South African Charlie Vundla scooped Best Director and his debut, film noir thriller How 2 Steal 2 Million, was named Best Film at the eighth Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) on 22 April in Lagos, Nigeria.

South African actress Terry Pheto was named Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film, which also garnered a Best Achievement in Editing award for Garreth Fradgely.

With four awards, How 2 Steal 2 Million was the most awarded film on the night. A total of 10 awards went to South African productions.

The Best Film in an African Language went to Khalo Matabane’s State of Violence, which also won the Best Achievement in Sound award.

AMAA received 328 entries from across Africa, which included 134 feature films, 88 short films, 57 documentaries and six animations.

Forty-three entries came from Africans in the diaspora. South Africa had 45 nominations.

South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation’s head of marketing and PR, Azania Muendane, said: “The NFVF congratulates all South African winners at the AMA Awards.

“The country won awards in most of the highly contested categories, demonstrating the outstanding quality of our local productions.”

Nigeria’s Benin-set historical epic Adesuwa was a close second with three awards, for Costume Design, Visual Effects, and Best Nigerian Film.

Man on Ground, a Nigerian-South African xenophobia-themed coproduction, won the Special Jury Award – given for only the third time since the inception of AMAA – and Best Supporting Actor for South African Fana Mokoena.

Nigeria’s Rita Dominic was named Best Actress for her role in Kenyan film Shattered, while Ghanaian Majid Michel won Best Actor for his role in Somewhere in Africa.

Danny Glover’s Toussaint Louverture was named Best Diaspora Film.

Nigeria was the most awarded country on the night, receiving 12 awards, followed closely by South Africa with 10.

Some of Hollywood’s biggest names were present, including Lynn Whitfield (The Josephine Baker Story); Morris Chestnut (American Horror Story); Rockmond Dunbar (Sons of Anarchy) and Maya Gilbert (General Hospital).

Heroes star Jimmy Jean-Louis hosted the prestigious awards, which included performances from Asa, 2Face Idibia and Senegal’s Viviane Ndour.

Meanwhile, two South African documentaries – Sands of the Skei Queen by Ryley Grunenwald, and Buddha of Africa by Nicole Schafer – will participate at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, which runs from April 26 to May 6 in Toronto.

Hot Docs is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market.

Sands of the Skei Queen was selected to be part of the Hot Docs Forum, while Buddha of Africa has been chosen to receive a US$115 000 development grant from the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund.

Sands of the Skei Queen tells the story of a young rural activist, her poetic 79-year-old village headman and their tribal Queen who are taking a stand against a government plan to build a highway in their land so that an Australian mining company can exploit their titanium-rich coastline.

Buddha of Africa explores China’s rise in Africa through the story of a Malawian orphan raised at a Chinese Buddhist orphanage near the country’s economic capital, Blantyre.