Nigeria, the film making capital of Africa, again established its pre-eminence in the continent’s motion picture industry during the just-concluded 2013 Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, snagging 13 out of the 27 categories of the highly-sought after prize.
The event was held Saturday April 20 at the Gloryland Cultural Centre in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. The ninth edition of the prestigious film award saw “Confusion Na Wah”, a film by emerging director, Kenneth Gyang, win the keenly-contested Best Film prize.
Late Nollywood actor, Justus Esiri, also emerged the Best Actor in a Leading Role. Esiri, 71, who died in February 20 and was buried on April 12 in his home town in Abraka, Delta State, won the award for his role in the film titled “Assassins’ Practice”.
Although, South Africa followed Nigeria with four awards, this year’s award for Best Actress in a Leading Role went to South Africa’s Florence Maseba, for the film “Elelwani”.
Some other Nigerian winners at the glamorous, star-studded event included Belinda Effah, Best Promising Actor for the film “Kokoma”, while Best Director prize went to Niyi Akanni, for his outstanding work in the film, “Heroes and Zeros”.
Nigerian documentary “Fuelling Poverty” took top honours in the Best Documentary category, as Nollywood veterans, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, Pete Edochie and ace film director, Tunde Kelani were among recipients of AMAA Lifetime Achievement Awards.
The colourful event, which rounded off at about 4:00 am on Sunday morning, was also attended by Rivers State Deputy Governor, Engineer Tele Ikuru, who represented Governor Rotimi Ameachi; South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Loius Nmguni, as well as ministers and family members of Malawian President, Joyce Banda; movie personalities from across Africa, among others.
The event also witnessed performances by musicians from Nigeria, South Africa and Malawi as well as some Nigerian comedians.
Ghana’s nominations in this year’s awards were not impressive. The country walked into the awards with only seven nominations.
It had the seven nominations from a total of 671 films which were submitted for consideration for this year’s awards. In all, 184 short films, 108 Diaspora features, documentaries and shorts films, 60 documentaries from Africa and 319 feature films from within and outside Africa, including films made by Africans living abroad were submitted.
Yvonne Okoro’s “Contract” received six of the nominations, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Achievement in Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Production Design.
Young Ghanaian film maker, Akosua Adoma Owusu’s short film, “Kwaku Ananse” gave Ghana its seventh nomination. She received a nomination in the Best Short Film category.
Interestingly, Yvonne Okoro walked out of the venue without a single award while Akosua gave Ghana its only award on the night. She won the Best Short Film award.
The awards night provided some of the best entertainment the African continent had to offer. There was an exciting blend of traditional and modern musical performances mixed with some rib cracking comedy.
There were performances from several acts including the Bayelsa State Cultural Troop, Groove Magic (Malawi), Waje (Nigeria), Timi Dakolo and comedian Funny Bone.