Ghanaian play boy actor, Majid Michel and Nigerian actress Rita Dominic last Sunday night won the top prizes as they walked away with the 'Best Actor' and 'Best Actress' awards at this year's edition of the prestigious African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
Majid picked up the coveted award for his lead role in the 2011 movie 'Somewhere In Africa' while Nigerian Dominic won the 'Best Actress' award for her lead role in the Kenyan film 'Shattered' beating the likes of Nse Ikpe-Etim, Uche Jombo and Yvonne Okoro to clinch the prize.
South African actress Terry Pheto was also named Best Supporting Actress for her role in Charlie Vundla's debut film noir thriller, "How To Steal 2 Million" which also won Best Achievement in Editing (Garreth Fradgely), Best Director, Best Film and Supporting Actor(Rapuldna Seiphemo). With five awards, "How 2 Steal 2 Million' was the most awarded film at this year's AMAA.
Lancelot Oduwa Imaseun's 'Adesuwa' followed closely, winning three awards which includes 'Best Nigerian Film'. Kunle Afolayan's 'Phone Swap' wasn't left out as it won the 'Achievement in Production Design' award while Akin Omotoso won the 'Special Jury' award for 'Man on the Ground'.
Nigeria won a total of 12 awards out of 25 awards given out at this year's AMAA, which held at the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos and attended by a host of Nollywood actors, film makers, musicians, comedians and other stakeholders iincluding outgoing president of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN)Segun Arinze, former AGN boss Ejike Asiegbu, Tee-Mac, Fidelis Duker, Florence Ita-Giwa, Airtel Chairman Oba Otudeko and many others.
Other winners were Sara Bletcher's "Otelo Burning" which picked two awards; Cinematography and Best Child Actor (Tsepang Mohlomi) awards. The film had led with 13 nominations.
There were a number of other double award-winners. State Of Violence by South African Khalo Matabane won for Best Film in an African Language and Best Sound. Just as Danny Glover's "Toussaint Louverture" was named Best Diaspora Film. Kenyan's "Shattered" film also won the Best Make-Up. "Alero's Symphony" won for Soundtrack and Young/Promising Actor (Ivie Okujaye).
According to the jury, headed by Dr. Asantewa Olantunji, Director of programming of The Pan African Film Festival, AMAA received 328 entries from across Africa in 2012, up from 220 in 2011.
On this year's awards, the jury observed thus; "this year may prove to be the beginning of a new era for AMAA. Not only did AMAA witness an unprecedented number of film submissions from more countries throughout the African continent and its Diaspora, it also witnessed a remarkable increase in the quality of the films submitted. From their technical qualities to the acting and directing, the 2012 film slate is most impressive. Indeed, for the jury, the task of selecting the "Best" in each category has been challenging."
Some of the biggest names from black Hollywood who graced the awards night were Emmy Winner and Golden Globe nominee Lynn Whitfield (The JosephineBaker Story and Without a Trace); Morris Chestnut (American Horror Story, Boyz in the Hood); Rockmond Dunbar (Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy) and Maya Gilbert (General Hospital, Days of Our Lives).
Hollywood actor Jimmy Jean-Louis and Ambo awards winner O.C Ukeje hosted the prestigious awards, which included performances from Asa, 2Face Idibia, yinka Davies, Edge and Senegal's Viviane Ndour.