SA films Otelo Burning, How to Steal 2 Million and State of Violence won eight top awards at the 2012 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), announced on April 22 in Lagos, Nigeria. All three films are distributed in SA by Indigenous Film Distribution.
Otelo Burning, which tells the story of three young boys who escape their harsh township lives by discovering the joy of surfing, won two of the top honours. Best Cinematography went to Lance Gewer, an internationally recognised award-winning cinematographer who also directed photography on Tsotsi (winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2006). Best Child Actor went to Tsephang Mohlomi for his portrayal of Otelo’s brother Ntwe.
The film also topped the list of nominations for the AMAAs. It opens in SA on May 11.
Heist movie How to Steal 2 Million, which was on circuit at the end of 2011, bagged a total of five awards, including Best Film and Best Director for Charlie Vundla. The film also won Achievement in Editing. Best Actor in a Supporting Role went to Rapulana Seiphemo, while Terry Pheto picked up the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
State of Violence, a portrait of a man caught between ideology and family ties, won the award for Best Film in an African Language. The film was written and directed by award-winning director Kahlo Matabane, whose previous work includes the mini-series When We Were Black and the film Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon.
“The experience of winning these awards has been utterly thrilling,” said Sara Blecher, director of Otelo Burning. “I want to acknowledge the hugely talented young cast and excellent crew, the people who funded the making of the film, and our distributor.”
Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, said she was delighted that the films had been acknowledged and rated so highly by the film-makers and industry professionals who form part of AMAA, the most prestigious entertainment industry event of its kind in Africa.
Otelo Burning also won the Best South African Feature Film award at the fifth Cape Winelands Film Festival in March, and the audience award for Best Movie at the CineramaBC International Film Festival in Brazil