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Daily Nation : February 2nd 2014
SUNDAY NATION Sunday February 2, 2014 artscene Kenyans nominated for Africa Magic awards Event to be held in Lagos on March 8 even as local entity honours informal film makers BY ANTHONY NJAGI @tonyjagi firstname.lastname@example.org V eteran actors David Mulwa and Ian Mbugua have been nominated for the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAS) to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, on March 8. The event honours the best African movies, documentaries and dramas, producers, directors, actors and other members of crews. This will be the second edition of the awards. The two have been picked for the Best Supporting Actor category. Mr Mulwa was nominated for his role as a teacher in the TV drama Higher Learning, while Mr Mbugua was chosen for his role in the movie House of Lungula. Both nominees have been in the Kenyan industry for long, and an award to either of them would be an endorsement for the local industry. Mr Mulwa has written, di- rected and acted in numerous plays and has also authored several novels. He is a senior lecturer at Kenyatta University’s Department of Theatre, Literature and Drama. He is comfortable both on stage and on screen. Mr Mbugua’s CV speaks for itself. He was a long-running director of Phoenix Theatre, where he also played the role of actor and director. He is also the (in) famous no-nonsense and straight-talking judge on TV reality show Tusker Project Fame. His role and stance in the programme has earned him fans and haters in equal measure. He is also a leading member of St Andrew’s PCEA church choir. The two face off with Niger- ia’s Desmond Elliot among others for the award. Other Kenyans include Ve- ronica Waceke (Higher Learning) and Stephanie Wilson (Living Funeral) who have been nominated in the Best Actress in Drama category. M-Net Africa Managing Director Biola Alabi said the awards are aimed at promoting and honouring African acting talent. He said the entries for the awards have increased this year, and they hope to attract more. “We recognise these people whose value to Africa is great. They must be honoured,” said Mr Alabi. Half Life In the best movie category, Nairobi Half Life will fight for space with the leading nomination from Ghana, Contract. Others include Nigeria’s Living funeral and Last Flight to Abuja and Tanzania’s Siri ya Mtungi. Nairobi Half Life, a story of life in the slums and streets of the city and the hustles that its residents have to undergo, is directed by Edwin Maina Kariuki. Kenyans have also been nominated for awards in costume design, cinematography, documentary, online video, make-up and lighting design. Voting is now open to the public at www.africamagic.tv between now and March 3, when voting closes. “I am confident that we will come back with something,” Mr Mulwa told Lifestyle. “Kenya’s screen acting has improved a lot and we have had more exposure,” he added. Meanwhile, RiverWood Ensemble will hold the Riverwood Academy Awards to recognise informal film producers on March 20. These producers have lit- tle film training but make a decent living off their very entertaining and local stories, which are usually produced on very low budget. Because they are mainly community-based film groups, their authenticity and home grown stories resonate with the mass market, but the producers are rarely recognised in other awards due to the nature of their films, which are mostly in vernacular. The list of nominees, which has been compiled by a jury comprising renowned artists, producers and musicians, will be announced on February 16 at the Kenya Cultural Centre. Besides recognising the pro- ducers, the Ensemble hopes to promote their work locally and regionally with the aim of expanding their market. It also hopes to help them access training and better equipment. Lifestyle 13 FILE I NATION Thespian Ian Mbugua RiverWood Ensemble brings together community-based film groups such as Dexterity Media from Dagoretti, K’ro Media Solutions in Umoja, Cezmiq Productions from Dandora, Mwambao Arts in Mombasa, NYTAD from Maai Mahiu and Evila Kenya from Donholm.
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