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The 11th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards gets under way at the Boardwalk International Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth (Photo: 2015 Africa Movie Academy Awards on Twitter)

French-Mauritanian drama Timbuktu scooped the Best Film award at a glittering Africa Movie Academy Awards ceremony in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on Saturday, 26 September.

Over 300 international film stars, celebrities and journalists, along with filmmakers from across the continent, gathered at Port Elizabeth's Boardwalk International Conference Centre to celebrate the best films made by Africans living on the continent and abroad in 2014.

The 11th edition of the event marked the first time the awards have been held outside Nigeria, Port Elizabeth having been selected by an international panel to host Africa's most prestigious film awards for the next five years.

Timbuktu beat fellow nominees Triangle Going to America (Ethiopia), Chetanna (Nigeria), Juliet and Romeo (Burkina Faso) and iNumber Number (South Africa) to take top honours.

Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako, Timbuktu looks at the brief occupation of the ancient Malian city by militant Islamist group Ansar Dine in 2012. The film won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the François Chalais Prize at Cannes in May.

Among the other winners (see the full list below), Twaaga (Burkina Faso) was named Best Short Film, The Legacy of Rubies (Nigeria) was named Best Animation, Nasser: Egypt's Modern Pharaohs (Egypt) won the Best Documentary award, and Fevers (France/Morocco) won the award for Best Film by an African living abroad.

South African crime thriller iNumber Number (renamed Avenged following its US release), which was nominated in 12 categories, won two awards on the evening, for Achievement in Production Design and Achievement in Visual Effects.

Fifty-three countries participate annually in "Africa's Oscars", which is run by a privately funded organisation. The organisation, according to a press statement, "has also to date funded more than 5 000 young Africans through the academy, giving them the means and opportunities to soar at careers in the film industry".

Full list of winners

  • Best short film: Twaaga – Burkina Faso
  • Best animation: The Legacy of Rubies – Nigeria
  • Best documentary: Nasser: Egypt's Modern Pharaohs – Egypt
  • Best film in an African language: Timbuktu – Mauritania
  • Best film by an African living abroad: Fevers – France/Morocco
  • Best diaspora short film: Sound of Tears – Canada
  • Best diaspora documentary: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution – USA
  • Best diaspora feature: Supremacy – USA
  • Achievement in production design: iNumber Number – South Africa
  • Achievement in costume design: October 1 – Nigeria
  • Achievement in make - up: Njinga: Queen of Angola – Angola
  • Achievement in soundtrack: Triangle Going to America – Ethiopia
  • Achievement in visual effects: iNumber Number – South Africa
  • Achievement in sound: Lobraz Khan – Mauritius
  • Achievement in cinematography: Lobraz Khan – Mauritius
  • Achievement in editing: Timbuktu – Mauritania
  • Achievement in screenplay: Le President – Cameroon
  • Best comedy film: 30 Days in Atlanta
  • Best Nigerian film: October 1
  • Best child actor: Layla Walet Mohammed and Mehdi AG Mohammed (Timbuktu)
  • Best young/promising actor (joint winners): Kemi Lala Akindoju (Dazzling Mirage) and Hassan Spike Insingoma (Boda Boda Thieves)
  • Best actor in a supporting role: Samson Tadesa (Triangle Going to America)
  • Best actress in a supporting role: Ama Amphofo (Devil in a Detail)
  • Best actor in a leading role: Sadiq Daba (October 1)
  • Best actress in a leading role: Lesliana Pereira (Njinga: Queen of Angola)
  • Best first feature film by a director: Destiny Ekeragha (Gone Too Far)
  • Best director: Abderrahmane Sissako (Timbuktu)
  • Best film: Timbuktu – Mauritania

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission