MAMI WATA Teaser: CJ "Fiery" Obasi's Fantasy Adventure at Fantasia's Opening Weekend

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MAMI WATA Teaser: CJ "Fiery" Obasi's Fantasy Adventure at Fantasia's Opening Weekend
When the harmony in a village is threatened by outside elements, two sisters must fight to save their people and restore the glory of a mermaid goddess to the land.
C.J. “Fiery” Obasi's fantasy drama Mami Wata helps kick off Fantasia's opening weekend, starting tomorrow night. Based on "Mother Water", the mermaid goddess myth, it is in competition in the Camera Lucida program. 
A teaser had dropped for the flick. As it is a collection of character shots we have also included another clip so you can see more of Obasi's arthouse styling and Bunmi Demilola Fashina's gorgeous costume design and Campbell Precious Arebamen's makeup. 
Mami Wata will begin its theatrical roll out this Fall in North America with Dekanalog, Switzerland with Trigon and UK with Aya.
The spirit of the water, Mami Wata, or “Mother Water,” is a deity worshipped in West, Central and Southern Africa and the African diaspora globally. Appearing often with a mermaid’s tail or a snake, she’s tied to good fortune, healing, and sensuality but can also be a force of destruction. With many iterations through the centuries, Nigeria’s C.J. “Fiery” Obasi conjures her in his not-to-be-missed MAMI WATA.
Obasi’s debut zombie romp OJUJU played Fantasia in 2015, and in 2023, he graces Montreal again as a singular visionary. With striking black and white cinematography that captures the beauty of Black skin by award-winning Brazilian DP Lílis Soares, the crisp moody images tell the struggles of a seaside village secluded from the modern world. Mama Efe (Rita Edochie), the unwavering village matriarch and intermediary to the deity Mami Wata, leads the community of Iyi. Her daughter Zinwe (Uzoamaka Aniunoh) is due to be the next in power. She thinks her mother is too mired in tradition, and she vows to go beyond worshipping an unseen goddess to help the villagers. Prisca (Evelyne Ily), Zinwe’s sister, is annoyed with Zinwe’s ambitions but sees the merit in moving forward, and the villagers themselves are wary of Mama Efe’s archaic rule. When a mysterious man named Jasper (Emeka Amakeze) washes ashore, he’s the catalyst for change but at a dire cost to Iyi and its people.
Garnering accolades and awards at Sundance and beyond, MAMI WATA is rich with pageantry, recentering the conversation around African diasporic folklore. Filmed in the Mono Department, Benin, West Africa, the story straddles the past and present, steeped in the complexities of intergenerational struggles for power. As a unique cinematic experience, Obasi’s new vision of African cinema combines Shakespearian drama, English and the Fon language, and a trio of remarkable women. – Carolyn Mauricette
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