Vaya, a film directed by Akin Omotoso, a Nigerian living in South Africa and a South African production has been nominated in ten categories for the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) 2017.
At a press conference addressed by the Academy Jurors on Sunday May 14th, 2017 at the Raddison Blu Hotel & Conference Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, the President of the Jury, Mr. Berni Goldblat, a Swiss citizen named Vaya, Queen of Katwe from Uganda, 93 and 76 both from Nigeria among films with higher number of nominations.
This year, a total of thirty categories are up for grabs by Africa’s leading actors and film makers from the continent and the Diaspora.
The Jury announced a new AMAA Best Comedy category and three special Jury prizes this year following the quality of films that were submitted for the awards according to Mr. Goldblat.
"Every year the competition gets stiffer and this year in particular we have great films for consideration. The quality of production in Africa continues to improve and national governments are investing to support the growth of the motion picture industry. This is a major achievement for AMAA in its 13 years history. The government of Senegal recently announced $3million US dollars fund to support film makers in Senegal. Because of the level of standards AMAA has established as a Jury based awards, filmmakers in Africa are very conscious of attention they put into their works and this has impacted on production value compared to 13 years ago when AMAA started," he said
After Vaya, ’76, a periodic Nigerian film got the most nominations with eight while Ugandan movie about local chess champions, Queen of Katwe which stars Lupita Nyong’o, was also nominated in eight categories.
93 Days, a movie about the 2014 Ebola crisis in Nigeria, earned seven nominations and other Nigerian productions such as Oloibiri and Slow Country got seven and four nominations respectively.
Shaibu Hussieni, a member of the Jury and Chairman of College of Screeners briefed the journalists in Kigali about the process that led to the selection of the nominees from the pre-college screening stage by AMAA film selectors to when the College of Screeners decided on the best among the 438 films that were submitted for the AMAA Jurors’ consideration.
"The College of Screeners which had 6 University lecturers, four of them hold Phd degree in film and communication studies and one was a full Professor and other professionals and critics in the industry decided the films that the Academy Jurors considered for the nomination. After the announcement of the nominees into the various categories the Jurors will meet again to decide on the final winners that will be announced on the awards' grand celebration night in Lagos.
“We are also proud of the quality and diversity of the Academy Jurors and the members are renowned and globally respected film makers, festival programmers, curators and academics. The Jury after this nomination process will again do justice to determine the winners."
The new date for the awards ceremony in Lagos has been fixed for July 15th, 2017 and it is officially hosted by Lagos State Government.