As the African Film Academy Awards prepares for the 2017 edition, founder, Peace Anyiam Osigwe, has said that its pillar of strength is the uncompromising character of its judges.
Anyiam-Osigwe says the judges have never toyed with the criteria for picking the winning films in the 13 years of AMAA’s existence.
She stresses that the award remains jury-based because it values the decisions of the experts in charge.
According to her, despite the fact that she is the founder and chief manager of the awards, she has never tampered with the jury’s decision.
“I don’t get to know the judges’ decision until the award night when they hand over the results to me in the course of the grand finale,” she says.
She notes in an interview that AMAA once lost a sponsor that did not understand the essence of such a principle of integrity.
Anyiam-Osigwe says AMAA is ready for the forthcoming edition. While commending the Lagos State Government for hosting the award, however, she is yearning for more corporate collaboration.
According to her, AMAA ought to have earned consistent and fundamental support, based on its contribution to the development of the film industry and the leverage it has given to filmmakers on the continent and beyond.
She says, “Apart from rewarding movie stars in Africa, AMAA has trained over 5,000 youths in film-making.
Besides, Toronto Film Festival did not just happen; we invested by ensuring that jury members of these international film festivals are part of AMAA. It’s important we begin to make that evaluation between what is a sustainable event and an event that survives on its own.
“I can’t understand why we can’t have major sponsors. I just feel that AMAA does not always need to look to the government; that’s one of the things I like to achieve. It’s about sustainability; AMAA should run without a Peace being around.”
As usual, several Nollywood stars are on the nomination list for the award this year, as revealed at the nomination event held in Kigali, Rwanda.
Of the total of 136, Nigerian movies got 43 nominations in the general competitive categories, with 93 Days getting the highest nominations.
The President of the Jury, Bernie Goldblatt, announced the nominees at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali.
Other members of the jury are film-makers/critics that include Nigeria’s Shaibu Husseini, Keith Shiri, June Givanni, Berni Goldblat and Ayoku Babu.