Edochie, others honoured at Nigeria Movie Award

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Sola

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By Chuka Nnabuife and Shuaibu Husseini
STOLEN from The Guardian

THE first Nigerian Movie Award was held last Saturday night at NICON Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

Entitled: A Night of Stars By Stars the event initiated and sponsored by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) attracted a remarkable crowd of entertainment celebrities, film makers, screen actors and government administrators. There was also the presence of many investors and other stakeholders in the booming movie business in the event hosted by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Chief Chukwuemeka Chikelu.

The glamour night saw six categories of awards given to selected film practitioners. Among the awards were those for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Producer, Best Film, Best Producer and Best Guild of the Year.

Artiste and veteran broadcaster Pete Edochie was among the winners of the night. The undisclosed panel of judges adjudged the tall heavily built man the Best Actor of the Year. He beat the two other nominees, Richard Mofe-Damijo and Fred Amata to win the laurel. Edochie, a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) trained journalist was a former boss of Anambra State Broadcasting Service. His rise to screen stardom came in 1986 with the lead role (Okonkwo), which he played in a tele-movie of Chinua Achebe's classic novel Things Fall Apart. The wide acceptance of the episodic production, aired in the national network of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) aided the popularity of the bearded stoic actor. This fame oiled the fast brake through of the Nteje, Anambra State born 'red cap chief' in the home video upon retirement from active broadcasting in 1998.

The award for Best Actress of the Year went to Ms. Genevive Nnaji who beat close contender Mrs. Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde. Like Edochie, Nnaji, a multi-talented artiste, barely in her 20s, began screen acting (as a child actress) in an NTA serial. Upon leaving school, about three years ago, the svelte actress embraced the movies and soon shot into lead roles where she has exhibited good drama skills.

McCollins Chidebe (a.k.a. Mr. China) captured the Best Director of the Year plaque. The financial and artistic success of over half a dozen commendable clips, which he directed in year 2003 earned him the recognition. Until recently, the Imo State born ex-seminarian was just a little known actor and production crew hand. But the emergence of a trend of 'comedy' and 'romance' films exposed his talent in directing.

Peace Maker I&II emerged the movie of the year. The clips, which captured the Best Film award is produced and directed by Mr. Chika Onu. The Enemy of My Soul by Mike Emelionwu along with Eye Opener made by Ebereonwu and Uzo dimma Nwosu came second and third respectively.

Also Mr. Cajetan Obi was proclaimed the Best Producer.

Among other honours there was also a money-backed reward for umbrella bodies' of stakeholders. According to the NFVCB, the Actors Guild Of Nigeria (AGN) is the most outstanding body of stakeholders in the year. Hence it won Best Guild of the Year award. Beating other associations like the Directors' Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP) among others, the body headed by actor Zack Orji went home with the N1 million worth prize for organisation and remarkable activity.

Explaining the event in an interview with The Guardian, Mrs. Roseline Odeh, Executive Director of NFVCB hinted that the awards would henceforth be held annually. "We shall be celebrating the best in the (film) industry at the event, which hold annually henceforth because ...it is time we celebrated serious minded professionals...We shall be rewarding talents in all the different facets of film and video production."

Appraising the success of the event Olu Jacob, a veteran actor, told the News Agency of Nigeria that in spite of lack of facilities, Nigerian filmmakers have produced films that are reckoned with across the globe.

He added that with government's support at all levels, the industry would be better developed while untapped potentials that abound in the industry would be fully harnessed.

Edochie commended the federal government for paying attention to the works of indigenous artistes, stressing that such attention would lead to better productivity and speedy development of the industry.
 

jungle

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That is wonderful, I love Edochie, especially when he is angry. He and Alex is good in that kind of acting. I just love both of them so much.
 
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