26th June, 2015
The Jury of African Movie Academy Award, AMAA, has released the nominees for the 28 categories of the continental awards for motion picture practitioners in Africa and the Diaspora.
At a nominations gala night in global entertainment headquarters, Los Angeles, United States, the 2015 AMAA Jury chaired by Zimbabwean, Keith Shiri, announced nominations that have Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Angola and Mauritius leading the pack in the number of films from the countries in competition while United States led the pack in the films from Africans in Diaspora.
Films from Nigerian filmmakers such as ‘October 1’, ‘Cheetanah’, ‘Iyore’, ‘Dazzling Mirage’ are very prominent on the nominations list while ‘Triangle Going to America’ from Ethiopia, ‘Timbuktu’ from Mauritius and ‘Queen of Angola’ from Angola are very strong in various categories of the award.
In a move that may not surprise pundits, Ghana-born actress, Jocelyn Dumas and her Nigerian counterpart, Ini Edo are once again in big battle for the Best Actress category for their roles in ‘While You Slept’ and ‘Silver Rain’.
The two leading female actors were nominated in the same category in 2014.
Two new revelations in the Most Promising Actor/Actress category are Demola Adedoyin for his role in Kunle Afolayan’s ‘October 1’ and Kemi Lala Akindoju for her role in Tunde Kelani’s ‘Dazzling Mirage’.
At a ceremony attended by the cream of top Hollywood filmmakers and their Nigerian counterparts, the Chairman of the College of Screeners and member of the Jury, Shaibu Husseini noted the improvement in the quality of films coming to AMAA every year since inception 11 years ago.
“It is gratifying to note that filmmakers from the continent and beyond are investing more into their trade and the evidence of their investments are the quality films we see even though there will always be room for improvements,” said Husseini.
Dayo Ogunyemi, Chief Executive Officer, AMAA, said that the leadership of the award body decided to take the nominations event to Hollywood this year to begin the concrete step of taking African cinema to the home of global cinema for a mutually and economically viable cooperation.
Ogunyemi noted that the unique aspect of the nomination event this year is that AMAA’s parent organization, the Africa Film Academy (whose advisory board Danny Glover co-chairs) is developing a slate of ten films that will be co-productions between black filmmakers across the globe.
“The stories to be pitched within this slate will have a global appeal but will speak to the aspirations and stories of the global black community. Accordingly the attendees for this event have been selected with a view to ensuring the highest level of returns and enhancing the global value chain for black filmmakers,” he said.
Some of the Nollywood practitioners who attended the nominations gala night and other African counterparts include Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Faithia Balogun, O.C. Ukeje, Patience Ozokwor, Kingsley Ogoro, Paul Okoli, Chioma Chukwuka, Kunle Afolayan, Emem Isong, Doris Simeon, Eniola Badmus, Aki and Paw Paw, and Ghana-born Lydia Forson, who is also AMAA brand ambassador.
The AMAA 2015 College of Screeners received over 800 entries from over 50 countries of the world within and outside Africa covering feature films, short films, animations and documentaries.
AMAA main event which is the award night will hold in South Africa in September and it will be the first time the continental awards will take place outside Nigeria in its 11 years, having held 10 previous editions in Nigeria.