The Grand Jury of the prestigious Golden Movie Awards (GMA), an award scheme aimed at celebrating and honoring excellence in Africa’s growing film industry, met with a section of the Ghanaian Press at the Aqua Safari resort in Ada earlier today, April 21, 2018.
The press conference was held to give the media further insight into the workings of the 2018 Grand Jury that has been sitting for long hours for almost a week, screening and scoring this year’s submitted films. It is chaired by the President of the Jury, Ms. Mildred Okwo, an acclaimed Nigerian film director and producer.
The spokesperson for the jury, Mr. Ken Addy, said that this year has seen the submission of some amazing films. However, some of the films had been below expectation.
He further added that some of the films submitted for screening failed to follow some of the Golden Movie Awards’ established rules and regulations, for instance, the requirement for sub-titles, where the dialogue is not in English. Unfortunately, such films were automatically disqualified by the sitting jury.
Addy said that certain areas of filmmaking in Africa, especially when it comes to cinematography, costume, and directing, have seen commendable improvement, a consensus drawn from the screenings so far. However, many of the films still fall short in key areas like acting, sound mixing and quality control. Pacing and storylines still remain problematic, he said.
This year’s submissions have been full of surprises—with films submitted from countries like Burkina Faso and Cameroon making great scoring impact, a clear indication that filmmaking in Africa has become extremely competitive across the whole continent leaving no room for sub-standard productions.
This year saw the introduction of guest jurors – film-makers or enthusiasts selected from the public, as visiting jurors without rights to score any film, but there to witness the workings of the jury firsthand.
The 2018 GMA jury is made up of esteemed film directors, producers, film critics, writers and key industry players-– a mixed and extensively knowledgeable team selected from Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and the United Kingdom.
The jury’s screening started on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, and ends on Monday, April 23, 2018.
The Golden Movie Awards ceremony will be held on June 2, 2018, at the Movenpick Hotel in Accra.
Profile of the Members of the Jury
Mildred Okwo, Nigeria | Jury President
Mildred Okwo is a multiple award-winning Nigerian film director and producer. She studied Theater Arts at University of Benin and she’s a former Los Angeles attorney.
Mildred is a member of the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards.
Rex-Anthony Annan, Ghana | Jury Member
Rex-Anthony Annan is a Film & Television Executive with over 15 years industry experience. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Accra Film School–and a Managing Partner of Content Africa.
Nana Michaels Dzikunu, Ghana | Jury Member
Nana Michaels Dzikunu is an event Director and Executive Producer. He is also a Film Critic—and has about a decade experience as Branding and Advertising Consult.
Grace Omaboe, Ghana | Jury Member
Grace Omaboe is a legendary Ghanaian actress, an educationalist and philanthropist.
She has over 30 years experience in film-making, and also as an actress.
Amba Mpoke-Bigg, Ghana | Jury Member
Amba Mpoke-Bigg is an accomplished journalist /strategic communications expert with over 15 years work experience on four continents. A former DowJones Newswires West Africa Bureau Chief, she has specialist knowledge of the region’s economics, politics and governance issues.
From April 2016- April 2017, she served as deputy project Manager (Strategic Communications), of the AU UN Information Support team, supervising the Press and Media, Production, Digital, Branding and Merchandise teams.
Amba has extensive media consultancy/PRO experience with the United Nations ( UNICEF, UNAIDS) and the international private sector, developing content and writing news articles, human interest and success stories for UN websites. Amba has managed communications teams, mentored journalists and is skilled in report writing and cross-platform story-telling.
Her news articles and Op-Eds have been published widely on major news platforms. Amba worked for the Associated Press in Abidjan and served as Communications and Fundraising Specialist for the African Women’s Development fund from December 2014-March 2016.
She is passionate about telling the women’s story.
Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, United Kingdom | Jury Member
Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri is a Ghanaian Film Critic and Journalist based in the United Kingdom with over a decade web journalism experience. He is regularly accredited as a Critic to cover films at the annual prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
He’s a Legal Luminary and a Human Rights Advocate: he holds 2 masters’ degrees in Law–and also a first degree in Law from UK universities.
He is also the Founding Editor of GhanaCelebrities.Com.
Hackman Asare, Ghana | Jury Member
Hackman Asare is an acclaimed Ghanaian Filmmaker and Managing Director of Hacky Films Ltd. He is a former President of Film Distributors Association of Ghana and former President of the Film Producer’s Association of Ghana.
He is a Member of Ghana’s Cinematographic Exhibition Board of Control and also a member of the Audio- Visual Right Society of Ghana
Apolline Traore, Burkina Faso | Jury Member
Apolline Traore has a BFA in Film from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a Writer/ Director of 3 features films, 3 TV series and 2 short films.
She is also the managing director of the Burkina Faso based production company: Les Films Selmon.
Veronica Quarshie, Ghana | Jury Vice President
Veronica Quarshie is an awarding winning script writer and film director with over 25years of industry experience.
Among her movie credits from the 90s were A Stab In The Dark 1&2 (1998), Ripples 1& 2, A Call At Midnight, Shadows From The Past and The 3rd Night.
Ken Addy, Ghana | Jury Member and Spokesperson
Ken Addy is a veteran Ghanaian Media Practitioner, a Film Critic and a member of Ghana’s Cinematography Exhibition Board of Control.
Selima Awudu, Ghana | Jury Member
Selima Awudu is a product of Holy Child School, Cape Coast and has a BFA in Film and Digital editing from the National Film and Television Institute-NAFTI. She worked at Apex Advertising as casting director, make –up artist and as co-creative director on advertising campaigns for Gino, Pomo, Tasty Tom and Frytol amongst others and recently worked as the producer for 2017’s edition of Talented Kidz.
Over the past twelve years she has perfected her art and has worked on all aspects of film production and this has made her an asset on a lot of projects, as she is able to understand the synergy that makes a production a success.
She thrives on creating something special out of any idea. With her multi-tasking abilities, she is able to bring life to ordinary ideas and help in the production process.