The annual Pan-African award, Africa Movies Academy Awards AMAA was held last weekend at Port Harcourt amidst pomp and pageantry as expectations were high from the nominees to win some awards to take home. Interestingly two movies, ‘Eye of The Storm’ and ‘The Curse Ones’ from Burkina Faso and Ghana respectively got three awards each. South African and Nigerian movies were known to grab the highest awards.
AMAA was held for the 1st time in the Garden City, precisely at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre in the presence of the Governor, Nyesome Wike, his beautiful wife, Judge Eberechi Wike and the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed along with other dignitaries.
The centre was filled up even as security men, majorly policemen and women took extra seats meant for guests as they abandoned their work gazing at the stage as proceedings went on. Mike Ezunruonye and South African OAP, Kgopedi Lioane anchored the event but they would have done better.
Movie actors, producers and professionals from different countries were all at the event. Nigerian celebs, Dakore Akande, Biyi Bandele, director of FIFTY, Olu & Joke Jacobs, RMD, Pete Edochie, Chinwetala Agu, Doris Simeon, Daniel K. Daniels, Aneke Twins, Eniola Badmus, Saheed Balogun, Uti Nwachukwu, Okey Bakassi, Stanley Ohiukhuare, Tony Akposheri to name a few were all present at the venue. A colleague hinted that actors under the Yoruba movie sector had all agreed not to attend this year’s event for the shoddy treatment meted to them the . year in SA.
And Light Went Off In Obi Wali
Comedian Arinze cracked ribs at the hall making all to cheer up. Then the soulful diva, Yinka Davies performed dedicating her song to Nomoreloss, a friend and singer that passed away months ago.
Sadly, midway into the event, light went off for more than 15 minutes and it took a while before it was restored. Imagine what went through the mind of other nationals? Everything was in a stand still and some of the seats became empty as guests left their seats with mixed feelings. It was a national embarassement that the organisers could allow electricity to cut off in that venue for such a long time.
The atmosphere was tensed up and it took Nigeria musician, Harrysong to cheer up the crowd and lightened the scene as he sang his hit song, Reggae Blues. He was joined by 5 Star Music mate, KCEE as they sang the hit song together and a good number got up to dance. A Zambian, Mac Zulu also entertained the crowd.
DKD Wins Again As Adesua Loses
Many especially Nigerians were expecting the Best Actress award to go to Nigeria but it was not to be. The foursome, delectable Iretiola Doyle, vivacious Dakore Egbuson, gifted Nse Ikpe Etim and gorgeous Omoni Oboli were nominated together for their roles in the box office movie, FIFTY. Budding star actress, Adesua Etomi who had won same category in AMVCA was also put together in same category with four others but surprisingly the jury gave it to South African, Fulu Mugovhani for her role in Ayanda, the only award the movie got at AMAA.
Daniel K. Daniel again won the Best Actor Award for his role in the movie, Soldiers Story. The young actor beat established actors like O.C Ukeje in Ayanda, Oris Erhuero in The Cursed Ones and three others. Pretty Zubaida Ibrahim Fagge’s profile keeps going in leaps and bounds as a young actor, thanks to her role as Halima in the social conscious movie, DRY. The movie had bagged BON 2015 Award and AMVCA 2016 Best Movie Award. Zubaida Fagge won the Young Actor Award in AMAA 2016.
Abdine Dioari from Burkina Faso went away with the Best Actor In A Supporting Role in the movie, Eye of the Storm defeating Uti Nwachukwu in Breathless, Odunlade Adekola in . Driver, Joseph Otsiman in The Cursed Ones, Kenneth Nkosi in Ayanda and Thomas Gumede in Tell Me Sweet Something.
Other Nigerian movies that won awards, (8 Nigerian movies in total won awards) were Oshimiri, Missing God, ‘O Town, Beyond Blood, FIFTY which won Best Soundtrack movie. South African movies known for better quality production won more than 6 awards. Nigerian movie productions did fairly well.
RMD Dedicates Award To Youths In Warri
Olu Jacobs and his wife Joke Silva along with RMD and Tony Akposheri were given life achievement awards. It was an emotional moment for seasoned actress, Joke Silva as she was in tears thanking the organisers for such an honour.
RMD thanked Amaka Igwe among others especially his wife, Jumobi Adegbesan-Mofe Damijo. He dedicated the award toe every Child that is born in an unknown street in Warri and Port Harcourt. ‘You can dream to be great like me’, says RMD in an emotional-laden as he was almost in tears. Veteran actor, Pete Edochie famous for his role as Okonkwo in ‘Things Fall Apart’ drama series presented the award. Pete urged the government to restore History into our Primary School curriculum.
Africa To Keep Eye On Quality Movie Production
The quality of movie keeps going up in the African continent as movie productions are now paying more attention to details in the technical aspect. Nana Obiri-Yeboah from Ghana won the best director in the movie, The Cursed Ones even as the best movie award went to Eye Of The Storm from Burkina Faso.
The Head of AMAA Jury this year, Shuaib Hussein in his speech said, “this year, we noticed with great pleasure a growing diversity of genres amongst the films we saw. We also observed a visible development in exploring cinematographic styles especially in the field of storytelling/narration and art direction. We note also a strong presence of women in front of and behind the camera. A couple of the films we have in nomination were either made by women or produced by women. This sure-footed emergence of women filmmakers on the African continent is very promising, encouraging and refreshing for audiences and female professionals in the industry. However, we observed a decline in movies for children and about children. We have over the years handed out awards to child actors but we decided as a jury not to consider that category this year because of inadequate entries. Although we are not oblivious of the present lull in production activities in the film industries on the African continent and in the Diaspora, we urge our filmmakers to seek out and produce those stunning range of films that celebrates our young ones and stories that tell us that the cinema is alive and well in our continent.”
List of the 2016 AMAA Winners:
- Best Film- Eye of the Storm (Burkina Faso)
- Best Actor In Leading Role- Daniel K Daniel (A Soldier’s Story)
- Best Actress In Leading Role- Fulu Moguvhani (Ayanda)
- Best Actor In Supporting Role- Abidine Dioari (Eye of the Storm)
- Best Actress In Supporting Role- Thishiwe Ziqubu (Tell Me Sweet Something)
- Best Young Actor- Zubaidat Ibrahim Fagge (Dry)
- Best Director- Nana Obiri-Yeboah (The Cursed Ones)
- Best Nigerian Film- Dry
- Best Film In African Language- The Missing God (Nigeria)
- Best Short Film- Meet The Parents (Nigeria/Canada)
- Best Diaspora Feature- Ben & Ara (USA)
- Best Diaspora Documentary- Spirits of Rebellion: Black Film at UCLA
- Michael Anyiam Osigwe AMAA 2016 Award for Best Film by an African Living Abroad – Lambadina (Ethiopia/USA)
- Best Animation- The Pencil (Burkina Faso)
- Best First Feature Film by a Director- Greg Odutayo (Beyond Blood)
- Best Visual Effects- Oshimiri (Nigeria)
- Best Soundtrack- O-Town (Nigeria)
- Best Achievement In Sound- Fifty
- Best Screenplay- Tell Me Sweet Something
- Best Diaspora Short Film- Across the Tracks (USA)
- Best Production Design- The Cursed Ones (Ghana)
- Best Cinematography- The Cursed Ones
- Best Documentary- The Fruitless Tree (Niger)
- Best Editing- Hear Me Move
- Best Make Up- A Soldier’s Story
- Best Costume Design- Eye of the Storm
- AMAA Award for Lifetime Achievement- Olu Jacobs & Joke Silva, Tony Akposheri (Zakky of New Masquerade) and Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD)