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.

ORIGINAL STORY 17/03/2020

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