The Africa Movie Academy Awards is the biggest and most influential film award in Africa; started in 2005 by its CEO Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the award ceremony has grown from a very Nigerian centric entity to a truly all-encompassing African experience.
Last week marked the 7th edition of the AMA awards, which took place on the 27th of March in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The film Viva Riva! by Congolese film director, Djo Tunde Wa Munga was the star film of the awards, winning a record of six awards out of the seven it was nominated for.
The film took five years to complete and was made in the Congolese local language of Ngala. It won best director, best film, best cinematography, best actress in a supporting role, best actor in a supporting role and best production design.
Only two other films have achieved a similar success at the AMAA, the Figurine by Kunle Afolayan and From a Whisper by Wanuri Kahiu, which both won five awards in 2010 and 2009 respectively.
Other highlights of this year’s AMAA was the presence of Jimmy Jean Louis, the Hollywood movie star, famed for his acting in the huge US hit drama series, Heroes. He was nominated in the best actor category for his performance in the Ghanaian film, Sinking Sands, and though he didn’t win, his presence at the award was celebrated as a sign of Hollywood actors taking an interest in African cinema.
On the low point, African Screens could not but notice a decline in the quality of films from Nollywood in this year’s award entries. With Congo and South Africa dominating this year’s awards, Nigeria had to make do with only two awards: Best Nigerian film for Aramatu and Best sound track for Inale.
Where does this leave Nollywood?
Full List of winners at the 7th AMAA 2011:
Best Film: Viva Riva (Congo)
Best Director: Viva Riva – Djo Tunda Wa Munga (Congo)
Best Actress In Leading Role: Ama K Abebrese (Ghana)
Best Actor In Leading Role: Themba Ndaba - Hopeville
Best Actress In Supporting Role: Marlene Longage - Viva Riva!
Best Actor In Supporting Role: Hoji Fortuna - Viva Riva!
Best Young Actor: Edward Kagutuzi – Mirror Boy
Best Child Actor: Sobahle Mkhabase [Thembi], Tschepang
Mohlomi [Chili-Bite] And Sibonelo Malinga [Khwezi] – Izulu Lami
Best Film In African Language: Izulu Lami (South Africa)
Best Nigerian Film: Aramotu – Niji Akanni (Nigeria)
Best Screenplay: Sinking Sands (Ghana)
Best Editing: Soul Boy (Kenya)
Best Cinematography: Viva Riva (Congo)
Best Achievement in Sound: Shirley Adams
Best Visual Effects: A Small Town Called Descent (South Africa)
Best Soundtrack: Inale (Nigeria)
Best Make Up:Sinking Sands (Ghana)
Best Costume Design: Aramotu (Nigeria)
Best Production Design: Viva Riva (Congo)
Best Film For African Abroad In America: The Story Of The Soul Sisters – Rahman Oladigbolu (Nigeria/USA)
Best Diaspora Short Film: Precipice – Julius Amedume (UK)
Best Diaspora Documentary: Stuborn As A Mule – Miller Bargeron Jr & Arcelous Deiels (USA)
Best Diaspora Feature: Suicide Dolls – Keith Shaw (USA)
Best Documentary: Kondi Et Le Jeudi Nationale – Ariana Astrid Atodji (Cameroon)
Best Short Documentary: After The Mine – Diendo Hamadi & Dinta Wa Lusula (DRC)
Best Short Film: Dina – Mickey Fonseca (Mozambique)