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Akin Omotoso’s ‘Vaya’, ‘Queen of Katwe’, 93 top AMAA 2017 nominations

VAYA, a film direct-ed by Akin Omotoso, a Nigerian living in South Africa and a South African production has been nominated in ten categories for the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) 2017.

At a press conference addressed by the Academy Jurors last Sunday at the Raddison Blu Hotel and Conference Centre in Kig ali, Rwanda, the President of the Jury, Mr. Berni Goldblat, a Swiss citizen named Vaya, Queen of Katwe from Uganda, 93 and 76 both from Nigeria among films with higher number of nominations.

This year, a total of thirty categories are up for grabs by Africa’s leading actors and film makers from the continent and the Diaspora. The Jury announced a new AMAA Best Comedy category and three special Jury prizes this year following the quality of films that were submitted for the awards according to Mr. Goldblat.

“Every year the competition gets stiffer and this year in particular we have great films for consideration.

The quality of production in Africa continues to improve and national governments are investing to support the growth of the motion picture industry. This is a major achievement for AMAA in its 13 years history.

The government of Senegal recently announced $3million fund to support film makers. However, because of the level of standards AMAA has established as a jury based awards, filmmakers in Africa are very conscious of attention they put into their works and this has impacted on production value compared to 13 years ago when AMAA started,” he said.

After Vaya, ’76, a periodic Nigerian film got the most nominations with eight while Ugandan movie about local chess champions, Queen of Katwe which stars Lupita Nyong’o, was also nominated in eight categories. 93 Days, a movie about the 2014 Ebola crisis in Nigeria, earned seven nominations and other Nigerian productions such as Oloibiri and Slow Country got seven and four nominations respectively.

Shaibu Hussieni, a member of the jury and chairman of College of Screeners briefed the journalists in Kigali about the process that led to the selection of the nominees from the pre-college screening stage by AMAA film selectors to when the College of Screeners decided on the best among the 438 films that were submitted for the AMAA Jurors’ consideration.


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