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The 14th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards took place in Rwanda, making it the second time is has held outside Nigeria.
As expected, it was a day to celebrate African movies with globally accepted thematic appeal and the brains behind the movies.
From the nominations – which is evenly split across Africa – and red carpet was filled with Africans from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Algeria and even Barbados. The award ceremony, which has seen the organisers preaching more of collaborations between Africans, had the presence of talented filmmakers represented from across Africa.
For the second time in a row, Nse Ikpe Etim co-hosted the show but for the 2018 edition of the movie awards ceremony, she was joined by ex-housemate of the Big Brother Africa and Rwandan radio presenter, Arthur Nkusi.
The Rwandan co-host, Arthur proved to be worthy of the task assigned to him by Africa Movie Academy, the board of the movie awards ceremony.
Arthur’s unmatched ability to professionally infuse humour in his banters with a rather not so impressive Nse, is something not only impressive but applaudable. The organizers of the AMAA should look at pairing Arthur with other hosts for another two editions considering his effort at the 14th edition.
The AMAA 2018 held at Intare Conference Arena in Kigali, capital of Rwanda. And it was not only a perfect fit for the event but one of the best venues which had hosted the ceremony.
However, the sitting arrangement revealed that many expected attendees failed to show up for the event and ticket sales didn’t actually get to its expected high.
Though the AMAA 2018 started a little later than scheduled time, the organisation and show flow was indeed made up for it.
The introductory performance of the AMAA 2018 was similar to the AMVCAs. A dazzling display cultural display by an African troupe troupe from Rwanda rightly set the tone for the evening’s proceedings.
Even though President of Rwanda, Paul Kegame, who many had wished showed up, was not around for the event, the country’s minister for tourism was around and even presented an award.
Early into the award ceremony, a South African movie, ‘Winnie,’ had won the AMAA 2018 Award for Best Documentary, hence setting the pace for South Africa as the biggest winner of the night.
In the same move, South African movie ‘Five Fingers For Marseille’ by Michael Matthews became the biggest winner of the night after it won five awards.
The movie won the awards for categories that include Ousmane Sembene AMAA 2018 Award for Best Film in an African Language; AMAA 2018 Award for Achievement in Production Design; AMAA 2018 Award for the Best First Feature Film by a Director; AMAA 2018 Award for Achievement in Cinematography and AMAA 2018 Award for Best Film.
Interestingly, the awards for Best actor in a lead role and Best actress in a lead role were won by Richard Mofe Damijo and Dakore Egbuson but both thespians were absent at the event.
The AMAA 2018 celebrated the best of movies from Africa as well as the talented practitioners in the movie industry. The Best film of the year, ‘Five Fingers For Marseille,’ rightly deserves the reward haven enjoyed great reviews and screening at major film festivals across the world.
This year, the Nigerians brought their A-game. The big winners of the night were Richard Mofe Damijo, Dakore Egbuson, Joke Silva and Gideon Okeke, who finally won his first AMAA. He he took home the Best actor in a supporting role.
One area the organisers of AMAA need to work on ahead of the next edition of the awards ceremony is the behind the scenes. The avoidable hitches that included wrong presentation of categories by presenters and technical faults should get more attention ahead of the next edition as it almost gave the awards ceremony a dent.
The performances were minimal but Paul aka Rudeboy of the former Psquare fame was able to give a not so spectacular best. Although the Rwandans and other Africans at the award ceremony enjoyed the singer’s performances, same wouldn’t have been said if he had performed same way to Lagos or Ghanaian fans.
As the curtain falls on the 14th AMAA in preparation for the 15th edition scheduled for March 2019, we must remember that this is both a celebration of the dynamic movie talent and movies in Africa. It is gradually edging past the pedestal of a continental awards ceremony.