AMAA 2023: Big win for Nigeria on the nomination list
The Jurors of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) for the 19th edition have unveiled nominees for the awards scheduled for October 29 in Lagos. There is a category on the nomination slate that is reserved for the best film from Nigeria. It is the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) AMAA 2023 Award for best Nigerian film and films that are nominated for this category are selected from the entire feature films from Nigeria and by Nigeria born producers and filmmakers entered for the AMAA’s. Here is a spotlight on the films that made the cut:
Mami Wata By C.J Obasi
MAMI Wata, the 2023 Nigerian black-and-white fantasy film written and directed by C.J ‘Fiery’ Obasi topped the AMAA nomination slate. The film based on West African folklore and starring Kelechi Udegbe, Rita Edochie, Emeka Amakeze and Evelyne Juhen scooped 12 nominations, making it the film with the highest nomination from Nigeria. Mami Wata which premiered at the 2023 edition of the prestigious Sundance International Film Festival was nominated in the film in an African language, achievement in costume design, best director, best film, achievement in make-up, achievement in visual effect, achievement in sound, achievement in cinematography, achievement in editing, best screenplay, best actress in a supporting role, and best Nigerian film.
Shot on location in Benin Republic, Obasi first came up with and began developing Mami Wata in 2016. Working with production companies including Obasi’s Fiery Film Company, Guguru Studios, Palmwine Media, Swiss Fund Visions Sud Est, and Ifind Pictures of France, principal photography wrapped in January 2021 and at the Sundance Film Festival, cinematographer Lílis Soares won the Special Jury Prize in the World Dramatic Competition for the film’s cinematography. It also picked up three awards at FESPACO, considered the biggest film festival in the continent of Africa. It has been touring since the Sundance premiere and it has been acquired by Dekanalog for North American distribution.
Anikulapo By Kunle Afolayan
ANOTHER nomination slate topper is Anikulapo, the epic-fantasy by Kunle Afolayan. The film produced by Kunle Afolayan and distributed by Netflix scooped eight nominations including best director, best Nigerian film, best film, best actress in a leading role, film in an African language and achievement in production design. Starring Kunle Remi, Bimbo Ademoye, Sola Sobowale and Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Anikulapo tells the story of Saro, a man seeking greener pasture, but unfurling events and his affair with the King’s wife set him on a path he didn’t envisage. Produced and shot by Jonathan Kovel at the recently launched KAP resort in a village in Oyo State, Anikulapo was produced and shot on a 40 acres (16 ha) with all infrastructure and buildings all built from scratch to suit the production while also intending to make it a film village. The production also featured the filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan’s daughter, Eyiyemi Afolayan, this has been described by Business Day Newspaper as Afolayan “cementing family’s legacy” since their dynasty has been known to be in the film industry from their first generation.
4.4-44 By Izu Ojukwu
THE movie by award winning director Izu Ojukwu titled 4.4-44 or Four Four Forty Four scooped eight nominations in all. The movie an epic love story of a young couple struggling to deal with mental health was nominated in the categories of costume design, sound track, screenplay, best Nigerian film, best actor in a lead role, best actress in a leading role, best director and best film. Based on true events, the story of love, strength and determination stars two-time AMAA winner for best actor Richard Mofe Damijo, Seun Akindele and Chinwetalu Agu.
Gangs Of Lagos By Jade Osiberu
GANGS of Lagos, the gangstar crime thriller by Jade Osiberu was nominated in the best Nigerian film category. The movie about a group of friends whose lives have revolved around crime and violence since their childhood in the Isale Eko area of Lagos, Nigeria was nominated in the actress in a leading role category, achievement in visual effect and achievement in make up. Starring Tobi Bakre, Adesua Etomi, Iyabo Ojo, Demi Banwo, Chioma Akpotha, Damilola Ogunsi, Tayo Faniran, Zlatan Ibile, Bimbo Ademoye, Toyin Abraham, Yvonne Jegede, Yinka Quadri, Chike, Pasuma and a host of others, the film premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 7, 2023, as the first Amazon Original Movie from Africa.
The Other Movie In This Category: The Trade, L.I.F.E and Brotherhood
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