|Movie stakeholders from across Africa will be converging on Lagos, Nigeria for the final showdown of this year’s Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
There are high hopes as each country is bent on bringing glory to their homeland by winning foremost awards. The award ceremony will take place in Lagos on Sunday evening for the first time, several years after it was organized in Bayelsa State. Sunday’s event is expected to be one of a kind.
It will attract a lot of celebrities from Africa and beyond. The crème de la crème of Nollywood are expected to be the toast of this year’s event. On the other hand, Ghana’s industry stakeholders are also bracing up to shock Africa. Currently, Ghana is the reigning champion in the category of Best Actress In Leading Role which was won by Ama K. Abebrese last year, courtesy Leila Djansi’s ‘Sinking Sands’.
She has been nominated for the same category this year with awarding winning actress Yvonne Okoro. Ghanaians are hopeful one of the two actresses, Majid Michel, Martha Ankomah, Leila Djansi and others can bring honour to Ghana. ‘Heroes’ star Jimmy Jean-Louis will be hosting the award ceremony this year. His co-host is yet to be officially announced in Ghana.
This year, Nigeria’s ‘Adesuwa’ and South Africa’s ‘Otelo Burning’ and ‘How to Steal 2 Million’ got the most nominations for the 2012 Africa Movie Academy Awards. A nomination party was held at the Kamaira Beach Hotel, Banjul, Gambia a couple of months ago to kick off the ceremony.
There are 24 categories in all with representing countries including Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana and others. Nigeria received 52 nominations, followed by South Africa with 45 nominations and Ghana with 17. Kenya had 14, Uganda- 5, Tanzania- 3, and Algeria, Cameroon, Guinea, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe, a nomination each.
There were also nominations for the Diaspora entries from America, Canada, France, Germany, Guadalupe, Italy, Jamaica, and the UK.
AMAA received 328 entries from across Africa, up from 220 in 2011. This includes 134 feature films, 88 short films, 57 documentaries and six animations. Forty-three entries came from Africans in the Diaspora, with the other entries coming from 23 countries across the continent.
South African surfing film ‘Otelo Burning’ scooped the most nominees (13), followed closely by South African film ‘How to Steal 2 Million’ (11) and Nigeria’s Benin-set historical epic ‘Adesuwa’ (10).
Ghana’s ‘Somewhere In Africa’ directed by Frank Rajah has seven nominations, as well as Nigerian-South African xenophobia-themed co-production ‘Man on Ground,’ while Kenya’s ‘Rugged Priest’ has six.
Dr. Asantewa Olantunji, director of programming of the Pan African Film Festival, headed this year’s jury, which included June Giavanni, programmer for Planet Africa at the Toronto International Film Festival; Keith Shiri, founder and film curator at the London festival, Africa at the Pictures; Dorothee Wenner, a curator at the Berlin Film Festival; Shaibu Husseini, an actor, dancer and the Nigerian Guardian arts journalist; Steve Ayorinde, editor-in-chief of the Daily Mirror; Ayoko Babu, executive director of the Pan African Film Festival; Dr. Hyginus Ekwuazi, a film scholar and critic; and directors Berni Goldblat and John Akomfrah, OBE.