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African Movie Academy Awards Holds Nominations Dinner
by Lea Michelle Cash/Celebrity Showcase/published in print on 7/16/2015
In 2009, when I traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, there was one fact visually noticeable in Africa. On billboards on the streets and city buses, the love for American black entertainment was present. On the continent of Africa from coast to coast, the development of black entertainment has sky rocketed particularly in the area of filmmaking.
Established in 2005, the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), an offshoot of the African Film Academy, aimed to facilitate the development and relevance of African film and cinema by providing a rewards and recognition platform for filmmakers on the continent and the diaspora. The objectives are to unite Africa through film, develop young filmmakers, and create distribution channels. Today, AMAA has blossomed into the largest celebration and gathering of the brightest and the best moviemakers across the African continent. This year, according to AMAA founder Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, a grand total of 842 filmmakers submitted their work to the Academy for consideration. From this total, 452 films were considered for board review and screening.Recently at the Home of Music and Entertainment (H.O.M.E) in Beverly Hills the final selection of 145 nominees were revealed at an invitation only nomination dinner. In the 28 different categories from Best Picture of the Year, to Best Documentary Short, to Best Feature Animation Film, and Best Child Actor, all the films selected have the potential to serve as a shared collective experience, in reminding moviegoers that Africa is a vibrant continent filled with color, talent, energy, entertainment, social awareness and countless possibilities.
Rolanda Watts, actress and radio talk show host, was the mistress of ceremonies. Some of the brightest stars in the African entertainment world mingled with U.S. celebrities Academy Award winner Lou Gossett Jr., Sheryl Lee Ralph, Ja’Net Dubois, Lynn Whitfield and Jimmy Jean Louis. Grammy Award winner Chrisette Michele delivered a powerful musical performance featuring several of her hits at the nomination dinner. Nigerian stars Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (Ije) and Patience Ozokwor (Mama G) and South Africa’s Terry Pheto and Ghanaian Lydia Forson attended the special event as well. The AMAAs are scheduled to broadcast in September in Johannesburg, South Africa and will be shared with the social networking platform Facebook. A commercial and cultural partnership has been formed with Facebook’s global platform, and the two will work together to drive digital impact in film and entertainment as Facebook prepares to launch its presence in Africa. With 120 million Facebook users in Africa, the Facebook partnership offers the opportunity to further amplify the reach and impact of AMAA and African film by also offering African talent and fEstablished in 2005, the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), an offshoot of the African Film Academy, aimed to facilitate the development and relevance of African film and cinema by providing a rewards and recognition platform for filmmakers on the continent and the diaspora. The objectives are to unite Africa through film, develop young filmmakers, and create distribution channels.