Thursday, March 31, 2011

AMAA 2011: Glitz, Glamour As Congo-Kinshasa Leads

By Al-Amin Ciroma

A congregation of Africa’s movie stars, including those in the Diaspora were hosted at the Gloryland Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, last weekend, to celebrate this year’s annual African ‘Oscars’, the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

The night was dominated by Congo Kinshasha’s Viva Riva, which won six awards, including Best Film and Best Director for Congo’s Djo Tunda Wa Munga. The movie also won Supporting Acting awards for actress Marlene Longage and actor Hoji Fortuna, as well as Cinematography and Production Design awards. ‘Viva Riva’ had ealier led the nominations with a total of 12.

The movie Sinking Sands picked three awards, with Amake Abebrese winning ‘Best Actress Award’ to go with prizes for its screenplay and make-up. The other two multiple award-winners were Izulu Lami, which won Best Film in African Language and for which three actors shared the Best Child Actor Award. Aramotu,won Best Nigerian Film and Best Costume Design. Other awards include The Best Actor Award which went to Themba Ndaba for his role in Hopeville. The Best Young Actor was received by Edward Kagutuzi for his Mirror Boy, while the Special Jury Award was won by Shirley Adams from South Africa.

Among those who attended the ceremony presided by the Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timpre Sylva, was the Kenyan Minister of Information, who said that AMAA’s positive contribution to the development of African Cinema in the last seven years could not be over-emphasised. He added that Nigeria had taught the rest of Africa how film can be a powerful socio-cultural and economic export to the rest of the world.

Aside Niji Akanni’s Aramotu which competed for the Best Film category, Nigeria has other movies in contention. Tunde Kelani’s Maami, Mahmood Ali-Balogun’s Tango With Me, Jeta Amata’s Inale, and No Jersy No Match by Daniel Ademinokan were in contention, but couldn’t scale through. An elated Chief Executive of AMAA, Ms Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, said during the ceremony that this year’s edition had been re-loaded to give visitors to Bayelsa, venue of the award ceremony a new experience. She was full of praises for the Bayelsa State government for the partnership and support given to AMAA since it made its debut in 2005.

The guest list read like a roll-call of Africa’s leading thespians, including Rita Dominic, Mike Ezuruonye, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Ini-Edo, Jim Iyke and Ramseh Nouah. Others were Joke Silva, Jackie Appiah, Chinedu Ikedieze and Majid Michel who mounted the podium to appreciate the crowd during the event.

The complete list of winners at the awards include Best Film, Viva Riva – Djo Tunda Wa Munga (Congo), Best Director Viva Riva – Djo Tunda Wa Munga, Best Actress In Leading Role - Amake Abebrese - Sinking Sands and Best Actor In Leading Role -Themba Ndaba – Hopeville. Other categories winners include, 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, Zulu Lami – Madoda Ncayiyana (South Africa), Best Nigerian Film, Aramotu – Niji Akanni, Best Screenplay, Sinking Sands, Best Editing

Soul Boy, Best Cinematography, Viva Riva, Best Achievement In Sound Shirley Adams, Best Visual Effects, A Small Town Called Descent, Best Soundtrack, Inale and Best Make Up goes to Sinking Sands.

Others categories are Best Costume Design – Aramotu, Best Production Design Viva Riva, 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 (Cameroun), Best Short Documentary After The Mine – Diendo Hamadi & Dinta Wa Lusula (DRC) and Best Short Film Dina – ‘Mickey Fonseca’ (Mozambique).

Published in LEADERSHIP, March 30, 2011

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