Wax Print documentary’s London premiere set for Lexi Cinema

UPDATE 19/03/2020 at 10:45: fol­low­ing gov­ern­ment advice about the Coro­n­avirus (COVID-19) out­break, the Lexi Cin­e­ma has announced that all upcom­ing events (which includes this Wax Print screen­ing) have been “can­celled for now”. They are work­ing on pro­duc­ing vir­tu­al con­tent, and will announce more when they are ready. Fringe Fre­quen­cy has been told this screen­ing will be resched­uled at a lat­er date.


A doc­u­men­tary uncov­er­ing the untold his­to­ry of tra­di­tion­al African cloth­ing will make its first offi­cial UK cin­e­ma screen­ing this month.

Wax Print: 1 Fab­ric, 4 Con­ti­nents, 200 Years of His­to­ry will be screened at the Lexi Cin­e­ma in Kendel Green, Lon­don, on Thurs­day, March 26.

British-Niger­ian film­mak­er, Aiwan Obinyan, has shown the film to audi­ences at select­ed film fes­ti­vals around the world, since com­plet­ing her ini­tial cut in 2018.

“It was like try­ing to give birth to a 100-pound baby. Epi­cal­ly exhaust­ing but ulti­mate­ly reward­ing,” Obinyan told Fringe Fre­quen­cy.

Obinyan fund­ed much of the film’s pro­duc­tion her­self, and said the project took quite the toll on her work-life bal­ance. But her hard work has been reward­ed, as Wax Print received nom­i­na­tions for the Jury Award in the Best Fea­ture Doc­u­men­tary cat­e­go­ry at the Pan African Film Fest, and the Best Dias­po­ra Doc­u­men­tary cat­e­go­ry at the Africa Movie Acad­e­my Awards.

The film­mak­er will be present for a live Q&A ses­sion with the audi­ence at the Lexi Cin­e­ma – organ­ised with help from the Black His­to­ry Stud­ies team.

Obinyan said: “I can’t thank Char­maine and the Black His­to­ry Stud­ies team enough. They are one of only a hand­ful of organ­i­sa­tions in the UK who under­stood what I was doing and have shown noth­ing but love, sup­port and encouragement.”

Wax Print tells the his­to­ry of tra­di­tion­al African cloth­ing, uncov­er­ing the peo­ple, cul­ture and busi­ness behind the eye-catch­ing fabrics.

Screen­ings of the film have been shown at fes­ti­vals in Ghana, Grena­da, Japan, New Zealand, The Nether­lands, Nige­ria, and the UK.

Speak­ing about her tour of fes­ti­vals, Obinyan said: “I remem­ber get­ting my first rejec­tion from The RAI – it was like get­ting punched in the chest. And then the Pan African Film Fest accept­ed the film in Jan­u­ary 2019, and that still felt like being punched in the chest, but a nicer punch. A feel-good punch from a good friend. Going out to LA and hav­ing the film watched and appre­ci­at­ed by peo­ple who don’t know me, have no ties to me, and lit­er­al­ly have come out to watch a film and be enter­tained was mov­ing and strange­ly affirm­ing. A mas­sive con­fi­dence boost.”

Obiyan told us she is in the process of strik­ing a dis­tri­b­u­tion deal for the film, so we may not have to wait too long for a wider release.

Tick­ets for the screen­ing of Wax Print at the Lexi Cin­e­ma can be found here.

Images: Aiwan Obinyan