The fifth edition of the Kumawood & Akoben Film Festival Awards otherwise known as KAFF Awards was held over the weekend (Sunday January 23 2016) at the Golden Tulip, Kumasi City and although many, including myself expected to see an improvement over the previous editions, we can only be hopeful that it gets after five years of existence.
Opening with a colourful display of the traditional music and Adowa dance, the only film award scheme in Ghana that seeks to honour actors, actresses and other stakeholders who use indigenous languages in their movie seemed to have started well despite some lapses I would enumerate as you read along.
Prior to the event, no one need a soothsayer to know that the awards scheme was going to suffer lapses this year especially when news had gone viral that most of the nominees were angry at the organizers for lack of respect. Reason being that they (nominees) had been asked to call a particular number to pick up their invitation.
Anyway, let me do a quick review.
Quite obvious having followed the awards since it’s launch 5 years ago, I might just be the right person to do this.
Scheduled to start at 7pm, the 5th edition of the KAFF Awards 2015 ceremony started around 10:30pm with quite an inappreciable crowd. As at 7pm, organizers were mounting the stage for the show. This shows the lack of respect for time by both organizers and event goers. By this, it has been established that but for Uncle Ebo Whyte of Roverman Productions, no event starts on time in Ghana.
KAFF Awards 2015 went as deep as 2:30AM.
Looking dapper in a beautiful blue suit and a red tall gown, drive time radio personalities Lovin Cee of Fox FM and Diane Adu Boakye of Price FM were respectively introduced as MCs for the night.
Although great personalities individually, one could tell there was very little coordination between the two from the onset. Perhaps I expected much from them knowing how great they have both delivered over the years at different events I have attended.
For many who do not remember, Dayan Adu Boakye co hosted the same awards with Nana Benyin Anumel back in 2013, the night I described in my previous review as the best ever. (it still remains though it started at 11pm compared to this year’s which started at 10:30pm). This is why I wouldn’t put the blame at their doorstep.
Reliable information I gather indicates that the two were contacted not long before the event perhaps the reason for the little flaws. (I however think the late call must not be an excuse since they knew the challenges they could face considering the nature of the event.)
Despite the challenges, MCs did their best to see the event through to a successful the end.
ACTORS AND ACTRESSES
Call it a boycott and you will not be far from the truth as majority of the people who bring a breathe of fresh air to Kumawood including Nana Ama McBrown, Agya Koo, Lilwin, Akrobeto, Kwaku Manu, were all missing in action for reasons I stated earlier.
As times change, it is only prudent that movie producers, casting directors and all who matter in the movie industry identify and nurture new talents as these stars will continue to grow ‘big’ with egos and may make demands for appearances.
The worst experience for many was when Lilwin, drove to the venue just to ‘collect fans’ and drove off approximately 5 minutes later. He neither step out of his car nor enter the pavilion for the event.
Sad enough, most winners could not also wait till the end of the awards. A clear case was when Emelia Brobbey who was almost at the exit point had to be called back when she was announced as an award winner.
It was however heartwarming to see a number of actors and actors from the Northern Region of Ghana present.
What do you expect when the very people who are to be honoured either consciously or unconsciously decide to boycott your event?
The least said about promotion, the better. Despite the advent of social media and traditional media, one could hardly hear or see anything about the awards which was held on the 23rd of January 2016. But for a friend who tagged me in a post on Facebook, you wouldn’t be reading this since I had even forgotten about the awards ceremony.
For an event that had been postponed twice already, I expected a very intense promotion but none of that sort hence the poor numbers who turned up on the night. Perhaps, Multimedia affiliate, Adom TV was a disappointment to the organizers as they pulled out at the final hour for reasons unknown yet.
Although organizers had announced that Ye Wo Kurom and Osey hit makers Atom and Nero X would perform on the night and had granted radio interviews already, Atom would not mount the stage because the final half of his money had not been paid.
In as much as people were hurt by Atom’s decision not to perform, Nero X made up for the unexpected occurrence as he thrilled the patrons with his songs that got them dancing all through.
Even though most of the popular movies and personalities I expected to pick up awards on the night did not win, an earlier statement by the CEO of the awards scheme settled it. According to Samuel Darko, only submitted movies were considered for the awards.
The question therefore is, Are the producers fed up with of the awards already?
Some of the challenges the organizers faced can somehow be understood as information I gather indicates there was virtually no money to run the event since previous sponsors including Adom TV with whom the previous edition had been partnered pulled out of the awards ceremony weeks before it was held.
Evidence on the grounds confirmed this news as there was not a single element of brand material from any sponsor on the grounds.
One thing I almost forgot to touch on were the ushers. Like seriously? I wondered if most of them were there for a selfie competition or to sit and enjoy the event as well. Anyway, there were not enough faces they knew so who were they to direct to their seats?
Fast rising braggart, Mr Carter was however a delight to watch as he got the crowd racking up with his supposed rich lifestyle. (Video soon)
After five years of organizing the same awards and repeating the same errors, would it ever get better?
It is sad to see an awards scheme that looks so promising (from where I stand) go this way. I think the event has outgrown Samdackus and his friends who somehow believe they can handle it all by themselves. Just like it is done elsewhere, it will only be wise for the organizers to either put up very strong teams or lease of some aspects of the show to be handled by professionals.
Let me borrow the words of my colleague and sports presenter at YFM, James Mensah who would always say, “It Can Only Get Better”. Perhaps, the 6th edition would.
In all, the awards ceremony was a very flat one with nothing special to talk about.
Were you present at the venue? Tell me how you felt about the show, what were the biggest and lowest points of the show?