By Ken Aniche
The Africa Movie Academy Awards Call for Entries 2014
The Africa Movie Academy Awards invites filmmakers to submit their feature, short and documentary works for consideration for the 10th edition of the prestigious 2014 AMAA Awards that honours and celebrate the best in the art of filmmaking and the professionals who make the industry the pride of Africa.
The deadline for submissions is 15 January 2013 and nominations will be announced in the first week of March. Acceptable genres include feature length films, shorts and documentary entries. Only films produced, premiered and or released between May 2012 and December 2013 are eligible. Features may not exceed 120 minutes and shorts should not be longer than 40 minutes.
The Jury of the prestigious continental motion picture reward system rising from its Annual General Meeting which took place recently in Durban, South Africa has approved the guidelines for the submission of films for the 2014 edition of the awards.
The AGM which was attended by Mr Ayo Baku, Director of Pan-African Film Festival Los Angeles, Dr. Asantewa Olatunji, Co-Director of PAFF, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of National Mirror Newspaper, Mr. Shuaib Hussein, Journalist and Film Critic, Ms June Givanni, an international film curator, Mr. Keith Shiri, an international Film curator and programme advisor to the London Film Festival, Mr. Berni Goldblat, member of the jury of the International Francophone Film Festival of Namur (FIFF Namur) in Belgium and Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi, lecturer at the department of Dramatic Art, University of Ibadan and also former Managing Director of Nigeria Film Corporation, Jos.
Speaking on some of the decisions taken by the Jurors, Ms. Givanni who presided over the AGM revealed that the Jury made some amendments of the award categories adding that the awards organization and the jury are poised to deliver a good tenth year anniversary event.
“We made some changes on the award categories. We have introduced an award that is named after former President Nelson Mandela called Madiba Africa Vision Awards which will be given at the discretion of the Jury to any film captures the essence and vision of the category. The category of Best Film by African Living Abroad has been cancelled.
We also renamed two categories after two exceptional Africans who have contributed to the growth and development of the film industry. The Best Film in African Language will now be Sembene Ousmane Awards for Best Film in African Language while the Best Short Film Award category will now be called Efere Ozako Award for Best Short Film. AMAA is immortalizing the names of these two great men with the awards,” she said.
Ms Givanni also said that a new category Best Director First Feature Film has been introduced to encourage young and upcoming film directors to continue to strive for excellence and best practices.
The award in its nine years has had international music and Hollywood icons such as Danny Glover, Forest Whittaker, Morris Chesnut, Rockmond Dunbar, Angela Basset, Monique, Miriam Makeba, Mario Van Peebles,Jimmy Jean Louis, Hakeem Kae Kazim and host other others in attendance at different times.
Over 700 films were entered for the awards in 2013 from over 40 countries within Africa and the Diaspora and the award has been described by international media most especially CNN as the Africa’s Oscars.
The awards organization also holds nominations gala night where nominees are announced for different categories across different African cities to drive home the pan-African vision of the scheme with the last 2013 nomination gala night was hosted in Lilongwe, Malawi by President Joyce Banda who has now also endowed a prize for the best film depicting positive stories about women.
“There is this great awareness of the possibilities in Africa. This has been an exciting year for African cinema as many big budget productions have been produced on the continent and distribution is becoming more accessible to African films,” says AMAA founder Academy CEO Peace Anyiam-Osigwe.
The primary aim of the African Movie Academy Awards (popularly known AMAA) is to facilitate the development and showcase the social relevance of African Film and Cinema. Presented to recognize excellence in professionals in the Africa film industry, including directors, actors and writers, the Awards are aimed at honoring and promoting such excellence as well as uniting the African continent through arts and culture.
Submission must be entered online at www.ama-awards.com. Each completed entry form must be accompanied by all the supporting materials listed on the submission forms, including the synopsis of the film, the list of credits, 5 DVD copies of the film and proof of the right to submit.
For more information see www.ama-awards.com