Rwandan film nominated for eight AMAA awards

A scene in the film The Mercy of the Jungle that earned seven nominations from the AMAA Awards. Courtesy.

Joel Karekezi’s The Mercy of the Jungle has made it to the AMAA (Africa Movie Academy Awards) to be held on October 26, in Lagos, Nigeria.

The nomination was announced live on September 18 when the movie was nominated for eight of the twenty-seven categories.

This comes after the film won the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) earlier this year, in the category of Etalon d’Or de Yennenga, the main award.

The categories this film was nominated for are; Award for Best Achievement in Production Design, Award for Best Achievement in Make-Up, Award For Best Achievement in Soundtrack, Award For Best Achievement in Cinematography, Award For Best Acting in leading role, Award For Best Achievement in Editing, Award for Best Director and Award for Best Film.

Film director Joel Karekezi was nominated for best director at the AMAA Awards. Courtesy.

Joel Karekezi, the producer of the Mercy of the Jungle himself, was nominated for Best Director, while actor Mark Zinga, from the same film, was nominated for the award of Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Karekezi said that having many nominations for AMAA was not a surprise to him, adding that he was positive that the film could bring the Oscars home.

“The Mercy of the Jungle meets film standards and can even bring the Oscars home. What is required is for the committee in charge to see what needs to be done for us to compete because this film has been at top festivals recognised by the Oscars,” he said.

The film was first screened at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018. It’s about two Rwandan soldiers separated from their military unit at the beginning of the Second Congo War and their struggle to survive in a hostile jungle amid an armed conflict. 

It is Karekezi’s second feature film after The Pardon of 2010, a short film that talks about a young man’s redemption after killing his best friend’s family in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Another Rwandan film nominated for the AMAA’s is Icyasha by Marie Clementine Dusabejambo, for Efere Ozako Award for Best Short Film. Her other film A Place for Myself was nominated by the same academy in 2017.

The AMAA was established in 2005 to facilitate the development of African film and cinema. It provides rewards and a recognisable platform for African film makers.

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