AMAA: Celebrating the best of Africa cinema
It was a gathering of stars on Saturday at the 10th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). The Gloryland Center in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State was filled with filmmakers, actors, actresses, and other stakeholders in the Africa cinema from all over the world. For the ten years it has been in existence, AMAA has shown the strong effect Nigeria cinema nay African cinema has on the world.
Hence this year’s award was a special celebration of some of the finest films of Africa cinema and its positive contribution to world cinema.
Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, AMAA’s CEO said the celebration of the 10th anniversary for AMAA is a milestone and a seed that has indeed blossom into a big oak tree. For her, this only shows that the long walk for Africa cinema is profitable and one that still has a lot to be tapped from.
With the array of performances and glamour the night offered, one could not help but say the AMAAs has grown to be the most prestigious and glamorous event of its kind in Africa. After very interesting performance, the awards night began in earnest with winners emerging from different categories.
Efere Ozaku Award for best short film went to ‘Dialemi’ from Gabon, award for Best Animation went to ‘Khumba from South Africa, while the award for Best Documentary went to ‘Potraits of Lone Farmer’ from Nigeria/Denmark.
The Sembere Ousmane Award for Best Film in African language went to ‘B for Boy’ from Nigeria, while the award for Best Diaspora Short film went to ‘Passage from Bahamas’.
‘Through the Lens Darkly’ from USA won Best Diaspora Documentary while award for Best Diaspora Feature went to ‘Kingston Paradise’ from Jamaica.
The award for Achievement in Production Design went to ‘Northern Affair’ from Ghana, Achievement in Costume Design went to ‘Ni sisi’ from Kenya, and Achievement in Makeup went to ‘Once Upon a Road Trip’ from South Africa. Also, ‘Onye Ozi’ from Nigeria won in the Achievement in Soundtrack category while Achievement in Sound was won by ‘The Forgotten Kingdom from South Africa’. Achievement in Cinematography went to ‘The Forgotten Kingdom’ from South Africa and Achievement in Editing went to ‘Potomanto from Ghana’.
Award for Achievement in Screen play was won by ‘Of Good Report’ from South Africa, best Nigerian Film endowed by Bayelsa State went to ‘Accident’. Lebohang Ntsane is Best Child Actor for her role in ‘Forgotten Kingdom’ while Best Young and Promising Actor went to Petronella Tshuma for her role in ‘Of Good Report’. Best Actor in a supporting role was won by Thapelo Mofekeng for the part he played in ‘Felix’ while Best Actress in a Supporting Role went to Patience Ozokwo in ‘After the Proposal’. Best Actor in a Lead Role went to Mothusi Magano in ‘Of Good Report’ and Best Actress in a Lead Role went to Clarion Chukwura in ‘Apaye’.
Award for Best Feature Film by a director went to Harrikrishna and Sharvan in ‘Children of Troumaron’, Best Director went to Jamil X.T Quebeka in ‘Of Good Report’; Best Film went to ‘Of Good Report’, Award for film that promotes Nelson Mandela Ideals went to ‘Ni sisi’ from Kenya while Joy Banda Award for Film on Women Empowerment went to ‘New Horizon’ from Nigeria.
In all, South Africa won the highest awards with ‘Of Good Report’ winning five awards. Meanwhile the awards was also a night of speeches and accolades for the awards visioner and the host state, Bayelsa.
Ebizi Ndioma-Brown, Bayelsa State Tourism Board (DG) said AMAA has impacted so many youths in Bayelsa and has kept them away from obnoxious activities since the youths now imitates how to act their own films in their local languages.
Brown added that some Bayelsa youths are now actors, actresses and directors and there is a huge request to help many more produce their films.
“We have a lot of youths that wants to be useful and there has been a lot of training available to them as a result of AMAA’s presence in Bayelsa,” she said.
Speaking at the award night, Gboribiogha John Jonah, the deputy governor, Bayelsa State, who represented the governor said over the years the state has played host to quite a number of events, among of events, among which is the Africa Movie Academy Award, AMAA, a widely acclaimed ceremony in Africa.
“We are associated to AMAA because of its benefits to our economy and the movie industry. It celebrates excellence in film industry and serve as a springboard to show case the rich heritage and investment opportunities of the state,” Jonah said.
He disclosed that Bayelsa State aims for the growth of the youth and human, enlargement of its cultural heritage and human capacity building and Nollywood is one of the platforms to achieve this.
According to him: “We will continue to encourage Bayelsa youths to become role models and an accession like this will lead to job creation and life meaningful to the youths and the government will continue to be a part of this symbiotic collaboration.”
Anyiam-Osigwe said in her speech that her vision ten years ago when AMAA was founded was to create a viable black film industry that is self-sustaining and a force to be reckoned with.
According to her: “The AMAAs has survived against all odds, and those who have been closely associated with AMAAs will bear testimonies to the struggles that we have been through to come this far. As at date, the main challenges of funding and financing subsists.”
She said AMAA has become a platform that projects the African film industry to Africa and the rest of the world and is a celebration of African heritage and culture, adding that reaching the 10th anniversary is without doubt a testimony to resilience of human spirit and determination.
“It has been a journey of sheer determination, perseverance, staying power and faith. These characteristics have been the driving force behind the organization of the AMAAs. In spite of the many challenges over the in preparation and spending, putting spanners in the works with respect to management of logistics and overall delivery of events, the AMAAs is still standing 10 years on,” she said.
Steve Ayorinde, president of the Jury, observed ten years of a brand that celebrates Africa and Africa in diaspora is a milestone and the criteria for selection has not changed but responsibilities has increased.
Ayorinde said more than 150 entries were received this year and some additional awards has been included which are: Madiba Award for films that promote Nelson Mandela’s ideals and Joy Banda Award for film on women empowerment.
He further disclosed that the ten man international jury has continued to stand on intergrity, transparency, accountability and quality.
At a media briefing which held earlier in the day before the awards night, Ayorinde explained this year there were about 500 films submitted from Africa and Africa in diaspora and the jury chose the nominees in each category. The process of nomination happens about six weeks before the event.
“We have taken the nominations from all over Africa and for the 10th anniversary, we went to South Africa for the nominee’s night since most of the nominations came from there,” he said.
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