By Yankuba Jallow
In a Special Movie Award Night dubbed SMA 2018, ‘Afinity’ Production on Saturday December 1st 2018, gave various awards to Gambia’s movie stars. The event was graced by the High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Gambia, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Gambia, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. The Chief Guest of honor was the wife of the President of the sister Republic of Sierra Leone. This the 3rd edition of the Special Movie Award for Gambians in the film (movie) industry.
According to the organisers (Afinity Production), they received nomination from several actors and actresses and set up an independent committee that was tasked to review the nominations, and came up with the finalist. In each category except one, there were three nominees for the awards. The awardees were: for Best Make-up Actor- Omto Traboil, in the film titled ‘Desperate for Wealth’; Best Custumier actor – Marie Marena in the film titled ‘Why Me’; Best Sound-Aiisatou Aiijegbo, in the film titled ‘Beyond Greed’; Best Editor – Abel Maduv, in the film titled ‘Fatou 2’; Best Picture – Alagie Manka, in the film titled ‘Sarata’, and Best Screen Play – Momodou Sabally, in the film titled ‘Jangi Jollof’. The best documentary award was given to the film titled ‘My Africa’; best indigenous movie to a film titled ‘Kubukalabang; best short film – ‘Desperate of Wealth’; best feature film-‘Sarata’; best comedy – ‘Am Fasting’; best supporting female actress – Mariama Bajo; best supporting male actor – Abou Mbye; best lead male actor – John Jaiteh and best lead female actress – Monica Davies. Ibrahim Ceesay was awarded best movie Director of the year.
In his welcome remark, Sheikh Tijan Sonko, producer of SMA Night, said the awards were meant to encourage the awardees do more in their careers as movie stars; that it is high time the movie industry the Gambia is revived for actors and actresses to compete for international awards. The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Satai Jawo, told the gathering that his office is ready to do everything possible to support the movie industry. He encouraged ‘Afinity’ Production for the initiative and expressed that his ministry has an open-door policy for all stakeholders.