Hollywood stars come to Lagos for AMAA 2012

Organisers of the annual Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) have unveiled a set of stimulating plans to make this year's event. One of such is the announcement that popular Hollywood stars like Morris Chestnut, Lynn Whitfield, Maya Gilbert and Rockmond Dumbar will be in the country as special guests as the awards ceremony hold later this month.

As announced at a world press conference held on Wednesday, April 11 in Ikeja, Lagos, there will be plenty of music from the likes of Nigerian mega star, 2face Idibia; Vivian, an exciting music star from Senegal as well as Nigeria's internationally-recognised star, Bukola Elemide popularly known as Asa.

Among changes in the award announced earlier, the award will hold in Lagos for the first time in its eight year's journey. According to Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, founder and CEO of AMAA, widely regarded as Africa's best movie awards event, the choice of Lagos is due to consideration of logistics. The prestigious award had, since its inception in 2005, been hosted and sponsored by Bayelsa State.

"We are happy to have Lagos State Government and Airtel on board and other sponsors like Arik Air, Lufthansa, Bayelsa State Government who are still behind us. It is a big year for AMAA as we turn 8 and there will be lots of films from several countries in the world and other areas of excellence for which AMAA is known, Peace said. Wangi Mba Uzoukwu, head of Brands and Communication of Airtel who represented the telecom company's CEO, said "We are delighted to partner with AMAA as it is a platform for us to contribute to the growth of the African movie industry.

The coming together of the two brands is significant in many ways and goes to show the interest of Airtel as a brand that connects with its customers." Shuiabu Husseini, head of screening at AMAA, said the nominations were arrived at after a very rigorous and painstaking process, adding that the same will be employed in deciding the eventual winners as members of the jury will be on ground from April 15. Speaking further on moving the award to Lagos, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe said the enlarged space and increased security that Lagos provides makes it a better location. She said there is pressure on them to move the award out of Nigeria so that other people can feel it, noting that out of about 180 nominees, only 48 are Nigerians while others are either from other African countries or the Diaspora.

This, she said, is the reason the nominees party is moved around each year to enable others know it is an African affair. The awards ceremony proper holds on Sunday, April 22 at the Eko Hotel and Suites with Haiti-born Hollywood star, Jimmy Jean- Louis as host to be assisted by O.C Ukeje.

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