20 March 2012

Africa: Nigeria, South Africa Lead in AMAA 2012 Nominations

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Lancelot Imasuen's latest movie, "Adesuwa", South Africa's 'Otelo Burning' and ' How to Steal 2 Million' won the most nominations for the 2012 Africa Movie Academy Awards scheduled to hold for the first time in Lagos on April 22.

At the nomination party which took place at the Kamaira Beach Hotel, Banjul, Gambia last Saturday the award's Jury announced the nominations into the 24 categories to a glamorous audience which included movie actors and actresses from Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana and other celebrities that converged on the capital city of Gambia.

Nigeria received 52 nominations for the Africa's most prestigious awards for filmmakers.

South Africa was first runner up with 45 nominations, followed by Ghana with 17, Kenya with 14, Uganda with 5, Tanzania with 3, and Algeria, Cameroon, Guinea, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe.

AMAA is getting more popular with Africans in Diaspora with entries from America, Canada, France, Germany, Guadalupe, Italy, Jamaica, and the UK winning nominations.

AMAA received 328 entries from across Africa, up from 220 in 2011. This includes 134 feature films, 88 short films, 57 documentaries and six animations. 43 entries came from Africans in the Diaspora, with the other entries coming from 23 countries across the continent.

South African surfing film Otelo Burning scooped the most nominees (13), followed closely by South African film "How to Steal 2 Million" (11) and Nigeria's Benin-set historical epic Adesuwa (10). Ghana's civil war film Somewhere in Africa has seven nominations, as does the Nigerian-South African xenophobia-themed co-production Man on Ground, while Kenya's Rugged Priest has six.

Dr. Asantewa Olantunji, director of programming of The Pan African Film Festival, headed this year's jury, which included June Giavanni, programmer for Planet Africa at The Toronto International Film Festival; Keith Shiri, founder and film curator at the London festival, Africa at The Pictures; Dorothee Wenner, a curator at The Berlin Film Festival; Shaibu Husseini, an actor, dancer and The Nigerian Guardian arts journalist; Steve Ayorinde, editor-in-chief of The Daily Mirror; Ayoko Babu, executive director of The Pan African Film Festival; Dr. Hyginus Ekwuazi, a film scholar and critic; and directors Berni Goldblat and John Akomfrah, OBE.

Only films produced and released between December 2010 and December 2011 were eligible.

The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony on 22 April 2012, hosted by Heroes star Jimmy Jean-Louis. For the first time, the awards will be held in Lagos rather than Bayelsa in Nigeria.

"Our theme this year is Africa Rising," says founder Peace Anyiam-Osigwe. "Africa's economies are consistently growing faster than those of almost any other region of the world and our film industries are following suit.

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