Living Funeral producers upbeat on film’s chances at AMVCA 2014

Posted: February 11, 2014 in art/entertainment

liz benson 2Producers of the highly-acclaimed inspirational film titled; Living Funeral, remain upbeat on the chances of the film at the forthcoming AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) ceremonies, as organizers of the prestigious awards announced co-hosts for the event slated for Lagos, Saturday, March 8, this year.

The short, but touching film is shortlisted in eight (8) of the 27 categories including: –   Best Movie 2013 (Orode Ryan-Okpu and Udoka Oyeka); Best Movie-Drama (Orode Ryan-Okpu and Udoka Oyeka); Best Movie Director (Udoka Oyeka); Best Actress in a Drama (Stephanie Wilson); Best Supporting Actress in a Drama (Liz Ameye). Others include: Best Writer-Drama (Akpor Kagho); Best Cinematographer (Idhebor Kagho); and Best Lighting Designer (Godwin Daniel).

The film tells the inspiring story of Yvette, a young woman coming to terms with her battle with breast cancer. It portrays the incredible journey of hope, bravery and despair told through the eyes of the lead character’s sister (played by same actress – Stephanie Wilson) and her hard-hearted mother (Ameye) who struggled to come to terms with her daughter’s illness. To help her family deal with their grief, Yvette holds a mock funeral while still alive.

Speaking at a media conference held to promote the film, Mrs Orode Ryan-Okpu, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Pink Pearl Foundation first explained the rationale behind shooting the film, as she said: “Coming from the main stream of Pink Pearl Foundation, we have been doing this for about seven years now. We find it a great idea to do something in the entertainment world, see visuals and know how sensitive this issue is. That is why we created a film about breast cancer, and to identify with victims.”

“Our intention is to make the film available everywhere in both local and international television stations. Besides, we shall have the Pidgin English version of the film so that those in the rural areas who are not very literate to be able to understand the film. For me, in the next three years, I intend to take this film as a campaign tool to everybody. The whole idea is early detection and saves yourself the pains of being a victim,”

On her part, Director of the film, Mr Udoka Oyeka, said: “It has been very exciting. This is the first time I am doing a film about a socially conscious subject. I am glad to have worked with some of the best brains in the film industry like Liz Ameye, Nobert Young and Stephanie Wilson.”

On what informed her decision to star in the film, Nollywood star Liz Ameye (Benson) said: “I needed something that will drive home a point so that people would have listening ears when people are going through situations not the type that would make people sad-health situation for that matter. Cancer is one of them because you have the overblown HIV/AIDS, but people are dying of cancer without making it known.

“Living Funeral will provoke you to get involved in the campaign in such a way that it would make you to be an advocate of encouraging people, family members, friends to go for early check up to avoid this situation of falling a victim. This film is saying early detection; get tested and lend a helping hand to those victims out there.”

Fans who wish to vote for their favourites in the 9 viewer voted categories have till March 3 to do so as the organizers have equally opened the website for voting. Voting on the website and on the mobile site is free and you can vote once per hour.

Meanwhile, the AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) has  announced the names of the three hosts for the gala ceremony; they include; IK Osakioduwa, Osas Ighodaro and Vimbai Mutinhiri, all of whom are part of AfricaMagic’s onscreen family.  The awards will be screened live on DStv and GOtv to over 50 countries on the continent.

M-Net Africa’s Managing Director of Special Projects Biola Alabi says, “IK and Vimbai did a tremendous job of hosting the inaugural AMVCAs. We are confident that with the addition of Osas, this dynamic team will once more keep this exciting and fast-paced live event running smoothly. With more viewer voted categories, the launch of the New Era Award and a sensational new stage, the latest edition of these awards should be bigger and better.”

Alabi also verified that TV personality Denrele Edun will be working the red carpet along with a galaxy of African film and TV stars expected to attend the glittering industry showcase.

For Big Brother’s IK there are many reasons why the AMVCAs are successful. “Everyone in the industry takes these awards very seriously. People see them not only as transparent, but as trustworthy. The mileage the show attracts makes it a blessing to be nominated, let alone win. Also, one of my favourite categories is the Trailblazer Award, the continent’s first simultaneous look at new and developing talents. Plus, one of the things I loved last year was seeing the really glamorous outfits.”

Co-host Vimbai of StarGist agrees. “From witnessing some of the greatest contributors in African film and TV being recognized for their phenomenal work, to watching fresh faces embarking on new journeys into the industry, the evening is a reminder of how much work, passion and commitment goes into film and TV.  Plus the nominees have helped drive African film into contemporary culture and modernity in so many ways, so it will be great to see who takes the first New Era Award.”

An enthusiastic and delighted Tinsel star Osas says, “I enjoyed every moment of the AMVCA’s last year and I am very excited about this year’s show. Being in a room full of beautiful African stars celebrating amazing work and knowing it will broadcast all over Africa is nothing short of a blessing and I can’t wait. The AMVCA’s certainly exudes quality and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

In total, 29 awards in 27 categories will be awarded with the recipients of the Industry Merit Award, the New Era Award and the TrailBlazer Award also to be announced.  This year, there are 137 nominations from across 80 productions vying for awards.


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