Entertainment of 2014-01-08

Respect African filmmakers - Lydia Forson

Award-winning actress Lydia Forson has defended the crucial and priceless relevance of the annual Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs), saying it is a major stakeholder in raising the standards of African movies.

She has therefore called on African governments to respect and support the AMAAs in particular as well as filmmakers in general.

The actress noted that for the past nine years, the AMAAs has served as a huge a platform where African filmmakers are brought under one umbrella and has also helped improve the quality of movies from the continent.

Lydia said the award scheme has contributed to the African film industry, as it has “raised the quality of films over the past nine years. If we compare the movies made in 2006 to 2012 some of those movies would not even qualify for screening now. Through AMAA you’re forced to see what other countries are doing and you realize you probably have to step up your game. And it has created healthy competition for filmmakers.

“But most importantly it is gradually uniting African filmmakers. For years it was the only award system that brought filmmakers from across Africa,” she told NEWS-ONE in an exclusive interview.

Couple of weeks ago, Lydia Forson was named alongside other Nigerian filmmakers as brand ambassadors for the 10th anniversary celebration of the AMAAs.

She was chosen because her brand represents what the Africa Movie Academy Awards is all about; quality and projecting Africa to the world. She would among other activities represent AMAA on major platforms including international film festivals.

Lydia believes uniting the film industry with African leaders would not just inure to the benefit of film stakeholders but also all and sundry in each African country.

“I think filmmakers have the power to send messages politicians can only try to do. The power of film is that it cuts across gender, age, colour etc, so we have a far wider reach. If we want people to see Africa for what it truly is, it can only be done through film. For instance, all we know about the US is based on what Hollywood has shown us. The only reason why a little boy in the village will want to go to New York, or start dressing and speaking like an American is because of how it has been projected through film. Through movies we can increase investments, tourism etc. But none of this is achievable unless our politicians and government start to respect the power filmmakers have,” she added.