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African film award to include cash prize

Event will include arts and culture, music festivals

JOHANNESBURG — The best African film will receive a $50,000 prize at the third edition of the African Movie Academy Awards being held March 10 in Bayelsa, Nigeria.

Organizers announced an extended program for the event, which will include an arts and culture festival and an African music festival to be held from March 3 until the ceremony.

The awards will be dedicated to the “tireless pioneers” of African cinema, the African Movie Academy said.

In addition to the African film prize from the academy, the Bayelsa state government will back cash prizes for actor and actress and the Nigerian ministry of information will give the best Nigerian film $7,000.

The academy started the awards with the stated aim of celebrating African filmmaking, but for the first year most of the entries were from Nigeria. For the past two years, however, the academy has worked hard to promote the awards throughout Africa and draw a more wide-ranging selection of entries.

The 2006 edition was attended by 100 representatives from 12 African countries, said the academy.

The African Movie Academy was out in force at this year’s Sithengi film and television market in Cape Town in November to market the awards, and the prolific straight-to-video Nigerian film industry, dubbed Nollywood.

Entries are being accepted through Dec. 30.