By Samantha Ofole-Prince
Some of the biggest names in Nollywood were in attendance at the annual AMAAs (African Movie Academy Awards), which took place at the Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos, Nigeria.
Held annually since 2005, the AMAA’s are aimed at honoring and promoting excellence in the African movie industry as well as uniting the African continent through arts and culture.
“With the AMAAs, we have an award where we recognize ourselves amongst ourselves, and there’s a stimulated competition between the African countries over who’s going to win the next one. So it makes better films for us. People actually go out of their way to make films for the AMAA awards,” says AMAA’s founder Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, who started the event as a forum for filmmakers across the continent. “It started out just as something I was going to do, so that we could have one day as filmmakers to meet and sit down together. Now it’s something that everybody looks forward to and it’s my biggest achievement,” continues Anyiam-Osigwe.
Hosted by Jimmy Jean-Louis, there were performances from Asa, 2Face Idibia and Senegal’s Viviane Ndour.
Winners included actress Rita Dominic who won the best actress accolade for movie “Shattered” and director Lancelot Oduwa Imaseun who was presented the award for Best Nigerian Film for movie “Adesuwa.”
The AMAA 2012 prize for Best Short Film went to the Nigerian film “Braids On A Bald Head.” “African Election” won for Best Documentary while “Toussaint Louverture,” which stars Jimmy Jean-Louis received the AMAA prize for Best Diaspora feature beating out nominees “High Chicago,” “Better Mus’ Come and “Elza.”
“It was a wonderful evening," says Jean-Louis. "I see that Nollywood is connecting with Hollywood and African cinema is definitely rising. I'm so glad to be part of that new era of African cinema.”