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Nollywood loses grip on African Movie Academy Awards?

It appears that gradually, the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) is losing its Nigerian outlook that caused many to fail to recognize the awards scheme as a wholly African ceremony in the past. With more African countries joining and submitting their films, Africa’s biggest film market – Nollywood is making way for deserving films from […]

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It appears that gradually, the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) is losing its Nigerian outlook that caused many to fail to recognize the awards scheme as a wholly African ceremony in the past. With more African countries joining and submitting their films, Africa’s biggest film market – Nollywood is making way for deserving films from other movie markets to shine at the AMAAs as is evident in this year’s nominations. Perhaps its time to scrap the ‘Best Nigerian Film’ category as well!

As Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State gets dazzle in the glitz and glamour of the award ceremony on Sunday March 27, Nollywood trails Congo and South Africa in the battle for AMAA nods. On the night, winners  would be announced in the 26 categories of the 7th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards .

Giving the breakdown of the nominations as announced on  February 25 in Kenya, the Chief Executive Officer of the award body, Ms. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe  at media  briefing on Monday at Protea Leadway Hotel, Maryland, Ikeja  gave the breakdown of the nominations where she said Congo and South Africa got the highest  nominations.

She said though Viva River, a film from Congo had the highest single nominations adding that South Africa has four films that are very strong that made the nomination. The Four South Africa films in competition include Hope Ville with 9 nominations, Izulu Lami, 7 nominations, Shirley Adams, 5 nominations and A Small Town Called Descent got 6 nominations. Combined together South Africa had the highest nominations by country with total of 27 nominations.

Ghana’s Sinking Sands had 10 nominations and Kenya’s Soul  Boy had 6 nominations while Nigeria has four films that are also prominent on the  nomination list with Tunde Kelani’s Maami, Inale, a film directed by Jeta Amata, Niyi Akanji’s Aramotu, and Mahmood Alli-Balogun’s Tango with Me. Nigeria  by country nomination  trail South Africa with 23 total nominations.

”I want to say we have strong films across Africa and Diaspora in competition  for this year’s AMAA and all the films that made the nominations whether they  win or not in their different categories are good films that will do well in  film circuits around the world,”

She also revealed that more than seventy percent of the nominees across Africa and beyond have signified their interest to attend the awards in Nigeria while stating the readiness of the organisers and host state of Bayelsa to welcome the guests from within and outside Nigeria.

”The good thing about this year’s AMAA is that our guests will experience Bayelsa in a new way as we have events line up for a whole week. AMAA this year will not a a day event. There will be opportunity to network, share experiences and even make co-production deals with other filmmakers. Visitors will explore the sights and sound of Bayelsa and feel the people and culture of the state. Beyond Oil Bayelsa has great tourism potentials waiting for entrepreneurs to grab.” she said.

Other highlight of the media briefing was the screening of  a Four-minute documentary and short film titled Hidden Treasure produced by some Bayelsa  youths who were part of the training programme organised by  Africa Film Academy to train 50 Bayelsan youths in different aspect of film  making.  The Academy in conjunction with the state government will sponsor the best four among the students to Prague Film School for further training.

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