South African Charlie Vundla scooped Best Director and his debut, film noir thriller How 2 Steal 2 Million, was named Best Film at the eight Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), held 22 April 2012 at The Expo Centre, Eko Hotel & Suite in Lagos, Nigeria. South African actress Terry Pheto was named Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film, which also won Best Achievement in Editing (Garreth Fradgely). With four awards, How 2 Steal 2 Million was the most awarded film on the night.
Nigeria’s Benin-set historical epic Adesuwa was a close second with three awards, for Costume Design, Visual Effects, and Best Nigerian Film. South Africa’s crime drama State of Violence won Best Film in an African Language and Best Achievement in Sound.
Man on Ground, a Nigerian/South African xenophobia-themed coproduction, won the Special Jury Award – given for only the third time since the inception of AMAA – and Best Supporting Actor for South African Fana Mokoena.
Nigeria’s Rita Dominic was named Best Actress for her role in Kenyan film Shattered, while Ghanaian Majid Michel won Best Actor for his role in Somewhere in Africa.
Nigeria was the most awarded country on the night, receiving 12 awards, followed closely by South Africa with 10.
Charlie Vundla (How 2 Steal 2 Million) – South Africa
Ties That Bind – Ghana
Otelo Burning – South Africa
African Election – Nigeria/Germany
Majid Michel (Somewhere In Africa) – Ghana
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Rita Dominic (Shattered) – Nigeria
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Fana Mokoena (Man On Ground) – South Africa/Nigeria
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Terry Pheto (How 2 Steal 2 Million) – South Africa
How 2 Steal 2 Million – South Africa
BEST NIGERIAN FILM
Adesuwa – Nigeria
BEST FILM IN AN AFRICAN LANGUAGE
State Of Violence – South Africa
BEST FILM BY AN AFRICAN LIVING ABROAD
Mystery Of Birds – USA/Nigeria
BEST DIASPORA FEATURE
Toussaint Louverture – Senegal/Guadalupe
Some of the biggest names from black Hollywood were at The AMAAs, including Emmy winner and Golden Globe nominee Lynn Whitfield (The Josephine Baker Story and Without a Trace); Morris Chestnut (American Horror Story, Boyz in the Hood); Rockmond Dunbar (Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy) and Maya Gilbert (General Hospital, Days of Our Lives).
As the jury statement said, “This year may prove to be the beginning of a new era for AMAA. Not only did AMAA witness an unprecedented number of film submissions, from more countries throughout the African continent and its Diaspora, it also witnessed a remarkable increase in the quality of the films submitted. From their technical qualities to the acting and directing, the 2012 film slate is most impressive. Indeed, for the jury, the task of selecting the “Best” in each category has been challenging. The competition in most categories was very strong and our decisions reflect much thought and debate. The jury is also impressed by the quality and diversity of the storylines of the films presented. The decolonization of African films and images is well underway. As never before, we see films that tell real stories: inspired by, reflective of and crafted by the people, by whom and for whom they were made.”
For the full list of winners and to watch trailers, visit www.ama-awards.com.