Some countries have made allegations against the African Movie Academy Awards (Amaa) that it has favoured Malawi to receive many nominations.
It is the tradition of Amaa to rotate countries that host the nomination gala event which announces 25 categories of films and people in the African movie industry.
And during the event in Malawi, Shemu Joyah’s film The Last Fishing Boat received five nominations for best sound, best director, best picture, best movie done in local/African language and best actress for Flora Suya’s leading role as Abiti Anefa.
However, some countries, particularly Kenya and Nigeria, were not amused by Malawi’s nominations and accused Amaa of favouring Malawi.
“It is true that some people in the movie industry, especially in Kenya and Nigeria, have been making allegations of us favouring Malawi because it hosted the nomination event. But obviously, it is not true. The movie in question is of good quality, fit to be shown at any film festival in Africa and beyond,” said Carl Gilberte of the Amaa local office.
“Again, as organisers, we do not have a say on which movies should be nominated or win an award. We just appoint an independent panel of judges who make a decision. It is, therefore, absurd for some people to be making such remarks,” he added.
Against this background, the Amaa team in conjunction with Joyah held a private screening of The Last Fishing Boat in Lilongwe last week.
“We deliberately screened the movie so that Malawians who have not watched it should see for themselves the talent, quality, among other issues. We plan to be holding such events in the run-up to April 20 when winners will be unveiled in Nigeria,” explained Gilberte.