The African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), a pan-African movie awards scheme which rewards and celebrates outstanding movie production and acting from Africa returns this year with more entries, participation from new countries; and the competition for honours is expected to be even keener.
The 2011 edition of the awards has started in earnest nominations/submissions opening in September 2010 and closing on January 6, 2011. In all, close to 400 movies were received from movie producers across Africa, including Tanzania, Namibia and Senegal who submitted movies for the first time. Ghana submitted about 30. Amongst the movies expected to be nominated this year are the critically acclaimed ‘Sinking Sands’, and ‘Ije: The Journey’.
The Academy of Screeners was recently in Ghana to complete some aspects of the screening process before holding the final screening session by a selected panel from the international community. The Academy of Screeners have held private screening sessions in The Gambia and Nigeria representing the first and second stages of screening sessions respectively. Nominees would be announced at a ceremony in Kenya in the last week of February; and the awards ceremony which normally takes place in the first week of April will be held in Nigeria in March due to elections in NigeriaMeanwhile, other international film academies have shown interest in the AMAAs and one of such academies to support the scheme is the European Film Academy (EFA). EFA has joined the AMAA jury for this year’s event. It has also endorsed AMAA as a credible awards ceremony; hence the decision to be part of it .EFA was impressed by the kind of movies that were awarded at AMAA every year. Anytime those movies make it into international film festivals, they proved to be very good movies, as they don’t just win other recognitions but rub shoulders with other recognized international movies.
Movies such as ‘From A Whisper’ (Kenya), ‘Run Baby Run’ (Ghana), ‘The Figurine’ (Nigeria), ‘The Tenant’ (Nigeria) are a few of the movies that went through AMAA and caused a stir at international film festivals including the Rotterdam Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and more.