Aya Films has acquired U.K. rights to “Mami Wata,” which world premiered in the World Cinema – Dramatic section of the Sundance Film Festival, and won the Cinematography Award. Variety is debuting the teaser exclusively ahead of the film’s appearance in the Horizons section of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
Aya Films will release the film in the U.K. in the fall. Dekanalog will release the film theatrically in North America in the fall as well. International sales are handled by Alief. The producer is Oge Obasi for Fiery Film Company Ltd.
Brett Walker, president of Alief, said Justine Atkinson of Aya Films “showed the most passion, determination, flexibility and marketing know how above everyone else in her territory.”
The film, written and directed by C.J. “Fiery” Obasi, with cinematography by Lílis Soares, is based on West African mermaid folklore and mythology.
It is set in the remote West African village of Iyi, where the villagers worship the Mermaid-deity Mami Wata, and look to guidance from their healer Mama Efe, the intermediary between them and Mami Wata, and Mama Efe’s daughter Zinwe and protégé Prisca.
But when children begin to die and disappear, Jabi, a local, begins to sow doubt amongst the people, while Zinwe runs away propelled by her own anguish. Soon, the arrival of a rebel warlord Jasper tilts the odds in Jabi’s favor.
With Mama Efe murdered and Iyi under new control, Prisca and Zinwe must plot to save their village and restore Mami Wata’s glory in Iyi.