Black to the Future: Mami Wata Premiere and Q&A

Date: 19/11/23
Speakers: C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi

We’re excited to be partnering with Black to the Future and the Garden Cinema on this screening of a new film by C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi, Mami Wata. This is one of the first times you will be able to watch it! The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

Produced alongside the film is a limited-edition zine, featuring an extract from a short story by Irenosen Okojie, and new commissions in response to Mami Wata by RSL Fellows Fred D’Aguiar, Leone Ross and Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

This genre-bending tale brings to life a futuristic fable that fuses spiritual beliefs with inter-generational tensions. Set in the matriarchal ocean village of Iyi, where West African water deity, Mami Wata, reigns via village leader Mama Efe it uniquely brings to the screen a story of mythology, fantasy, and folklore. When the harmony of the village is threatened, two sisters must fight to restore order, as traditions of the past crash with calls from the future.

This is the third feature from director C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi, who represents a new wave of Nigerian filmmakers. The film is vividly shot in black-and-white and accompanied by an incredible oceanic soundscape and hypnotic score to frame its fantasy-fable. It won the Sundance Film Festival: World Cinema Cinematography Award (Dramatic) and the African Critics Award, Cinematography Award, and Set Design Award at FESPACO in 2023.

C.J. “Fiery” Obasi‘s Ojuju (2014) and O-Town (2015) screened at many festivals, including Gothenburg and Fantasia. Hello, Rain (2018) premiered at Oberhausen and over 40 festivals, winning a Jury Prize at Fantasia, and the BFI Short Film Award nomination. Juju Stories (2021), an anthology film directed by the Surreal16 Collective, won the Boccalino D’oro Award for Best Film at Locarno. 

More from What's on

Rebecca Perry and Mona Arshi: Growing Pains

Date: 17/10/23
Speakers: Mona Arshi, Rebecca Perry

Sally Hayden and Ricardo Nuila: Stories of Social (In)Justice

Date: 3/10/23
Speakers: Sally Hayden, Ricardo Nuila

RSL Remembers: Javier Marías

Date: 21/9/23
Speakers: Margaret Jull Costa, Adam Thirlwell,  Aminatta Forna, and Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Become a Member

Our Members are champions of literature. Their support makes our engagement work in schools and prisons possible and they enable us to celebrate literature in all its wonderful diversity. As a thank you, we give them all the joys of a literary festival and book club rolled into one, all year round.