Press Release
AMAA 2009: wake-up jolt for Nollywood

AMAA 2009: wake-up jolt for Nollywood

The hour of reckoning has finally come for all the players in Nollywood, the movie industry here in Nigeria, as they were drowned in the ocean of competition in this year’s edition of the African Movie Academy Awards held last weekend at the Integrated Glory Land Cultural Centre in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.

The industry that prides itself as the third largest in the world was left to pick up the remnant awards at the event whilst their counterparts from the so-called lesser african countries took the centre stage.

The Kenyans were the leading winners on the night as they carted home the most awards for the movie titled, ‘From a Whisper’. The movie won in the best director, screenplay, picture, original soundtrack and AMAA achievement in editing categories beating a host of Nigerian nominees in the process.

Hear this…the Kenyan movie commemorates the 10th anniversary of the infamous August 7, 1998 terrorist bombing in Kenya in which over 250 people died and 5,000 were injured…when will Nigerian scriptwriters start thinking?

Also, ‘Gugu Andile’, a South African movie won the best performance actor in a leading role award, Egyptian movie, ‘Seventh Heaven’ won the best performance actor in a supporting role while the Ugandan’s only entry, ‘Battle of the Soul’ won the AMAA achievement in visual effect award.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t all black-out for the Nigerians as Funke Akindele went on to win the Best Female Actress in a leading role award…that’s yet another reward for her effort in the chart busting ‘Jenifa’ movie, she was also named the best female actress in this year’s edition of the City People Awards.

The Nigerian movie, Smoke and Mirrors (an experimental CGI movie), was nominated for the AMAA Achievement in Visual Effect. The award went to a Ugandan movie, Battle of the Soul. Smoke and Mirrors, by the way, was not a bad attempt at taking Nollywood to the next level. Quite commendable.

Izu Ojukwu won the best cinematography award for the movie, ‘Cindy’ while one of Nigeria’s finest movie directors, Tunde Kelani won the AMAA achievement in costume and non-continental best for Nigeria Scenes.

This feat achieved by other african countries could be said to be a welcome development…if for nothing else, Nigerian movie makers will stop having that inglorious feeling of being invincible and put more efforts into their work.

It is easier to get to the top than to stay at the stop, they say. The problem is that, we hadn’t even gotten to the top and we went haywire…God help us.