes History at Sundance Film Festival
Award-winning Nigerian producer, Oge Obasi, is making history with her latest film project, “Mami Wata.” The female-driven revenge thriller has been selected for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, making it the first film by a Nigerian-based filmmaker to be showcased at the festival. Obasi, who is the partner and production head at Fiery Film Company, discussed the journey of bringing “Mami Wata” to life with Ediale Kingsley.
Obasi shared the challenges of producing a film in Nigeria, which included pushback on funding and collaboration due to the film’s unique concept and title. Despite these difficulties, Obasi and her team persevered and took the film to labs and film markets, eventually receiving investment from private individuals and her company. Obasi also credited the Swiss fund Visions Sud Est and Yennanga for their support in the post-production process.
The process of assembling the cast and crew for the film was a long and tasking one, as not everyone could connect with the film’s unique vision. However, Obasi believes it was important to have individual and collective connection in order to create such a visually stunning masterpiece. The film showcases Nigerian and West African culture, which Obasi believes is important for preservation and survival.
Obasi is proud of the film and its historic inclusion at the Sundance Film Festival. She hopes that “Mami Wata” will be widely distributed, studied academically, and will serve as an inspiration to filmmakers across the continent. This latest achievement is a testament to Obasi’s dedication to telling meaningful stories and preserving cultural heritage through the medium of film.