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Swedish film wins award at 'African Oscars'

Updated måndag 17 juli kl 13.01
Published måndag 17 juli kl 09.42
Director: A surprise to see a Swedish film with this perspective
(3:36 min)
Dani Kouyaté
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Josette Bushell-Mingo has been nominated for Best leading actress at the AMAA for her portrayal of Kandia in the film While we are living Credit: Njutafilms
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Josette Bushell-Mingo has been nominated for Best leading actress at the AMAA for her portrayal of Kandia in the film While we are living Credit: Njutafilms
Richard Sseruwagi has been nominated for "Best supporting actor" at the AMAA, for his role as Sekou, Ibrahim's uncle. Credit: Njutafilms
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Richard Sseruwagi has been nominated for "Best supporting actor" at the AMAA, for his role as Sekou, Ibrahim's uncle. Credit: Njutafilms

The Swedish film Medan vi lever (While we live) has taken one of the most prestigious awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in Lagos, Nigeria.

The film, directed by Dani Kouyaté, won "Best film by an African living aboard" on Saturday at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). This is Africa's largest film gala, and it is held in Lagos.

"I feel very happy and proud - and tired," director Dani Kouyaté told Radio Sweden, shortly after he returned home to Uppsala in Sweden on Monday.

The film, which is set partly in Malmö, made little impact when released in Sweden last year, but picked up seven AMAA nominations, including Best actress in a lead role, Best young actor, and Best script. The film portrays a young man, played by Stockholm rapper Adam Kanyama, and his mother, who was born in Gambia. They go to Africa in search of who they are and where they are coming from.

This is the first time a Swedish film wins anything at the AMAA.

"I think that there was a surprise to see a Swedish film with this kind of perspective," Kouyaté said, but added that the theme of the film is universal.

The other six nominations did not result in awards, but that does not matter, said Kouyaté, as this was an award for the whole team.

"We showed the continent that we have some good actors here in Sweden, who are originally from Africa. I also hope that Swedish people will discover that there are black actors here in Sweden, who are very good and who can play any kind of roles, not just 'roles for blacks'.

Kouyaté was born in Burkina Faso but has lived in Sweden for the past ten years.

This year's AMAA Best Film award went to Queen of Katwe, by the Indian American director Mira Nair, which tells the story of Ugandan female chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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