South African Charlie Vundla won the Best Director Award at the eighth Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) held on 22nd April 2012 in Lagos, Nigeria.
Vundla’s film noir thriller “How 2 Steal 2 Million”, was named Best Film. South African actress Terry Pheto won the Best Supporting Actress Award 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”.
“Toussaint Louverture” was named Best Diaspora Film.
Nigeria was the most awarded country on the night, receiving 12 awards, followed closely by South Africa with 10.
AMAA received 328 entries from across Africa in 2012, up from 220 in 2011.
Dr. Asantewa Olantunji, director of programming of The Pan African Film Festival, headed this year's jury.
In a statement, the jury 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.”
The jury said that the task of selecting the “Best” in each category was challenging. “The competition in most categories was very strong and our decisions reflect much thought and debate,” the jury said.
The jury was 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,” the jury said.
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”).
“Heroes” star Jimmy Jean-Louis hosted the prestigious awards, which included performances from Asa, 2Face Idibia and Senegal’s Viviane Ndour.
Only films produced and released between December 2010 and December 2011 were eligible.