C.J. Obasi fondly called “Fiery”, and “The Fiery One”, grew up in small town Owerri, South-Eastern Nigeria, watching Hammer House horror films and reading Stephen King novels. As a child, he developed a knack for drawing comics based on all his favorite movies and superheroes at the time. Comics which he would sell to his peers much to their delight. Much later on in life, he would put aside his degree in Computer Science from the University of Nigeria (UNN) to launch into filmmaking, full time. Obasi, also called “Fiery” or “The Fiery One” premiered his debut feature “OJUJU” – a zero budget film at Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) 2014, where it won the award for “Best Nigerian Film”. OJUJU has screened in over 40 film Festivals, receiving major acclaim from the likes of Screen Anarchy, IndieWire, & The Hollywood Reporter. OJUJU has gone on to become a cult classic, being listed among several “Best Zombie Film” of all-time list, and more recently been optioned by a major Hollywood studio for series adaptation. Obasi’s sophomore feature film “O-Town”, a crime thriller arthouse piece, screened at AFRIFF 2015 and the 2016 Gothenburg Film Festival, Sweden. It was nominated for several awards, including the Screen Nation Awards, UK, and the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
Obasi’s short film “Hello, Rain” based on Hello, Moto by world-renowned author Nnedi Okorafor had its world premiere at the Oscar-qualifying International Competition of the Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen in May 2018, and has gone on to screen in over 50 festivals, including a headline screening at Southbank Centre in London, Fantasia Film Festival where it won the Special Mention of the Jury prize and BFI London Film Festival where it was nominated for the Short Film Award. Hello, Rain has since been featured on CNN and BBC for its strides in African-futurism and fantasy. In 2019, Obasi served as a jury member at the 40th Durban International Film Festival. Obasi co-founded the new wave cinema collective, Surreal16 with filmmakers Abba T. Makama and Michael Omonua. Together they have produced two anthology projects – Visions (2017), a 3-part anthology short film exploring dreams and visions, as well as Juju Stories (2021), a 3-part anthology feature film exploring urban and mythical tales in contemporary Lagos, Nigeria. Juju Stories world premiered in the main competition of Locarno Film Festival, and won the Boccalino D’Oro Award for Best Film, awarded by the Swiss Independent Critics. Juju Stories has since screened in over 20 film festivals, including the BFI London Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, FESPACO, Indie Memphis and AFRIFF, where it won Best Director(s) Award for the trio of directors. Juju Stories was released theatrically by CanalOlympia across 12 African countries on October 29, 2021, and across Nigeria in January 21 by distribution giant, FilmOne. Juju Stories has been acquired by Amazon Prime Video and was released globally on their platform on October 7, 2022.
Obasi’s latest feature project is Mami Wata – a female-driven black and white fantasy film developed with Ouaga Film Lab (Burkina Faso), Le Groupe Ouest’s Less is More (Poland, Romania, and France), EAVE (Luxembourg, Serbia and Germany) and Durban FilmMart (South Africa). Filmed entirely in Benin republic with an international cast and crew from more than seven countries in Africa, the Americas and Europe, Mami Wata was selected for Final Cut Workshop in Venice Film Festival 2021, and received post-production funding from Les Ateliers Yennenga in FESPACO sponsored by the Red Sea Film Fund, as well as the Swiss Fund Visions Sud Est. Mami Wata world premiered to rave reviews in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition of Sundance Film Festival 2023 where it won the Special Jury Award for Cinematography, as well as in FESPACO (the oldest film festival in Africa), where it won the Best Image, Best Décor and the African Critics Prize.
Oge Obasi has a production experience spanning almost a decade; having worked on various formats for TV and film, on such projects as The Figurine, Amstel Malta Box Office, Miss Earth Nigeria, Heineken’s Champion’s Planet, Desperate Housewives Africa, and MTV Base Shuga where she worked in the capacities of production coordinator and production manager.
Oge is the partner and production head at Fiery Film Company; a production company founded in 2012 by filmmaker C.J. Obasi to create genre-based films from an African perspective. With Fiery Film, Oge produced the acclaimed zero-budget zombie feature “Ojuju“, which won the “Best Nigerian Film” award at the Africa International Film Festival 2014, and screened in festivals such as Fantasia Film Festival, Africa in Motion, and almost twenty other film festivals, and has been optioned for series production by a major Hollywood studio. She also produced the semi- autobiographical gangster saga “O-Town“, which was an official selection at the Goteborg Film Festival, and received 3 nominations at the 2016 Africa Movie Academy Awards – Best Nigerian Film, Best Promising Actress and Achievement in Soundtrack, and winning in the latter. Oge, through Fiery Film executive produced the section of the anthology short Visions called called “Bruja”. Visions is an anthology short written, produced and directed by Surreal16 – a cinema collective from Nigeria, made up of filmmakers Abba T. Makama, C.J. Obasi and Michael Omonua, who through a 16-point manifesto have pledged to challenge the cinema narrative coming out of Nigeria.
The short film “Hello, Rain” – based on “Hello, Moto” by World Fantasy, Nebula and Hugo award winning Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor world premiered in the Oscar-qualifying International Competition of the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, followed by a North American premiere in Fantasia Film Festival where it received the Special Mention of the Jury prize. Hello, Rain has also been nominated for the Short Film Award at the 2018 BFI London Film Festival.
She produced Juju Stories, a Franco-Nigerian anthology film which had its world premiere in the International Competition of Locarno Film Festival, and won the Boccalino D’Oro Award for Best Film. Juju Stories has since screened in many festivals, including the BFI London Film Festival, FESPACO, Indie Memphis and AFRIFF, where it won Best Director(s) Award for the trio of directors. Juju Stories was released theatrically by CanalOlympia across 12 African countries on October 29, 2021.
Her latest project is Mami Wata – a female-driven revenge thriller based on the Mermaid Goddess folklore of West Africa, directed by C.J. “Fiery” Obasi. Mami Wata was developed with Ouaga Film Lab, the European AudioVisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE) Producers, Le Groupe Ouest’s Less is More, Durban Film Mart (DFM), and has been presented at Final Cut in Venice, and Yennenga Post- Production Workshop in FESPACO, where it received the Post- Production Grant from the Red Sea International Film Festival. Mami Wata will premiere early 2023. Mami Wata premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for Cinematography.
Benjamin Stockton came to Fiery Film from sunny California, land of Hollywood. He is an avid science fiction fan, and has been writing science fiction and developing virtual worlds since before “virtual world” entered the
English lexicon. His first efforts began when he was around 8 or so, and involved large numbers of Legos, flashlights and clay for special effects. After watching Nollywood movies with some Nigerian friends back in the day, he asked, “where’s the science fiction,” only to be told, “there isn’t any.”
Along the way, Benjamin kept that question at the back of his mind. Then he bumped into CJ Obasi. After viewing some reels from him, Benjamin decided CJ would be great talent to team up with to provide a fulsome answer to that question he had years ago. So along with Oge, CJ and Benjamin joined their considerable creative forces, and brought Fiery Film into formal existence.
These days, Benjamin Stockton can be found in his lair, listening to anything from heavy metal to hip-hop, whilst creating science fiction featuring Africans, for Africans as well as audiences worldwide. He figures the West is pretty much tapped out for new ideas, and Nollywood is the perfect place to bring some fresh talent and new ideas for the genre to fruition. Projects he has under development for Fiery Film include TV series with the running titles “Salvation,” and “Parallax.” As well as an untitled animated short screenplay based on Celtic and African mythologies.
We lost Benjamin in 2016. Out of respect and fondness for his memory, we have kept his bio.