The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), the continent’s most prestigious awards for filmmakers, has received 328 entries from across Africa, up from 220 in 2011. This includes 134 feature films, 88 short films, 57 documentaries and six animations. 43 entries came from Africans in the Diaspora, with the other entries coming from 23 countries across the continent, including Ghana.
The Director Of Programming of The Pan African Film Festival, Asantewa Olantunji, headed the jury, alongside June Giavanni, programmer for Planet Africa At The Toronto International Film Festival; Keith Shiri, Founder and Film Curator at the London festival, Africa at The Pictures; Dorothee Wenner, a curator at The Berlin Film Festival; Shaibu Husseini, an actor, dancer and the Nigerian Guardian arts journalist; Steve Ayorinde, editor-in-chief of The Daily Mirror; Ayoko Babu, Executive Director of The Pan African Film Festival; Dr. Hyginus Ekwuazi, a film scholar and critic; and directors Berni Goldblat and John Akomfrah, OBE.
Husseini, Chair of AMAA’s College of Screeners, said: "The growing awareness of AMAA, the integrity of its screening process, the global recognition that comes with winning and the opportunities afforded winners has given way to an increase in entries. Among other benefits, winning at The AMAAs enhances the reputation and visibility of any filmmaker in Africa and helps their marketing and financial drives."
The nominees will be announced on Saturday, March 17, 2012 in Banjul, Gambia, at an exclusive ceremony to be attended by celebrities, government officials and captains of industry from Gambia and other African countries.
According to the head of AMAA’s Business Development Unit, Naomi Lucas, "One of AMAA’s key objectives is to unite Africa through film, so the choice of Gambia affirms AMAA’s positioning as a pan-African event. It also offers guests an exotic experience to explore the beauty and splendour of a West African country that has become one of the most important tourist destinations in the world."