For Maria Ebun Pataki, the debut feature film of Nigerian screenwriter, film director, and producer, Damilola Orimogunje, which premiered at Film Africa in November 2020, winning the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, is now on Netflix.
The 76-minute Nigeria/2020 Yoruba film with English Subtitles stars Meg Otanwa and Gabriel Afolayan.
After the complicated birth of her first child Maria, Derin (Meg Otanwa) becomes withdrawn from family life, unable to engage in the celebrations around her newborn. Her bewildered mother-in-law insists that she is not a good enough parent, while her increasingly worried husband Afolabi (Gabriel Afolayan) watches from the sidelines as she becomes a shadow of herself.
Struggling to come to terms with what it means to be a mother, Derin fails to bond with her baby and ultimately loses the most precious gift of all.
Orimogunje’s short films have screened in over 50 film festivals across all major continents in the world. His films have majorly been around the theme of love, betrayal, depression, and death. He is inspired by the works of Wong Kar-Wai and Ingmar Bergman. His last short film is titled Losing My Religion adapted from the short-story of the same title from the book Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon by Nigerian-American writer, Nike Campbell-Fatoki.
For Maria Ebun Pataki bagged six nominations at the prestigious AMAA awards, including Best Writing and Directing categories.
Orimogunje has been featured in reputable film publications and blogs such as Sight & Sound, The Guardian, BBC, The British Blacklist, and many more.
He sees himself as part of a new generation of Nigerian filmmakers making visually compelling and unconventional African content for social change.
Praise for For Maria Ebun Pataki
“Intimate, artistic, unusual” – BBC
“Indie film to watch” – Sight and Sound
“A quietly affecting Nigerian film” – Guardian (UK)
“It is reflective, poignant, and quite ponderous” – Sodas and Popcorn
“In small touches, as one paints a portrait with delicacy, the director sketches the outlines of a woman marked in her flesh” – Another Whisky for Mr. Bukowski
“For Maria tackles its theme with bravura, frankness and maturity, creating a rich world that lingers long after the haunting final sequence” – YNaija
“An important, yet sombre, tale of postpartum depression” – The British Blacklist