Still basking in his success at the recently held AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards with three awards, Obi Emelonye has recorded another feat as his 2012 film, “Last Flight To Abuja”, bagged the highest number of nominations for this year’s Africa Movies Academy Awards.
At the AMAA nomination gala held last night at Bingu Conference Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi, Emelonye’s new box office hit scored nominations in five different categories of the award taking place in Nigeria in April. It was nominated for AMAA Prize For Best Film By An African Abroad, AMAA Prize For Achievement In Visual Effects, AMAA Prize For Achievement In Sound, AMAA Prize For Achievement In Editing and AMAA Prize For Best Film.
“Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. These nominations from ‘Africa Oscars’ come as a vindication of all the hard work of my team and I. It is also a clear lesson for anyone in any sphere of life that hard work, dedication, doggedness and prayers give the best chance of success,” wrote Emelonye on his Facebook this afternoon as acknowledgement of the nominations.
His “Last Flight To Abuja” which starred Omotola Jalade-Ekehinde and Hollywood star, Hakeem kae-Kazim, was trailed by another Nigerian movie, “The Meeting”, a debut production of star actress, Rita Dominic. It got nominations in three categories of Prize For Achievement in Costume Design, Prize For Achievemnet In Make Up and Prize For Best Nigerian Film.
The film also earned another three individual nominations for Dominic (Prize For Best Actress In A Leading Role), Linda Ejiofor (Prize For Best Actress In A Supporting Role) and Femi Jacobs (Prize For Best Actor In A Leading Role).
The nomination gala, attended by Malawi President Joyce Banda, took place in the country for the first time and AMAA organisers said the gala was held in the country to put her in the spotlight as far as movie-making is concerned.
“We have learnt from Hollywood and Nollywood the potential that the film industry has in creating employment particularly for the youth. I am told the Nollywood is the second highest employer from government…it is for this very fact that my government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, is working hard to promote the arts and culture industry…and faciltating many more arts and culture festivals including films,” said Madam Banda during the gala also attended by her husband, her Vice President and all the cabinet member.
Nigeria’s OC Ukeje, who emerged the Best Actor on the continent during last Saturday’s AMVCA, has also been nominated for AMAA 2013 Prize For Best Actor In A Leading Role for his role in the movie, “Alan Poza”.
Ukeje was pitched against late Justus Esiri also nominated for his role in the movie, “Assassins Practice”; Jacobs (The Meeting), Bimbo Manuel (Heroes & Zeroes), Lindani Nkosi (Zama Zama) and Amurin Wumnembom (Ninah’s Dowry).
Fast-rising actress Belinda Effah’s stellar performance in the language film “Kokomma” has earned her the nomination for the Prize For Best Promising Actor. She will compete for honour with fellow compatriot Karounwi Olakunle (The Twin Sword), Sumela Macaluva (Virgin Magarida), Joseph Wairimu (Nairobi Half Life) and Shonelo Mbutho (Ulanga The Mark).
“I feel good tanananananananana… Mehn.. my dream is falling into place,” elated Effah told PMNEWS this morning.
“Kokomma” also bags nomination in the Best Film In An African Language category.
Awards will be given in 26 categories except Prize For Best Diaspora (Short Film) which AMAA jury feel entries weren’t representative of the genre.
But in all, AMAA organisers said that this year they received close to 600 entries up from over 300 last year where South Africa’s Otelo Burning triumphed as the Best Film.