Nigeria has submitted CJ Obasi’s “Mami Wata” as its contender for the International Feature Film category of the 2024 Oscars, the Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) announced on Sunday.
The black-and-white film tells the story of a West African goddess and her waning influence in a struggling village. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won a special jury prize for its cinematography.
NOSC chairperson Stephanie Linus praised the film for its “relevant theme and unique approach to a story of pre- and post-colonial African societies.” She also highlighted the film’s technical and artistic excellence, noting that it is the first homegrown Nigerian film to be screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
“Mami Wata” is also up for 12 awards at the 19th Africa Movie Academy Awards, the highest of any film.
The IFF Executive Committee will determine whether “Mami Wata” makes the shortlist of contenders for the 96th Academy Awards, which will be announced on March 10, 2024.
“Mami Wata” is Nigeria’s first Pidgin-language film to be submitted for the Oscars.
The film has been praised for its unique perspective on West African culture and its strong female protagonist.
“Mami Wata” is a frontrunner for the shortlist of contenders for the International Feature Film category at the Oscars.