Garden City Sparkles As AMAA Reels In The Stars | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Garden City Sparkles As AMAA Reels In The Stars

Posted: Jun 18, 2016 at 6:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Hazeez Balogun – Lagos

The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) held last weekend in the beautiful Garden City of Port Harcourt. The event was the 12th edition of the awards and despite a few criticisms, it turned out to be one of the best since its inception. It had the expected pomp and pageantry.
The government, the ministry of tourism and the people of Rivers State gave a warm welcome and displayed their hospitality as they hosted movie makers from across the world.
The awards have been held across Nigeria; Bayelsa, Lagos, Abuja and even out of the country in South Africa. But now, it is back in the South-South of Nigeria.
The event started 9pm which was quite early for an awards show. Mike Ezuruonye and Kgopedi Lilokoe were the hosts for the night. Kicking off the show was the cultural troupe of Rivers State. They pulled all the stops to give their guests a true feel of Rivers culture.
Asides the dances and acrobatics, there was a lavish display of masquerades including that of a snake. From sources, that was one of the biggest Rivers masquerade and was only seen during special festivals.
Then came a long wave of speeches by various guests. First was the commissioner for culture and tourism in Rivers State, Tonye Brigg-Oniyinde. She welcomed guests from far and wide saying that it was with pride the state decided to host this year’s awards. She also hinted that the state might be hosting the event once more next year.
The Minister for Information and Culture, Dr. Lai Muhammed was very cheeky during his speech. Before he started, he said he came prepared with jokes but he realised that any joke he says will end up being a topic of national discourse the next day. He thanked organisers and Rivers for bringing back AMAA to Nigeria and begged film makers to make films that will promote a positive image of Africa and correct prejudices against Africans. He also promised that his ministry was working on an endowment fund for movie makers.
Next on stage was the founder of the awards, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe. She gave an eulogy which can be described as one of the highlights of the night. This was for the late Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha, the late former governor of Bayelsa State. Alamieyeseigha, during his tenure as the governor of Bayelsa had been the first supporter of AMAA and had made funding to it.IMG_1507
In his speech, the governor of Rivers, Wike Nyesom also welcomed guests from far and wide and asked AMAA to tell the story of the state to the world. The governor seems to have been interested in the awards as it shows the world that the state is safe. There have been reports of insecurity from the state in recent times but the governor explained that most of them are just hearsay.
“Are you now safeIMG_1899?” he asked the crowd. “We are” came the response.”
Then the business of the day was next. Peace Anyiam Osigwe returned to the stage to receive the list of winners from the members of the jury of the awards headed by renowned journalist, Shaibu Husseini.
In his speech Shaibu said, “We saw films that were ambitious and ingenious and films that were completed with scope and verve. We were also entertained by films made at the guerilla end of our industry. Tonight we celebrate these films and very shortly we shall commend to you the most outstanding films of AMAA 2016.”IMG_1411
The jury also said that movies in Africa have been improving and there are more women participating in the awards this year.
“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.”
There was also music and laughter intermittently as the awards were announced. Entertainers on the night include comedian Arinze Baba, an up and coming artiste who pulled his weight at the event, and the duo of Harrysong and Kcee.
Yinka Davies also brought in a sombre moment when she rendered a song in honour of the departed musician and music producer, Nomoreloss.
Despite the huge success, there were some few logistics problems that put some hiccups to the event. The most obvious of course was the 19 minutes black out while the event was going on.
According to sources, the black-out was caused by one of the workers in the Ladi Kwali event centre. The story was that he bought only a fraction of the diesel that was needed for the event and pocketed the remaining funds. We hear he has been sacked.
Other issues include transport and hotel logistics. But an event with such large contingent from all over the world may not be totally insulated from such little problems. AMAA organisers could however step up their game in that department.
Though the event was star-studded, the logistics issue made it difficult for many other celebrities to attend. Movie maker, Charles Novia said about his inability to attend the event.
“Unfortunately, I was not present at this year’s AMAA. Somehow, my invitation to the event was perhaps deliberately kept away from me till a few hours to the event which I declined to attend for logistics and honorable reasons.”

Winners At A Glance

AMAA 2016 Nomination List Announced By President Of Amaa Jury 2016 Mr. Husseini Shaibu On May 14, 2016 At Protea Hotel Ikeja, Lagos.

1. Efere Ozako AMAA  2016 Award For Best Short Film
Winner Is: Meet The Parents (Nigeria/Canada)
2. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Animation
Winner Is: The Pencil (Burkina Faso)
3. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Documentary
Winner Is: The Fruitless Tree (Niger)
4. Ousmane Sembene AMAA  2016 Award For Best Film In An African Language
Winner Is:  Missing God (Nigeria)
5. Michael Anyiam Osigwe AMAA  2016 Award For Best Film By An African Living
Winner Is: Lambadina (Ethiopia/Usa)
6. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Diaspora Short
Winner Is: Across The Track (Usa)
7. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Diaspora Documentary
The Award Goes To: Spirit Of Rebellion (Usa) And Agents Of Change (Usa)
8. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Diaspora Feature
Wiinner Is- Ben And Ara (Usa)
9. AMAA  2016 Award For Achievement In Production Design
Winner Is: The Cursed Ones (Ghana)
10.AMAA 2016 Achievement In Costume Design
Winner Is: Eye Of The Storm (Burkina Faso)
11. AMAA  2016 Award For Achievement In Make-Up
Winner Is: Soldiers Story (Nigeria)
12. AMAA  2016 Award For Achievement In Soundtrack
Winner Is: O-Town (Nigeria)
13. AMAA  2016 Award For Achievement In Visual Effect
Winner Is: Oshimiri (Nigeria)
14. AMAA  2016 Award For Achievement In Sound
Winner Is: Fifty (Nigeria)
15. AMAA  2016 Award For Achievement In Cinematography
Winner Is: The Cursed Ones (Ghana)
16. AMAA  2016 Award For Achievement In Editing
Winner Is:  Hear Me Move (South Africa)
17. AMAA  2016 Award For Achievement In Screen Play
Winner Is: Tell Me Sweet Something (South Africa)
18. AMAA  2016- Rivers State Government Endowed Award For Best Nigerian Film
Winner Is: Dry (Nigeria)
19. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Young/ Promising Actor
Winner Is: Zubaidat Ibrahim Fagge- Dry (Nigeria)
20. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Actor In A Supporting Role
Winner Is: Abidine Dioari – Eye Of The Storm (Burkina Faso)
21. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Actress In A Supporting Role
Winner Is: Thishiwe Ziqubu (Tell Me Sweet Something)
22. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Actor In A Leading Role
Winner Is: Daniel K. Daniel – Soldier Story (Nigeria)
23. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Actress In A Leading Role
Winner Is: Fulu Mugovhani (Ayanda)
24. AMAA  2016 Award For Best First Feature Film By A Director
Winner Is:  Beyond Blood (Greg Odutayo)
25. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Director
Winner Is:  Nana Obiiri-Yeboah – The Cursed Ones (Ghana)
26. AMAA  2016 Award For Best Film
Winner Is:  Eye Of The Storm (Burkina Faso)