Cinemalovers has acquired all rights in Germany and Austria for “Mami Wata,” which world premiered in the World Cinema – Dramatic section of the Sundance Film Festival, and won the cinematography award.
The film, written and directed by C.J. “Fiery” Obasi, with cinematography by Lílis Soares, is based on West African mermaid folklore and mythology. The producer is Oge Obasi for Fiery Film Company. International sales rights are being handled by Alief, and CAA handled North American rights.
It is set in the remote West African village of Iyi, where the villagers worship the Mermaid-deity Mami Wata, and look for 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.
Cinemalovers has set a theatrical release for Jan. 11. Other theatrical release dates for the film include Sept. 8 in Nigeria with Filmone; Sept. 15 for Switzerland via Trigon; Sept. 29 in North America via Dekanalog; and Nov. 17 in the U.K. through Aya Films.
Jens Geiger-Kiran, managing director in Germany for Cinemalovers, said: “For us it was not only love at first sight, but also throughout our second, third and all following screenings of ‘Mami Wata.’ We are in awe of its breath-taking visuals and C.J. Obasi’s very confident, truly West African narrative structure. ‘Mami Wata’ fits perfectly with our mission to bring the most interesting and progressive artistic positions, especially from African cinema cultures to our local audiences.”