All set as Malawi hosts Africa Movie Academy Awards

Just under a month before Malawi hosts some of the popular film makers and celebrities from across Africa, organizers say they are geared up for the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) nomination event.

This will be the first time for the country to host one of the continent’s most prestigious film events as it attempts to make an impact on the African cultural map.

AMAA founder and chief executive officer, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe and her team are already in Malawi ahead of the event working with officials from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The three day event is slated for 15th to 17th March at the high-status Bingu International Conference Centre in the capital Lilongwe.

President Joyce Banda (left) will host film makers and celebrities from different parts of Africa during the nominations event that will be hosted by Malawi.
President Joyce Banda (left) will host film makers and celebrities from different parts of Africa during the nominations event that will be hosted by Malawi.

One of the local organizers Ezaius Mkandawire, who is acting President of the Film Association of Malawi (FAMA), said the event will start with a two-week training of about 1000 Malawian young men and women interested in making a career in audiovisual media.

Mkandawire said the training is likely to create jobs for some youths and will help position the country to become one of Africa’s admired movie centres.

“Malawi has immense untapped talent which just needs to be harnessed and this training will likely enhance such talent,” he said.

Speaking last Friday in Liwonde where rights holder associations gathered to review the implementation of their Cultural Support Scheme (CSS) programme which is being financed by the Norwegian Embassy, Mkandawire urged the associations’ members to utilize the rare training opportunity.

The acting president also said the training will assist in developing an enabling environment for Malawian film practitioners to generate a viable cultural economy in the same manner other African countries do.

Under the theme “moving the African film audiovisual sector into a prosperous, viable, competitive and competent cultural economy”, on March 16, President Joyce Banda will host a gala dinner for the participants.

The Malawi leader agreed to the fete after an AMAA delegation, led by Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, paid her a visit last month.

President Banda made a commitment in her first State of the nation address on 18th May 2012 to developing the film and music industry in Malawi as one way of putting the country on the global cultural map.

The AMAA nominations night is an event where films that qualify into the 25 categories of the awards are announced prior to the main award presentation ceremony which this year is expected to be held in April.

Nigeria has been dominating in hosting the event but for the last six years AMAA organizers have held the nomination events in Burkina Faso, Gambia, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa in order to make it real African affair.

According to the organizers, this year they decided to move to Malawi because of the level of popularity and acceptability of African films, most especially Nollywood (Nigerian) and Gollywood (Ghanaian) movies in the country.

The event also includes a performance by the Nigerian popular music duo P. Square at Lilongwe Golf Club on March 15th.

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