AMAA Unveils Plans For 2015, As Ogunyemi Steps In As CEO


IN what has been described by many, as a shift from the usual calendar of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), this year’s edition of the awards will hold in June, while the nomination party is billed for April. However, the project is committed to its tradition of celebrating the best in the business of film making across Africa and beyond.

    The organisers of the pan-African reward system for motion picture professionals shifted the 2015 edition of the event in memory of late Michael Anyiam-Osigwe, the elder brother of the founder of the awards, who passed on recently. To those, who have followed the AMAA brand in the last 10 years, Michael was a strong pillar for AMAA and also played vital role in the growth of the brand.

    “Michael has been a great pillar of support for AMAA since its inception and his untimely death has sure thrown some immediate challenges to us as a body but we are pressing on and we have to change the date from traditional month to April to June to allow us prepare and respond to the current realities. We will announce the actual date for Nominations and the main award in April and June soonest,” said Tony Anih, Director of Administration. 

    Meanwhile, following the decision of the founder of AMAA to step down as the CEO, having held the position for 10 years, Dayo Ogunyemi has been unveiled as the new CEO of AMAA. Mr. Ogunyemi, after serving on the board of the African Film Academy and as a film law expert for the WIPO, has spent the past two decades at the confluence of entertainment, media and technology with employment experience with Booz Allen& Hamilton’s media and technology practice, Sony Music Entertainment Inc., and BMG. 

        A Beta Gamma Sigma graduate of Columbia Business School, where he earned an MBA, he also holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School, an SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is admitted to practice law in New York. In the past decade, he has focused on the finance, media and technology landscapes in Africa, garnering experience in principal investing, consulting, financial advisory and capital raising.   

    Adding to more to his vast credentials, he has served as one of the principal advisers to the Nigerian film industry on finance, distribution and intellectual property, including negotiating key licensing and distribution agreements. He has also formulated policy, advising the UN ECA and more than 7 African governments and regional economic communities (including the EAC and ECOWAS) on intellectual property, telecommunications, technology, e-commerce and finance.  

    On the other hand, Keith Shiri, an active member of the AMAAs since its inception in 2004, will take of the role of President of the 2015 AMAA Jury, while the Advisory Board of the AFA is headed by renowned American actor Danny Glover who has continued to support the AMAA legacy.

     Based on the new arrangement, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the founder of the AMAAs, now presides over the Africa Film Academy. The Africa Film Academy (AFA) aims to promote the training, lobbying, and the overall development of young professions in the film industry, striving to maximise their full potential in an industry where there are limitless possibilities and always capacity for more. In this regard, the Africa Cinema Business Roundtable was established. 

     The organisers are still receiving entries up until the 31st of January 2015, after which all entries will close. Entries are open to all black filmmakers, who appreciate recognition as well as reward for their work in cinema on the acclaimed AMAA platform. 

    “The 2015 marks 11 years of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, a starting point of another decade of sustaining and heightening AMAAs global critical acclaim,” the group stated. 

    AMAA remains the most prestigious film awards for black filmmakers, from within the African continent, to its extensive sphere of influence spanning from South America to the Caribbean Islands. 

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