Shemu Joyah’s movie, The Last Fishing Boat, has received five out of 25 nominations in the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) following an announcement by a jury during the nomination gala on Friday.
This is the second time Malawi has received AMAA nominations. In 2010, another of Joya’s films, Seasons of a Life, received 10 nominations, but only won three awards.
The film has been nominated for the best movie made in Mother/African language, best picture and best sound track.
It also received a nomination for the best sound track, best director for Joyah’s role and best leading actress for Flora Suya’s role as Abiti Anifa in the movie.
Every time The Last Fishing Boat was mentioned, it was met with a deafening shout and ululation.
Even President Joyce Banda, who was guest of honour at the function, could not hide her excitement as she called for Suya and gave her a warm hug.
The President also donated K500 000 to First Dawn Arts, Joyah’s movie production firm.
“I am very excited that for the second time I have been nominated for AMAA leading actress. This means I am growing as an actress and I must say, having missed the same honour in 2010, I am sure of getting it right this time,” said Suya in an interview.
She is battling out with one of Nollywood’s superstars, Rita Dominic, but Suya is unfazed by the stellar name.
“I know I did a good job in The Last Fishing Boat; as such, I am sure of an award. I might have missed it in 2010 to Ghana’s Jackie Appiah, but not this time round because I am much better than then,” she said enthusiastically.
Joyah said he believes Malawi’s next nominations at AMAA are a step in the right direction for the budding film industry.
“I am happy and impressed with the nominations which I must admit, I was not expecting. Malawi is slowly getting there. I am looking forward to the awards presentation on April 20 in Nigeria,” he said.
For AMAA nominations, film directors are required to make an entry. Upon watching them at different stages, a jury comes up with a list of several movies which subsequently make the nomination list.
A special committee classifies the movies into 25 categories from which a set of new judges will come up with the winners.
Away from the glitz of the occasion, the event was marred by poor equipment. Half way through the show, technicians were still testing the equipment.
Squeaking and feedback sounds from the microphones were too much for the high-profile event. n