AMAA Holds in Kigali, Rwanda

Founder AMAA, Peace Anyiam Osigwe

Mary Nnah

For the second time in 14 years, the Africa Movie Academy Awards, popularly known as AMAA, will be holding outside the shores of Nigeria.

This is so because the government of Rwanda in line with its pan-African and Africa integration agenda, will through the Rwanda Convention Bureau and Rwanda Tourism Bureau host the 2018 edition of AMAA in Kigali by next weekend.

Billed to hold on October 20 at Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre, Kigali, Rwanda this year, the awards are presented annually to recognise excellence among professionals working in, or non-African professionals who have contributed to, the African film industry.

Founded by Peace Anyiam-Osigwe in 2005 and running through the Africa Film Academy, the awards are aimed at honouring and promoting excellence in the African movie industry as well as uniting the African continent through arts and culture.

The awards are widely considered to be Africa’s most important film event and the most prestigious film award in Africa. The awards also serve as part of AMAA’s activities to expand the frontiers of unity and integration in Africa.

AMAA according to the founder, Ms. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, remains the biggest and most credible jury-based reward system for filmmakers and professionals in the motion picture industry from Africa and Africans in Diaspora.

She said: “It remains a fact that AMAA is the longest running Pan-African awards in the whole of Africa. Since 2005 we have worked to keep and protect the integrity of the awards. This is why we can partner Rwanda, a country where excellence and professionalism drive business and governance.

“People keep asking why Kigali? This is because it allows more people to attend because there aren’t the bottlenecks of visas. The interesting thing about AMAA this year is that visitors especially Africans will not struggle to have visa as all visas will be processed on arrival.

“We want to thank President Paul Kagame and other African leaders that are making people’s movement within our continent very easy, while we call on other African countries to have visa on arrival policy if we can’t remove visa completely.

“Our people will prosper and there will be shared prosperity when we can travel and do business and even for holidays easily within Africa.”

Speaking on AMAA’s journey so far, Anyiam-Osigwe said, “AMAA is 14years old and it has been a long hard road keeping the brand going. I feel a lot of things changed within the industry when AMAA came along especially in quality control.

“A lot of people always say that AMAA is very choosy about what we pick in our nominations and our reason for that is very simply. Film has one language, so the quality of a product should be able to travel to anybody to understand what you are saying. You can’t just make a film because of the Nigerian audience, there is a world audience.

“For me, it is important that the language of film is such that anybody can relate to and I think that is one of the reasons that the AMAA jury system is such that I have tried as much as possible to leave where it is.

“I am totally not involved in the screening process which has had Mr. Shuaibu Hussain as the chairman of the screening committee in the last 10 years, insist that that every film that comes into AMAA must be watched from beginning to the end. We do not compromise on this.

“A film might have its issues and maybe an actor is very good in it but you only will find that out when you watch a film from beginning till the end.

“This is one of the major achievements of AMAA, in trying to encapsulate what a quality product is in the continent and from the Diaspora in terms of quality control and in a lot of ways that is what we are seeing in terms of the interest in African cinema from across the world. So that is what AMAA has done in one way,”