Film
Photo: The Sundance Institute

C.J. Obasi On Bringing the Legend of Mami Wata to the Big Screen

The Nigerian director saw a vision of Mami Wata, then made a film that became the toast of Sundance and won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography.

C.J. Obasi’s third feature length film Mami Wata has taken Sundance by storm. The mesmerizing fable, which marks the first time a home-grown Nigerian film scores a competition prize at the Sundance Film Festival, delves into the myth of the Mami Wata folklore, a terrifying mermaid goddess popular across West Africa. Obasi’s Mami Wata tells a simple enough story of good versus evil, and the importance of maintaining balance while hurtling towards societal change. But Obasi is not your basic filmmaker, and his interpretation of this well-known folklore is a startling cinematic achievement that advances his singular vision.

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Film
Photo: The Sundance Institute

In his Imaginative Debut Feature, Walé Oyéjidé Brings Together Elements of His Life’s Work

The Nigerian American director has long used the tools of his multi-hyphenate trade to expand the ways Africans are seen. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, 'Bravo, Burkina!' gives him a larger canvas on which to paint.

Whether it’s employing asylum seekers to model his designs or adding his flair to a piece of pivotal clothing that the late Chadwick Boseman wore in Black Panther, Walé Oyéjidé has always been about using whatever elements he can to push the ways Africans have traditionally been portrayed. What he hinted at in his short film After Migration: Calabria (available on the Criterion Channel), which tells the story of two refugees settling in Italy, he now gets to explore further in the feature debut, Bravo, Burkina!

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Through an Immigrant Story, Adura Onashile Brings a Mother's Love into Focus

The writer-director is making her first foray into feature filmmaking, with the intimate 'Girl,' which is debuting at the Sundance Film Festival.

Milisuthando Bongela on Making A Film with Her Ancestors

The South African filmmaker's documentary feature, which is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, is a deeply personal film that touches on her life growing up in the Transkei, before it was incorporated into post-apartheid South Africa.

Sundance '23: 'Animalia' Brings Aliens to Morocco

The film, directed by Casablanca-born filmmaker Sofia Alouia, uses a supernatural event to provoke questions about life in her home country.

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