AMVCA 2022: Why Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story won the most awards

While Amina, a movie by Izu Ojukwu and Okey Ogunjiofor, which retells the famous story of the legendary Queen Amina of Zaria, won the Best Overall Movie, the highest award, at this year’s Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCAs), another movie, which seemed a runner-up at the awards, also pulled many surprises.

Though, it failed to grab the most coveted award at the 8th edition of the AMVCAs, Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story, pulled a surprise by winning five out of the 33 categories of this year’s award, making it the movie with the most awards at the 8th AMVCAs.

The movie, which is executive produced by Charles Okpaleke and directed by Ramsey Nouah won; Best Actress In a Drama by Osas Ighodaro; Best Actor in a Drama by Stan Nze; Best Director by Ramsey Nouah; Best Lighting Designer (Movie/TV Series) by Mathew Yusuf and Best Cinematographer by Muhammed Atta Ahmed.

But what made the movie thick?

Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story is the remake of Rattlesnake, a-1995 exciting classic that captivated movie lovers across Nigeria and Africa.

In 1995 the enthralling Nollywood blockbuster trailed the life of Ahanna; a young man who is dissatisfied with the way his life has turned out and masterminds a way to steal the life he wants.

But in 2020, the Charles Okpalekes and Ramsey Nouah- led cast and crew heightened the intrigue and excitement with a more engaging storyline.

Of course, this is coming 25 years after the original movie was released by Amaka Igwe, the late iconic movie producer.

However, in the highly appreciated remake, Stan Nze takes on the iconic role of Ahanna who handpicks The Armadas, a highly intelligent group of thieves and together they carry out spectacular heists that bring them everything they ever wanted. But like everyone knows, nothing lasts forever.

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Soon, The Armadas make enemies on both sides of the law. Will Ahanna be able to mastermind his way out of the life of crime he chose, or will his sins catch up with him? These are intrigues that the viewers discovered on November 13, 2020, when the movie premiered in cinemas across the country.

The remake is star-studded with the likes of; Stan Nze, Osas Ighodaro, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Elma Mbadiwe, Chiwetalu Agu, Ayo Makun, Fred Amata, Bucci Franklin, Efa Iwara, Ejike Asiegbu, Chinyere Wilfred, Tobi Bakre, Gloria Young, Norbert Young among others.

So, decades of experience of the director and producer, technical enhancement and quality of the stars, all combined to give the movie a stellar finishing.

As well, one of the reasons the movie has been viewed by many and still has cinemas runs today is because it is the first movie in Nollywood that stars the Young Family, where their daughter Antoria Uri Young makes her acting debut.

Meanwhile, credit goes to Charles Okpaleke and the Play Network Studios team for staging the remake. Okpaleke, who many have nicknamed ‘King of Remakes’, has truly reshaped the way the Nigerian movie industry tells stories, especially by paying homage to the classics with a 21st century lifestyle spin. Okpaleke has been in the news for acquiring the rights of the original Living in Bondage film, which was a high risk move that eventually paid off.

Living in Bondage; Breaking Free, the 2019 sequel, received critical and commercial acclaim as one of the most successful movies in Nollywood till date with a record of N163 million at the box office. The 2019 sequel, which was a directorial debut for Ramsey Noah also won him the AMVCA award for Best Director.

For Chris Odeh, the producer, the remake has a strong ‘coming of age’ narrative, which a lot of people can resonate with.

“You know that period in time when your father is warning you about armed robbery or getting into bad gangs. I do not know about you, but my father sat me down, showed me the Rattlesnake movie, pulled my ears and said it would never be heard that his son went to Lagos to join a bad gang. First of all, the film gives us that nostalgic feeling, secondly, it does a lot for the Igbo culture and the Nigerian nation, and thirdly, we honour Amaka Igwe, who is an icon and has been responsible for a lot of people you call stars today; the likes of the Richard Mofe Damijo, Nkem Owoh among others”, Odeh said.

On why the movie is thick, Nicole Asinugo, the scriptwriter, gave credit to Amaka Igwe, the original script writer and noted, “There were already a lot of materials to work with; I was just building on what the great Amaka Igwe wrote. As a remake, one is creatively allowed to think about things from a different perspective, but stay true to the real essence of the movie, which I believe we did. Even if you watched the original Rattlesnake, we made sure we incorporated experiences that are relevant now. We also had the freedom to build on and incorporate other characters”, Asinugo said.

But Ramsey Nouah seems the most excited of the cast and crew because by winning the Best Director at the AMVCAs, he is now a sought-after director, and consolidating on his transition from acting to directing.

He was grateful to his team, executive producer, Multichoice, the organisers of the award and most importantly, the viewers for appreciating their hard work.

Well, Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story is still showing in cinemas, while the producers are already working round the clock to excite viewers with more enthralling movies this year and beyond.

Congratulations to the cast and crew as they aim to win the Best Overall Movie in the next AMVCAs.