The 8th edition of Africa’s biggest movie award; AMA Awards (Africa Movie Academy Award) is few days away and we’re doing a countdown!
Get familiar with the nominees..
1. AMAA 2012 BEST SHORT FILM‘
JAMAA – Uganda – Journey to Jamaa is the true and deeply moving account of the difficult and often dangerous journey two orphaned children are forced to make to find their only remaining family. With their mother’s last dying wish to guide them and nowhere else to turn, young Margaret and Derick set out on a journey across Africa that will touch your heart. Produced by World Vision and directed by award winning producer Michael Landon Jr., Journey to Jamaa is a poignant and inspiring story where tragedy and hardship ultimately lead to the discovery of hope, family… and the very heart of God.
Look Again – Kenya – ” Look Again ” has been nominated for an African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) in the best short film category. ” Look Again ” was written by Carole Keingati and it enabled her to be accepted in the 2010 Film Africa! screen writing workshop which is run by Director Tom Tykwer of One Fine Day films. Film Africa! is run by Tom in conjunction with Ginger Ink in Nairobi, Kenya. This short film starring Simone Cook as Anna, a woman dealing with great tragedy, loss, and the struggle to put the pieces back together again.
Maffe Tiga – Guinea – “Maffé Tiga” (Peanut butter stew) is a romantic dramedy about a young African woman who finds that love is the true connection between her heritage and her future. After struggling to make ends meet and relationship trouble, an unexpected letter from her grandmother reveals that generations of women in her family have faced similar challenges. Rather than giving up they pass down a secret that draws them closer to each other and to their dreams. Oumou must decide if she will draw on the wisdom of her family or try to figure life out on her own.
FYI: “Maffé Tiga” (Peanut Butter stew) is a popular west African dish served with rice. Many people believe this dish is very powerful…
Braids On Bald Head – Nigeria – “Braids on a Bald Head” is a short film about a Hausa hairdresser who during the course of her day is able to ask for better in her stagnant marriage after having an experience that questions her sexuality. Produced by Oliver Aleogena and shot by Clarence Peters, it is a film shot in Kaduna, Nigeria with a wholly Nigerian cast and crew.
Hidden Life – South Africa
Mwansa The Great – Zimbabwe – A young boy who has the ability to transform himself into Mwansa The Great – the name his dead father used to call him – has amazing abilities, including flying, driving and fighting. But with all this power, he inadvertently breaks his sister’s doll. Resolving to obtain the ‘magic mud’ out of which the doll was made, he sets out on the quest.
This energetic exploration and remembrance of childhood is navigated masterfully through the imagination of children. Humorous, adventurous and filled with the naiveté of a child’s life, the film is not without an underlying melancholy at the reality of loss. In this way it is told as much through the children’s eyes as observing them from our nostalgic adulthood, realising the passing of time.
A truly unique short film, distinctly African in every way, but a human tale to which we can all relate.
Chumo – Tanzania – Juma is a poor fisherman who loves telling tales. Amina is the girl who loves to hear his stories. They long to be together, but Amina’s father, Ali, wants a better life for her. Ali finds this in yustus, a rich but self-serving young suitor. Juma must put everything on the line to save their love, but he must sacrifice more than he bargained for in order to succeed.
2. AMAA 2012 BEST DOCUMENTARY
African Election – Nigeria / Germany
Beyond The Deadly Pit – Rwanda – In 1994, Gilbert Ndahayo hid to survive Rwanda’s days of genocide only to return to his childhood home to find it destroyed, his parents killed, and their corpses dumped, along with 153 bodies of his neighbors, in a pit in his back garden where he played as a boy.
13 years later, Ndahayo focuses his camera and his compassion on his home in ruin, behind a convent where his neighbors had sought sanctuary. He records the quiet beauty of survivors, the haunting accounts of the nuns who witnessed the horrors, and a rare confession by one of the men who murdered his parents.
Shot in the style of cinema vérité, Rwanda: Beyond The Deadly Pit was filmed over the course of three years and devastatingly contemplates the young filmmaker’s drama and his native country’s quest for forgiving and unforgiving the mass murderers.
Awa Ogbe An African Adventure – Algeria
Dear Mandella – South Africa – When Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa, his government was faced with a seemingly insurmountable task: providing a better life for those who had suffered under apartheid. The cornerstone of Mandela’s ‘unbreakable promise’ was an ambitious plan to ensure housing for all. Sixteen years later, as the number of families living in slums has doubled, a frightening tale of betrayal is unfolding.
The government is trying to ‘eradicate the slums’ by evicting shack dwellers from their homes at gunpoint, in scenes eerily reminiscent of apartheid-era forced removals. Determined to stop the bulldozers that are destroying homes and communities, a new social movement made up of the nation’s poorest is challenging the evictions on the streets and in the courts. DEAR MANDELA is the remarkable story of Abahlali BaseMjondolo – Zulu for ‘people of the shacks’. It is considered the largest movement of the poor to emerge in post-apartheid South Africa.
DEAR MANDELA brings us into the everyday lives of three dynamic leaders of the movement. Determined to stop the evictions, Mazwi, Zama and Mnikelo met with their communities by candlelight to study and debate new housing legislation. The shack dwellers discovered that the innocuous-sounding Slums Act legalized mass evictions and violated the rights enshrined in the country’s landmark Constitution. They challenged the Slums Act all the way to the highest court in the land – the hallowed Constitutional Court.
The extraordinary achievements of the shack dwellers did not come without a price. Their movement’s very existence is threatened by shack demolitions, assassination attempts and lengthy prison detention without trial. When Zama and Mazwi are drawn into a dangerous mob attack, they learn of the contradictions inherent in the difficult decisions leaders must make, and experience how great leadership is often accompanied by great sacrifice.
