NOSC submits C.J Obasi’s ‘Mami Wata’ for 2024 Oscars

Mami Wata

The Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Best International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars has selected the Sundance Festival award-winning film Mami Wata for the 96th edition.

The IFF (formerly Best Foreign Language) Award is presented annually by the Academy to a feature-length film produced outside the United States that contains 50 per cent or more non-English dialogue.

Written and directed by C.J. Obasi, the film is an exploration and creative reimagination of the mythology of a titular mermaid-deity of West African folklore, and one which, among other things, celebrates womanhood.

The committee said it selected the film for its “relevant theme – multiple generations of women at the forefront of society’s well-being, its unique approach to a story of pre and post-colonial African societies, as well as its technical and artistic excellence.”

The NOSC voting members include award-winning actress and Chairperson of NOSC; Stephanie Linus, M.D Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC); Chidia Maduekwe, President of Directors’ Guild of Nigeria (DGN) Victor Okhai; veteran actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, former President of DGN Andy Amenechi, theatre practitioner Yibo Koko; and movie director Izu Ojukwu.

The Milkmaid loses out on Oscars 2021 shortlist

Others are Adetokunbo ‘DJ Tee’ Odubawo, Emem Isong, Dimeji Ajibola, Jude Idada, Ngozi Okafor, John Njamah and Meg Otanwa.

“I’m excited to announce a milestone in our NOSC journey: our first Pidgin film submission to the Academy, marking our commitment to diversity and global representation. I urge filmmakers not to relent in enhancing their skills, and elevate production to global standards,” Stephanie stated in a statement.

Nigeria’s first-ever official submission for an Oscar Lionheart was disqualified in 2019 for not meeting the non-English dialogue criteria.

The Milkmaid, a movie directed by Desmond Ovbiagele was submitted for the 2021 Oscars.

However, it did not make the shortlist for the International Feature Film (IFF) category.