Home The News Sonnah Awards: Common unanswered questions answered
Sonnah Awards: Common unanswered questions answered
News / Latest / Ernest Kanjo / Friday, 01 November 2013 04:45
SONNAH AWARDS  tHE 1ST CAMEROON ACADEMY AWARDS 29TH DEC AT HILTON CAMEROON

The Cameroon Academy Awards, Sonnah has negotiated the last bend towards the grand event billed for the night of December 29, 2013 at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel. This follows the publication, today, of the official and final list of nominees for this maiden edition. Sonnah is a multi-disciplinary recognition forum with prizes for grabs in various categories, including music, sports, fashion and designing, modeling, television and radio and movies. As usual, the movies category attracts more attention, perhaps because it is a very eventful sector with scores of ambitious people making great strides. To that effect, a lot of questions are posed each time a list of nominations is published. Many more questions come up when the awards are finally done. TIPTOPSTARS has been considering some of these worries and side-by-side with the publication of the Sonnah Awards list of nominees, we decided to provide clarifications. Our source was the CEO/founder of the Cameroon Academy Awards, Akim Macauley whom we reached for explanations. In this initial explanatory phase ahead of the great event, we had three questions for the entertainment promoter. From his Maryland, USA abort, Akim spoke with Editor Ernest Kanjo.

Ernest Kanjo: It has been said that Sonnah Awards is purely Cameroonian, yet we still see names of foreign contestants. Cameroonians have in the past not been so warm about this. Are you sure they will accept it this time.

Akim Macauley: Let me begin by emphasizing that the Team Sonnah is and has been working with a team of highly qualified critics. Awarding the best and nothing but the best is a goal we set from the beginning. We are not deviating from that vision. Our main focus is Cameroon and we shall be rewarding Cameroonians who have excelled in every given domain, movies inclusive. We have therefore made nominations from Cameroonian products submitted, following criteria set and have nominated Cameroonians. On the other hand, there are Cameroonian movies in which we have foreign artists collaborating. We have not placed them in contest with their Cameroonian counterparts – rather we have created a separate category for them. This happens with any other recognition platform and besides, collaboration is a well known feature in entertainment. So, this in no way has affected the Cameroonianness of Sonnah. Thanks anyway for pointing this out.

Ernest Kanjo: Some observers challenge the nomination of some actors and have alleged that awards organizers select the people they want. Does Sonnah identify with this - what qualifies an actor for a Sonnah nomination?

Akim Macauley: Nominating actors based on familiarity is out of question as far as Sonnah is concerned. For an actor to be nominated they must have met the criteria set by the board of directors and the jury must respect this guidelines. The movie from which the actor is nominated must be full length and must have been produced by a Cameroonian or having a Cameroonian as a lead or sub lead. The movie must have been reviewed by critics and submitted to the Sonnah Awards special critics for screening and review. Once the critics have reviewed the movie they go ahead and do the selection for nomination. Member s of the academy of movie pictures in Sonnah will vote and we come out with the nominee. The public’s vote counts just ten percent in the final decision. However, for the viewers’ choice, the public will have a hundred percent voting rights. Note should be taken that only those who meet the criteria will be considered and winning Sonnah will be by merit and nothing else.

Ernest Kanjo: Amongst the movies nominated in the various categories is Far, co-produced by Agbor Gilbert Ebot’s AGE and Mathew Eyong’s Cradle Rocks Productions Int’l. The movie is yet to be released. Certainly, some members of the public would cry fowl. How would you justify this particular nomination?

Akim Macauley: Thanks for bringing up this sensitive issue which has been one of the reasons for controversy along the years. This is simply because the public has not really been educated on how nomination for movies runs. A movie that has not been officially released can be nominated and or subsequently awarded. It is simple. A serious recognition platform requires a production to be nominated or awarded based by submission. If a movie is not submitted, it has nothing to do with getting nominated, let alone winning a prize. The jury or who whoever is scrutinizing the film works on the product that has been submitted for the awards. These films may later be released and put into circulation but they have the right to have them nominated or awarded because the films were submitted. Also, films that are not yet released benefit from enormous publicity and promotion when they are submitted for festivals. The more awards they win, the more anxious potential viewers become to watch them. Every filmmaker wants their work released, but if they have not found an appropriate structure through which to market the product they would still rely on festivals. These festivals help to popularize such productions, especially when they are good quality wise. This has been the case with Ninah’s Dowry which is yet to be officially put into circulation. So, nominating Far was just in line with the criteria set by the Cameroon Academy Awards.

Ernest Kanjo: Thanks Akim!

Akim Macauley: I’m grateful Ernest. We are always ready for more explanation.


Last Updated on Friday, 01 November 2013 06:00

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