Monday, March 28, 2011

DR Congo's Viva Riva and Ghana's Sinking Sands win big at Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA)

It's an open secret that I pay more attention to African movies that are gunning for awards and film festivals. I did watch Blackberry Babes 1 & 2 recently because I was in an email conversation about the movie and decided to pique my interest. Blackberry Babes probably can't hold a candle to the movies I will be talking about in this blog post. However, if you know about the Blackberry craze sweeping Sub-Saharan Africa, then you should watch it. It's there on Youtube. But this post is really about the 2011 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), fast becoming Africa's Oscars as FESPACO goes through some soul searching.

Viva Riva, a film from the Democratic Republic of Congo (yes, they make films there too and they ain't always about rape) was the big winner at the Africa Movie Academy Awards held last weekend in Bayelsa State. It was directed by Djo Tunda Wa Munga. Set in Congo (DRC) and Angola, it tells the story of Riva (played by Patsha Bay) who has ruthless criminals pursuing him in Kinshasa because he has stolen from then. This film brings a new cinematic verve as it illuminates the contradictions, pain, loss, heroism, and hopes of 21st Century Africa. It won 6 awards - Best Supporting Actress (Marlene Longage), Best Supporting Actor (Hoji Fortuna), Best Director, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, & Best Film.

My friend Leila Djansi was not left out. Sinking Sands picked up awards for Best Actress for her role in the movie. This was a first major acting role. What a way to join the movie industry! Sinking Sands is a movie about a marriage gone sour and touches on domestic abuse. The South African movie, Hopeville, which features my future wife, Terry Pheto, also won. Her cast mate, Themba Ndaba, won Best Actor. Hopeville tells the story of Amos, who ends up restoring the swimming pool in the dusty town of Hopeville, inspiring others to take action and to do what they know is right.

Full list of nominees

FULL LIST OF THE AMAA 2011 WINNERS - Info from GhanaCelebrities
Best Short Film:
Dina – Mickey Fonseca (Mozambique)

Best Short Documentary: After The Mine – Diendo Hamadi & Dinta Wa Lusula (DRC)

Best Documentary: Kondi Et Le Jeudi Nationale – Ariana Astrid Atodji (Cameroun)

Best Diaspora Feature: Suicide Dolls – Keith Shaw (USA)

Best Diaspora Documentary: Stubborn As A Mule – Miller Bargeron Jr & Arcelous Deiels (USA)

Best Diaspora Short Film: Precipice – Julius Amedume (UK)

Best Film For African Abroad: In America: The Story Of The Soul Sisters- Rahman Oladigbolu (Nigeria/USA)

Best Achievement In Sound: Shirley Adams (South Africa)

Best Achievement In Editing: Soul Boy (Kenya)

Best Production Design: Viva Riva (Congo)

Best Achievement In Makeup: Sinking Sands (Ghana)

Best Costume Design: Aramotu (Nigeria)

Best Nigeria Film: Aramotu by Niji Akanni

Best Child Actor: Sobahle Mkhabase (Thembi), Tschepang Mohlomi (Chili-Bite) And Sibonelo Malinga (Khwezi) – Izulu Lami (South Africa)

Best Soundtrack: Inale (Nigeria)

Best Actor In Supporting Role: Hoji Fortuna from Viva Riva (Congo)

Best Actress In Supporting Role: Marlene Longage- Viva Riva (Congo)

Best Visual Effects: A Small Town Called Descent (South Africa)

Best Young Actor: Edward Kagutuzi – Mirror Boy

Best Actress In Leading Role: Ama K. Abebrese In Sinking Sands (Ghana)

Best Actor In Leading Role: Themba Ndaba – Hopeville (South Africa)

Best Cinematography: Viva Riva (Congo)

Best Screenplay: Sinking Sands (Ghana)

Best Film In African Language: Izulu Lami – Madoda Ncayiyana (South Africa)

Jury Special Award: Shirley Adams (South Africa)

Best Director: Viva Riva – Djo Tunda Wa Munga (Congo)

Best Film: Viva Riva – Djo Tunda Wa Munga (Congo)

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