The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), a platform that is giving a voice to players in the audiovisual media sector by recognising and rewarding exemplary works in African cinema, launched the call for entry for the 7th edition of the annual event on May 27, 2010 at the Marble Arch Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.
At a well attended Press Conference to which individual filmmakers and audiovisual media organisations were invited, AMAA Administrative Secretary Tony Anih announced that the AMAA 2011 Nomination Party would be held in Kenya, the entry point to eastern Africa. He said the event would not just benefit Kenya but the entire eastern Africa region. Anih challenged entrepreneurs in Kenya to use the opportunity to advance the cause of African film and to also reap benefits from it.
“For a long time foreigners have been telling our stories, but this is our time to tell our own stories authentically, from our own perspective. Initiatives like the AMAA are here to give us that chance and it is upon us to embrace them,” Anih said.
“AMAA is an all Africa and not just a Nigerian affair; filmmakers around the continent would do well for themselves if they used this annual awards event that promotes research, training, promotion of African cultures and encouragement of professionalism in the movie industry besides offering professional development and networking opportunities.”
Anih asked film professionals to enter their best works in 2010 for the next AMAA as he declared the call for entry period for the 7th AMAA as May 30-November 30, 2010.
Responding to questions from the floor about AMAA cash prize, Tony Anih said AMAA does not attach any cash to any prize but provides a platform on which a potential partner can use in promoting any film of their use.
“During the first edition in 2005 the Bayelsa State Government ‘not AMAA’ gave cash prize,” Anih said. “Other than that, there is no cash prize attached to the awards. However, the AMAA platform may be used by individuals and corporate bodies in supporting the next project of a director of the best picture award.”
One such partner is the United Bank for Africa (UBA) that works with the director of the Best African Film in realising the latter’s next project. However, Anih stressed that set up on sound business model, it is upon the individual filmmaker to follow up on the matter directly with UBA.
In regard to film distribution, Anih noted that AMAA is in no way involved in the distribution of films though the annual award scheme gives filmmakers the platform to interact and create important links with potential distributors continentally and globally. He said AMAA was however looking into the issue with a view to organising something for distributors around the continent.
Anih announced that the nomination party for the 2011 edition would be held in Nairobi on February 12, 2011 on the theme, “Africa: The New Frontier”. The AMAA Administrative Secretary empahasised that Kenya was chosen to host this event because of her strategic position as the entry point to Eastern Africa. He appealed to film professionals in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and eastern Congo-Kinshasa to use the opportunity to market themselves during the event.
Among those who attended the Press Conference were representatives of the three film associations in Kenya. Kenya Film and Television Professional Association (KFTPA), The 3rd Force Association and the Kenya National Film Association (KNFA). They included KFTPA chairman Bob Nyanja, 3rd Force chairman Mburu Kimani, AMAA 2009 Best Short Film Nominee James Kanja and Kenya’s most prolific screenplay writer and producer Cajetan Boy. The youngest participant was two years old!
Representatives of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Association of Media Women in Kenya, X-Media, Fiyuh Works Media, Capital FM, Nation Media Group, People Daily, The Star, and Netherlands Press Association (GPD) participated in the Press Conference.
Founded in 2005, AMAA, an offshoot of the African Film Academy, has in 2010 inaugurated the short film Competition for African universities to complement the academy awards and the AFA competition for young filmmakers aged 9-18 years to encourage film making among the younger generation.