AREEL, the Annual International Cinema Award presented by Acheampong Magazine, is an esteemed event held in Kumasi, Ghana, with the aim of recognizing, honoring, and celebrating filmmakers involved in projects with significant African Creatives or African Content for their outstanding achievements. The award ceremony takes place annually, and it showcases and rewards exceptional talent in the film industry.
The process begins with filmmakers submitting their entries for consideration. In the maiden edition, AREEL received over 57 entries, which were then divided into different categories. Throughout the year, quarterly screenings titled “AREEL Shorts & Animation” are held, allowing the audience to enjoy films, network, and discover new talents. A portion of the ticket sales from these screenings is dedicated to supporting young talents in kick-starting their careers in filmmaking.
To support the development of young actors, AREEL has established the “Actors Studio.” Each year, selected young actors are given the opportunity to interact with and learn from top Casting Directors, Filmmakers, and industry executives, helping them hone their craft.
Over the years, AREEL has had the privilege of hosting remarkable performances by talented casts, including actors like Micheal Ward, Jasmine Jobson, Prince Agortey, Benjamin Sarpong, Anna Roser, Bless Fortune, and Fiifi Neizer,among others.The event has also showcased visionary directors such as Anthony Nti, Tomisin Adepeju, Amartei Arma, Joseph Akwasi, Johannes Krug,and Jumic Anderson.
The AREEL Award Statuette is a symbol of artistic excellence, featuring the letter “A” intersected by a film reel. Produced by Acheampong Studios Ltd. in Kumasi, Ghana, this beautiful piece is made of iron and silver, stands at 12 inches tall, and weighs over 10 pounds. The award is a unique and valuable item and cannot be reproduced or used for commercial purposes without prior permission from AREEL. While it remains in the care of the recipient or their next of kin, if it leaves their possession, AREEL reserves the right to have it returned. The award must not be sold to any third party. Award winners who are unable to collect their AREEL on the night of the ceremony must arrange for collection within 12 months.
The selection process involves the AREEL Film Committee creating a preliminary list for the “AREEL Shorts & Animation” category. Then, a member committee consisting of artists, filmmakers, and industry executives reviews the eligible submissions and selects the films for the next stage. The shortlisted films have the opportunity to be nominated for the AREEL Awards. The winners are revealed during the Annual AREEL Awards Ceremony, where they receive an AREEL Award and a Winner’s Certificate.
In addition to the main categories such as Best Short, Best Animation Short, Audience Choice, Mmoroma Award, Best Performing Act, and Best Supporting Act, AREEL also presents awards to contribute to the growth and inclusivity of the Ghana film industry. These include the AREEL Honorary Award, AREEL Rising Star, Best Actor of the year, Best Actress of the year,and Best Picture.
All selected films receive laurels and are promoted through AREEL’s social media and website, with dedicated pages featuring synopses, film stills, and trailers. To facilitate this promotion, it is recommended that projects be entered on Film Freeway, including film stills, production pictures, downloadable posters, and trailers.
The rules and terms for the “AREEL Shorts & Animation” include the following: films must be under 40 minutes in length and involve significant African creatives or African content. Submission is done via Film Freeway, and there is no fee to enter. Films may be submitted by companies or individuals associated with the project who have the necessary permissions. Films in languages other than English must be submitted with English subtitles. All genres and styles of films are welcome, including narrative, experimental, music videos, documentaries, and animations.
It’s important to note that not all submissions are selected for the official competition, as the judges have the freedom to make their own choices. The final decision on eligibility rests with the AREEL Film Committee and its representatives. AREEL ensures the confidentiality of films, contact details, and passwords.
AREEL encourages filmmakers and industry professionals to join hands in making a difference in the African Film Industry and working together to bring about positive change.