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LEGENDARY Nollywood actress-turned-Evangelist, Rev. Liz Benson-Ameye and celebrated film maker, Jeta Amata who have been missing in action for some years now, returned to the social scene last Thursday night at the sixth edition of Best of Nollywood Awards which held inside the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
Liz Benson, started acting from childhood and her first break out role was in the soar away 1994 movie, “Glamour Girls.” She disappeared from the screen several years after she remarried her Bishop Great Emeya husband. But to the surprise of many, the ageless actress reappeared at the awards night amid fun fare.
Benson who clad in purple-colour gown was one of the veteran actors honoured with the Life-time Achievement Awards for their immense contribution to the development of the nation’s motion picture industry at the event. Others were film makers, Oga Bello, legendary Kannywood actor, Kasimu Yaro. and Nobert Young.
Also, making a surprise appearance at the event was the celebrated director, and producer of the controversial film, “Black Gold”, Jeta Amata who has been missing in action in recent times.
Jeta stormed the event venue, looking fabulous and bright, accompanied by two white ladies. All eyes turned and fixed on him as he stepped into the hall. He, however, acknowledged his absence from the social scene when he remarked while presenting an award that, “ I’m glad to see Liz Benson again and all the Nollywood stars in attendance.” Hosted by Fred Amata and OAP, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, the awards attracted Nollywood stars, including Patience Ozoukwo, Kenneth Okonkwo, Oga Bello, Yinka Quadri, Nobert Young, Emem Isong, Iyabo Ojo, Ayo Adesanya, Bimbo Akintola, Chinedu Ikedieze, Bob Manuel-Udokwu, Dickson Iroegbu, Jeta Amata, Ejiro Okurame, Moyo Lawal, Nkem Ike, Judith Audu and Fati Zenna.
Also, in attendance were top comedians Okey Bakassi who emerged Best Actor in Igbo movie, Ayo Makun (AY) and Gbenga Adeyinka 1st.
The big winners on the night were popular Yoruba actress, Iyabo Ojo, rising stars Ivie Okujaye and Tope Tedela. Ojo’s latest movie which centered on child abuse, ‘Silence’, emerged the Best Movie of The Year, while Ivie Okujaye and Tope Tedela won the coveted Best Actress and Best Actor in Leading Roles respectively.
Interestingly, Ojo’s first daughter, Priscilla Ojo, also emerged the Best Child Actress in the movie “Silence”. Also, other winners were Femi Jacobs (Dream Walker) and Rita Dominic (The Meeting). They both clinched the Best Supporting Actor and Actress respectively. Veteran Yoruba movie actor, Yinka Quadri won the Best Actor in the leading role (Yoruba) award while Ayo Adesanya picked the Best Supporting Actress (Yoruba) honour.
Most promising actor
Abdulateef Adedeji and Ijeoma Agu won the Most Promising Actor and Actress; Daniel K Daniel and Linda Ejifor picked Revelation of The Year Male and Female; Olamide Davids’ astounding performance in “Black Silhouette” fetched him the Best Child Actor In Movie award.
Desmond Elliot, who clinched the Amaka Igwe Director of The Year award with the movie, “Apaye”; Best Kiss In A Movie award went to Majid Michel and Beverly Naya (Forgetting June); Movie with the Best Social Message (Our Difference); Movie with the Best Special Effect (A Mile From Home); Best Use of Make Up (Cobra); Best Use of Food (Being Mrs Elliot). Best Sound and Best Screen play awards went to Render To Ceasar, Best Production Design (Osunfunke) and Best Short Film (Brave).
Speaking at the event, Seun Oloketuyi, executive producer of the awards explained that BON Awards has been rewarding those enterprising talents whose sweat and toil have placed the Nigerian movie industry on the global map of film making, but in spite of some challenges yearly in producing this reward system, the organisers will keep bracing the odds to honour this special people.
He revealed that about 150 movies were entered for this year’s edition, 23 of these were short films, while a little over 20 were discovered not to have met some of the terms and conditions of the awards.
Among other top government officials, in attendance were Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, his wife, Dame Juliet Amaechi, Deputy governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru and the Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba D. Amachree.