The Board of the Africa Film Academy (AFA), the organizers of the Africa Movie Academy Awards – also known as AMAA, has announced the re-appointment of Zimbabwean Born but UK based international film curator and programme advisor Keith Shiri as President of the Jury for the 19th edition of the premier and most prestigious film award in Africa.
Shiri, an advisor to several international film festivals presided over the 12 man board of international jurors of the awards in 2022.
The well travelled and internationally recognized film programmer is expected to again lead other respected curators and renowned filmmakers and critics that make up the AMAA Jury, to decide nominees and eventual winners in the 26 categories of the 2023 AMAA’s scheduled to hold in Lagos in October.
Members of the AMAA jury include International fllm curator and programmer for the Berlin International Film Festival Dorothee Wenner, Film curator and archivist June Giviani, Burkinabe-Swiss Born filmmaker Berni Goldblat, Ambassador and former Burkina Faso Minister of Culture Phillipe Savadego and filmmaker John Akomfrah.
Others are Journalist, Author and former Commissioner of Culture in Lagos state Hon. Steve Ayorinde, Award winning filmmaker Charles Brunnet, Journalist and Creative Industry Expert Dr. Shaibu Husseini, Executive Director of the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles Asentewa Olatunji, Co- founder of PAFF Ayoku Babu and Former Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi.
“We are very excited to welcome Keith Shiri back as President of Jury for 2023. AMAA has a tradition where Jurors have an opportunity to preside over the jury for two editions running. Recall that Hon. Steve Ayorinde was jury President for 2020 and 2021 edition. So we are sustaining that tradition by further extending the tenure of Keith Shiri who is a founding juror at the AMAA and a promoter of African art and film as the president of the AMAA 2023 Jury,” said Raymond Anyiam-Osigwe, on behalf of the Africa Film Academy.
He also said, “Keith’s experience and vast knowledge of African Films which has spanned over 3 decades coupled with his expertise which has seen him serve in different international organizations made him a great fit for this position.
“We look forward to continuing our strong ties with the board of jurors at the academy under his leadership as President of the Jury.”
Reacting to the news of his re-appointment, Shiri who is presently curating the Icons of the Africa Centre Series for the legendary London-based cultural institution thanked the AFA board for his reappointment but noted that it is sad that he will be presiding over a jury in the first edition without the founder and CEO Peace Anyiam- Osigwe.
Shiri said, “I don’t know what to say but of course it is rather sad to preside over this first edition without our CEO, founder and sister Peace Ogechi Marie Anyiam-Osigwe. But we have an award to deliver and deliver we must.”
A consultant on film business development for the International Trade Centre (ITC), an agency of the United Nations that is currently implementing an initiative to promote film exports from the Caribbean to the UK and European markets, Shiri was a member of the Berlinale World Cinema Fund from 2004-2007 and a trainer for Esodoc/EU (European Social Documentary), a programme for documentary filmmakers.
He has served as an expert advisor for the EU-ACP programme for the ACP cinema and on the advisory board of New York’s Focus Features Africa First Programme, which supported young African filmmakers through its mentorship programme.
Over 368 entries were received for this year’s award. However the selection committee chaired by Dr. Shaibu Husseini has commended 102 films in different genre to the AMAA jurors for nominations. The Nominations according to Shaibu will be announced on September 20.