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AMAAs 2023: AFA calls for entries as Lagos retains host right

By Eniola Daniel
03 December 2022   |   2:47 am
The Africa Film Academy (AFA), organisers of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs), has unveiled plans and activities ahead of the 19th edition of the continental film award. The plans and activities were unveiled

Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, founder and president of AMAAs (left),Dr. Shaibu Husseni, head of AMAA’s<br />College of Screener, and Kingsley James, Chief Operating Officer of AMAA.

The Africa Film Academy (AFA), organisers of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs), has unveiled plans and activities ahead of the 19th edition of the continental film award. The plans and activities were unveiled recently during a media briefing at the Radisson Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.

The event, which was witnessed by showbiz reporters from both traditional and online media, had in attendance Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, founder and president of AMAA, Kingsley James, Chief Operating Officer of AMAA, and Dr. Shaibu Husseni, head of AMAA’s College of Screeners.

According to Anyiam-Osigwe, the decision to unveil the 19th edition of the continental film awards was deliberate and a move to involve every film practitioner in Africa and diaspora.

At the event, which saw the organisers announce a call for entries ahead of the 2023 edition, Anyiam-Osigwe explained that the early call for entry is to enable more film practitioners across Africa and the diaspora to submit and participate in the ceremony.

“This is an avenue to officially rest the 18th edition of the AMAAs under the supervision of the Africa Film Academy and begin the journey to 2023. We are currently calling for entries in all categories and this will last till March 2023.

“We are now accepting submissions for the 19th Africa Movie Academy Awards. The Africa Film Academy invites filmmakers to submit their feature, short, animation, and documentary work for consideration in nearly 30 film categories of the awards,” she hinted.

Anyiam-Osigwe further reiterated that AMAAs is not a popularity contest form of the award ceremony, but a professional contest that rewards professionalism across Africa.

“One of the aims for creating AMAAs is to provide and create a networking platform and avenue for African filmmakers and practitioners to interact while getting rewarded for their creativity, uniqueness, authenticity and professionalism. We are not a popularity contest; we are a professional contest that rewards professionalism, hence, why AMAAs has two faces to it, which is the critical look and judgment of professionalism and the glamorous part. I continue to hold dear the critical arm working behind the scene while our COO; James handles the glamorous part, which is the look and feel of the awards ceremony,” she said. 

On his part, the show producer, Kingsley James disclosed that the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will return as the host for the 19th edition of the AMAAs, while other activities that include human capacity building by the AFA, jury’s session, nomination unveil, and one week-long festivities that will herald the 2023 edition will be unchanged.

“For us, our announcement of the lined-up activities for AMAA 2023 is a deliberate action from our end. We will be having two or three activities every month till the end of the year and these will include human capacity building under AFA, screenings of films and the awards ceremony.

“We would be screening the five biggest films in AMAAs 2022 to the media so they can also understand why these films were nominated and won big. We will be having a monthly dialogue with practitioners and creatives. As I have noted, the awards ceremony will hold in Lagos under the supervision of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. We would also be having another round of Film in a Box, while the nomination unveils will come up in August 2023.”

For the AMAA proper, “we will be having a 7-days complete creative week that will encompass music, film, fashion and arts. So I can tell you it’s a tightly packed year for us at AMAA and we can’t do it all alone without the support of the media,” James said.

Dr Husseini, who spoke on behalf of AMAA’s Jury, and College of screeners, said, “We look forward to getting great films from African film practitioners. We look forward to featuring films, animations, documentaries and more. I would like to reiterate that the country of film is different from the origin of film. We don’t encourage films that don’t have Africans or filmmakers of African descent. Films can be uploaded on film freeway.”

Speaking further, Dr Husseini noted that the team plans to increase the number of college screeners as well as the jurors, adding, “We would be enlarging the scope of our college of screeners from 12 to more this year. These are the people that will screen films for the jury while the president of the jury is responsible for films that get nominated. We don’t do part two during screening of films or judging films at AMAA. We are professional and take our roles very professionally.”

Calling the attention of filmmakers to some of the issues of concern, Husseini, said: “I found out that once we call for entry, some filmmakers didn’t take time to read the rules before submitting their entry. If you want to submit a film for 2023, the movie would have been made in 2022; any film with a 2021 copyright is not qualified. We have had issues where some people changed the copyright date so they could submit their work.

“I found out that some of our filmmakers, particularly Nigerian filmmakers, send films that are still in the works for the competition. They should know that it’s a competition and not like we are looking out for popular faces in the film and how much it has made at the box office. Some filmmakers just send films without previewing them. So, filmmakers must be very deliberate about entering the award. Again, we don’t accept films that have commercials in them. A filmmaker can’t submit a film and put a trailer along with the film; a filmmaker must meet the submission deadline.”

He added, “The Country of submission is different from the country of origin of the film. For instance, we found out that a particular film was submitted from the US but produced by an Italian; we won’t award such a film,” he concluded.

The unveiling event is coming after a successful 18th edition that was held at the Jewel Aeida Hall, Lekki, Lagos, on Sunday, October 30. Anchored by Funnybone, Chigul, and Kachi Offia, the ceremony, which had Nigerian filmmakers and films winning several awards, also featured scintillating performances from music stars such as King Sunny Ade, P-Square, Young Jon Zadok, Yinka Davies, and Candy Bleakz.

Addressing the well-attended event, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, urged African filmmakers to embrace more collaborations to enhance the growth of the African film industry. She stressed the need for film practitioners in Africa to unite and chart a pathway for African leaders in supporting the creative sector.

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