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AFRO-HOLLYWOOD AWARDS EXPAND NOLLYWOOD’S HORIZON

By Steve Ayorinde
Award recipients at the 2006 edition of Afro-hollywood
Award recipients at the 2006 edition of Afro-hollywood

The annual African Film and Arts Awards, otherwise known as the Afro-hollywood Awards, will celebrate its 12th edition on Saturday October 27 in London's Hilton Metropole. The theme for this year's ceremony, which will kick off with a conference to give the ceremony an intellectual content, according to the Founder and Chief Executive, Mr. Mike Abiola, is Globalisation of Nollywood: Opportunities for the Diaspora.

With the event being used as a platform to explore opportunities between Nollywood, its promoters and the African Diaspora in the UK, Abiola said Afro-hollywood expected to use this year's event to attract more investors and further encourage British – Nigerian collaboration.

“As the fastest growing Nigerian industry that has united the Diaspora community through the quality of entertainment and the popularity of their cast and crew, Nollywood serves very well as an effective marketing tool for companies seeking to deepen relations and gain greater exposure for their products with the African Diaspora,” he stated.

He said high-flying professionals in events packaging, both in the UK and Nigeria, such as Aneka Johnson of Miss Black Britain and Christian Udechukwu of Business in Africa Events, have thrown their weight behind this year's event to ensure it meets the needs of the corporate sponsors. He added that this year's event would be supported by the British Film Institute, the Nigerian Film Corporation and the National Film and Video Censors Board. And for the third consecutive year, Virgin Nigeria will be flying the Nollywood stars to receive their awards.

He explained that enormous media blitz has been accorded the previous editions of the event with a 30-minute airtime on Ben TV, London, every Sunday afternoon to show highlights from the previous ceremonies.

Meanwhile, the scramble for nomination among film professionals has commenced. Abiola said a list of Nollywood stars and some of the best African cinema actors from South Africa, Ghana, as well as a host of other celebrities that have attended in the past, would also be attending this glamorous evening.

Abiola, who is the publisher of African Voice Newspapers, Britain's leading newspaper for Africans, announced that 48 professionals in different areas of the movie industry had been nominated for this year's awards. The list also includes culture administrators and art patrons across the continent.

However, it is only 18 out of those nominated that will be flown to London for the ceremony on October 27.