White & Black, Crime And Colour – Tanzania – White and Black is a 58-minute documentary about albinism, an age-old African taboo.
In the East African region ten times more people have albinism than in North America and Europe.
One person in 2000 has albinism.
In Tanzania and parts of East Africa certain corrupt healers traffic in the body parts of persons with albinism (PWA)
They sell them for magical potions and amulets to anyone who will dare to use them and prey upon deep-seated and long-standing prejudices and superstitions.
Vicky Ntetema former BBC Tanzania Bureau Chief, investigates the murders of PWA sweeping the country. She takes us into the lives of those terrorized by this scourge and we experience through their own eyes their fear and their courage.
The Niger Delta Struggle – Ghana
There Is Nothing Wrong With My Uncle – Nigeria
How Much Is Too Much – Kenya
3. AMAA 2012 BEST DIASPORA FEATURE
Toussanat Louverture – France – Emmanuel profiled this French production a little bit ago, from French network France 2, and director Philippe Niang, titled Toussaint L’Ouverture.
Jimmy Jean-Louis stars as the title character in what will be a 2-part TV-movie, and he’s joined by French actresses Aïssa Maïga (Paris, Je T’Aime, Bamako) as Toussaint’s wife, Suzanne, and Sonia Rolland (Moloch Tropical, Midnight In Paris) as Marie-Eugénie Sonthonax, wife of abolitionist L.F. Sonthonax.
Expected to air on the French network sometime in 2012, no specific date has been given yet, nor whether we can expect the film to travel.
Ghetta Life – Jamaica – GHETT’A LIFE is an “against the odds” action drama set in a politically turbulent inner city community of Kingston. Derrick, a determined inner city teenager realizes his dream of becoming a champion boxer despite a country, community and family conflicted by divisive political system.
Derrick dreams of being Jamaica’s next world light weight boxing champion. He knew from an early age that he had the ability to out box even the bigger boys on his lane but it’s election year and politics divide the country and Derrick’s community. His father, a loyal party supporter, forbids Derrick from going to the boxing gym, as to do so he has to cross party lines.
GHETT’A LIFE is a wholly Jamaican film with all investors, cast and crew being committed to an authentic depiction of what life is and what life can be in the inner city of Kingston. This film with it’s positive message of overcoming adversity and ignorance will inspire audiences at home and abroad.
High Chicago – Canada – Inspired by a true story and set in 1975, HIGH CHICAGO is a gritty drama about Sam, a 42-year-old husband and father of two, in the grip of a serious gambling addiction. Living on the edge of poverty in a northern mining town, Sam has been stoking the same blast furnace for ten years. When Sam loses his job; instead of admitting his failure to his wife Ruth, he chooses instead to chase his dream of traveling to Africa to open a drive-in theater, a scheme hatched years earlier in the navy. Sam is equally desperate to support his family and keep his personal dream alive, almost destroying both with his compulsive gambling. In the vein of Death Of A Salesman, The Bicycle Thief and The Gambler.
Elza – Guadelupe
Better Must Come – Jamaica
Kinyanrwanda – USA
4. AMAA 2012 BEST DIASPORA DOCUMENTARY
The Education Of Auma Obama – Germany- The Education of Auma Obama is a captivating and intimate portrait of U.S. president Barack Obama’s older half-sister, who embodies a post-colonial, feminist identity in her native Kenya. Nigerian-born director Branwen Okpako’s film also documents a generation of politically and socially engaged Africans whose aspirations are informed by their parents’s experiences, and whose ambition to forge a better future for their communities starts from the ground up.
White Wash – USA – White Wash, the documentary, is a film exploring the complexity of race in America through the struggle and triumph of black surfers. The story is narrated by Grammy Award® winner Ben Harper with Tariq “Blackthought” Trotter of the Roots and told through the eyes of black surfers from Hawaii, Jamaica, Florida, and California. This controversial and probing film looks deep into America’s painful and pervasive legacy of slavery and exclusion. From surfing’s “discovery” by Captain James Cook in Hawaii in 1778 through the explosion of surf culture during the days of segregated Jim Crow America in1960’s, this film explores the myths that black surfers have overcome in their search for waves. White Wash is a story of transcendence in the face of aggression and a glimpse into the American psyche. From the shores of California, Hawaii, Mexico, and Puerto Rico to the basketball courts of New York City…
Almendron Mi Corazon – Guadeloupe – Cuba, a magical island and a musical island, is also the world’s largest rolling museum. Everyday, over 60,000 American cars travel the city’s street and country roads. What they all have in common is that they were built before 1959, the year when the Cuban revolution put an end to all imports from the USA. Since then, the only thing that keeps them running is the loving care they receive from their owners. Because in the heart of each Cuban there is an “ALMENDRON.”
All Me The Life And Times Of Winfred Hubert – USA
5. AMAA 2012 BEST DIASPORA (SHORT FILM)
John Doe – USA – John Doe is a film portraying a successful young woman dealing with the dysfunction of her sister. While attending a writing course one evening, the teacher challenges her to look beyond herself to become more aware of her surroundings. In doing so, she encounters a homeless man whom she eventually befriends. Through her new-found friendship, she discovers compassion, love and understanding within herself and towards those around her.
White Sugar In A Black Pot – USA – White Sugar in a Black Pot is a family drama that showcases a diligent mother who is forced to make a tough decision that will affect not only her future but also her family. The film expresses her struggle to come to terms with her reality and emphasizes the love and strength that holds her family together.
The Lost One – USA – In this moving psychological drama, we meet Bill, an old man who wants desperately to reconnect with his estranged son, but horrifying visions and inexplicable nightmares haunt him endlessly. Bill, with the help of his wife, must unravel the mystery behind the nightmare or risk losing his son and forever remain ‘The Lost One’