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AWARDS Belgium / France

Viva Riva! sweeps up at African Movie Academy Awards


Viva Riva! sweeps up at African Movie Academy Awards

After surprising festival-goers at Toronto and Berlin, Viva Riva! [+see also:
film profile
by Djo Munga (see interview) dominated the African Movie Academy Awards ceremony (held in Nigeria), scooping honours in six of the seven categories in which it was nominated, including Best Director and Best Film. This is a major triumph for the film, which beat off competition from its English-language rivals, which usually rule the roost at the ceremony.

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Besides these two prizes, the film nabbed Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Production Design. It also took Best Cinematography, which is all the more interesting as it was shot using a Canon D5.

Shot entirely in Kinshasa, the film spotlights young actors including Manie Malone, Patsha Bay, Hoji Fortuna and Marlene Longage and showcases the expertise of Congolese technicians. Trained in Belgium, Munga wanted his film, one of the rare narrative features to be shot in Congo (along with those of Mweze Ngangura, also based in Belgium, and before we discover Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda’s projects), to have a structuring effect on Congo’s budding audiovisual industry.

To achieve this, European production support proved crucial. Indeed, the film is produced by Belgium’s MG Productions and France’s Formosa, with funding from the Belgian French Community Film and Audiovisual Centre, the CNC, MEDIA, Canal + and Ciné Cinéma.

International sales are being managed by Beta Cinema. Viva Riva! has so far been sold for the US, the United Kingdom, Canada, Benelux, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

The film will hit UK screens on May 27, 2011 (Metrodome Distribution), before it is released in the US in June 2011, followed by South Africa. The producers are currently working on a plan to distribute Viva Riva! across Africa. O’Brother is expected to release it in Belgium this year.

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(Translated from French)

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