Kenya did East Africa proud at the eighth Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) held on April 22 at the Eko Hotel & Suite in Lagos, Nigeria scooping four awards.
At an event that was dominated by South Africa (10 awards) and Nigeria (12 awards), the Kenyan movie Shattered received the prize for best make-up while its lead actress, Nigerian Rita Dominic, was named best actress in a leading role.
The Legend of Ngong Hills won the best animation award while The Education of Auma Obama won the best diaspora documentary award.
East African productions that were entered in various categories are: Ragged Priest (Kenya), Chumo (Uganda), Climate Change is Real (Kenya), Nauliza (Kenya), The Captain of Nakara (Kenya), State Research Bureau (Uganda) and Jamaa (Uganda). In total, the region had 15 entries.
AMAA received 328 entries from across Africa in 2012, up from 220 in 2011, a trend acknowledged by the jury in a statement.
“This year may prove to be the beginning of a new era for AMAA. AMAA witnessed an unprecedented number of film submissions, from countries throughout the African continent and its diaspora,” it said.
The jury, headed by the director of programming of the Pan African Film Festival Dr Asantewa Olantunji, termed the technical quality, acting and directing of the films submitted for the 2012 awards impressive.
“As never before, we see films that tell real stories, inspired by, reflective of and crafted by the people, by whom and for whom they were made,” the jury said.
South African film noir thriller How 2 Steal 2 Million stole the show bagging four awards: Best film, best director (Charlie Vundla), best supporting actress (Terry Pheto) and best achievement in editing (Garreth Fradgely).
Nigeria’s Benin-set historical epic Adesuwa received three awards: costume design, visual effects, and best Nigerian film.
South African crime drama State of Violence won best film in an African language and best achievement in sound while Man on Ground, a Nigerian/South African xenophobia-themed co-production, won the special jury award — given for only the third time since the inception of AMAA — and best supporting actor for South African Fana Mokoena.
Hollywood names at AMAA included Emmy winner and Golden Globe nominee Lynn Whitfield (The Josephine Baker Storyand 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).