The pioneer awards in the world of film making on the continent, the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) return on Saturday in Kigali, Rwanda.
Charles Shemu Joyah’s The Road to Sunrise, and Chavula-Mhango’s Nyasaland are the nominated movies from Malawi.
It is worth noting that The Road to Sunrise and Mhango’s previous production Lilongwe have won different awards already including the best Southern African movie category of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards by MultiChoice Africa.
The road to Malawi’s prowess on continental film awards can be traced to 2010 when the country made its maiden submission for AMAA recognition.
It received nominations for the best movie made in African language, best picture and best sound track. It also received a nomination for best director for Joyah’s role and best leading actress for Flora Suya’s role as Abiti Anifa in the movie The Last Fishing Boat.
This was out of a total of 25 categories for that year.
However, the jury’s decision on April 20 in Lagos, Nigeria, at a gala event that brought together all the nominees, Nollywood stars and musicians from different parts of Africa, saw the movie getting one accolade for the best sound track.
The following year, Malawi received one nomination as Chavula-Mhango’s No More Tears for the best first feature film by a director but missed out on the accolade.
After a two-year hiatus, Malawi has returned with AMAA nominations for best make up, soundtrack, sound, cinematography, actress in a leading role by Mirriam Phiri, director and film all through The Road to Sunrise movie by Joyah.
Nyasaland film produced by Mhango-Chavula, received a nomination for the best movie in an African language.
The awards which have been in existence since 2005, have seen Malawi making a statement though it has comparatively received few awards.
During Saturday’s event, Joyah hopes Malawi will continue to prove as an emerging powerhouse.
“It would not hurt to win at least one award. As usual, I think our soundtrack is very good and Mirriam Phiri had a great performance as Rubia. I personally feel that those are our strongest categories.
“But then judging art is very subjective so I would not call it a prediction but a personal opinion which has no bearing on what the judges will think,” he said.
Joyah said he was surprised when Madock Masina did not even get a nomination as Shoti for supporting actor.
“In fact my prediction then was that if we get two nominations, it would be Mirriam and Madock. We ended up getting a nomination for make-up, which I did not expect. It’s one of those things you can never be sure of,” he said before departing for Kigali.
Chavula-Mhango had this to say: “I am hoping for the best for Malawian films so that some awards come home.”
She, however, has not travelled to Kigali for the ceremony. n