Jeta Amata is a multi-award-winning Nigerian filmmaker, producer, and director. He is the son of the veteran filmmaker and actor, Zack Amata. Jeta Amata was dubbed by a renowned UK publication, The Guardian, as Nollywood’s Gift to Hollywood.
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Jeta Amata Background
Enejeta Amata was born on the 21st of August 1974, to the popular Veteran Filmmaker and Actor, Zack Amata. His uncle Fred Amata, and his late grandfather, John Ifoghale Amata were also Nollywood game-changers. He studied Theatre Arts at the Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria.
Jeta Amata was once married to Nollywood actress Mbong Odungide. They divorced in 2014, and their union birthed a beautiful daughter – Edherezeno Amata.
The prolific filmmaker is currently with Vanessa Teemsma, who co-produced some of his movies, including Black November. The duo had a son Kessiena Donald Amata in 2019.
Jeta Amata Career
Before Jeta Amata went to the University, he commenced with a TV show called Teenyboppers on Clapperboard TV. Teenyboppers was a fifteen-minute drama segment of what he called the Teeny Theatre.
So, he already had firsthand experience in producing and directing, therefore, it wasn’t hard for him to have his first script ready as he was graduating from the University.
After his graduation, he returned to Lagos and convinced his father’s friends and family members, who were all actors to feature in his movie, and promised to pay them later.
They obliged, and the film titled Glamour Boys was released and was a huge success. Jeta was just 21 years old when he released his first movie in 1995.
Thus far, Jeta Amata has garnered 62 nominations, and 18 award wins for his work in Africa, Europe, and the United States. Recently, he was recognized by CNN as one of the most recognizable celebrities in Nollywood.
In 2012, he premiered his movie, Black Gold (which was renamed Black November in 2013) at the United Nations General Assembly. He also screened the movie at the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington.
The prolific filmmaker launched his first book, St. Lincoln: What 400 Years of Slavery Has Taught Us, at the commemoration of the 400 years of transatlantic slavery in 2019.
He was also the coordinator of the Unity March, which took place in Washington D.C. in August 2019. Michel Joseph Martelly, President of Haiti, appointed Jeta Amata as a Goodwill Ambassador to Haiti.
As A Director, Writer, Actor, And Producer
- Mutanda – 2001
- Black Mamba (Video) – 2002
- Tears of a Woman – 2002
- Unconditional Love – 2003
- Love Entangle (Video) – 2003
- Dangerous Desire (Video) – 2003
- Queen (Video) – 2004
- Queen 2 (Video) – 2004
- The Alexa Affair – 2004
- Wheel of Change – 2005
- Ultimate Crisis – 2005
- Last Game – 2005
- Anini – 2005
- The Amazing Grace – 2006
- Game of Life – 2007
- Mary Slessor (TV series) – 2008
- Queen Amina – 2009
- Inale – 2010
- Black November – 2012
- Shrink Rap (TV Movie) – 2012
- Road to Redemption – 2013
- The American King – 2013
- Dawn in the Creeks (TV Series) – 2014
- Hollywood Weekly 6th Annual Film Festival (Video short) – 2019
- The American King-As told by an African Priestess – 2019
Jeta Amata Awards And Nominations
- Nominated at the African Academy Movie Awards (AAMA), as the Best Director – 2006
- Best Cinematography at the African Academy Movie Awards (AAMA) – 2006
- Nominated at the African Academy Movie Awards (AAMA), for the Best Picture – 2006
- Nominee at the African Academy Movie Awards (AAMA) for the Best Screenplay – 2006
- Screen Nations Awards for the Best West African Film – 2007
- Nigeria Movie Awards (NMA) nominee for the Best Director – 2007
- Nominated at the Nigeria Movie Awards (NMA) for the Best Picture – 2007
- Best Cinematography at the Nigeria Movie Awards (NMA) – 2007
- SIMA Awards for Best Director – 2008
- Audience Awards at the Abuja International Film Festival – 2009
- Best Short Film at the Abuja International Film Festival – 2009
- NFVSB Awards Nigeria honoured Jeta Amata’s Inale as the Best Film – 2010
- Best Film at the Verona International African Film Festival – 2011
- Audience Award at the Verona International African Film Festival – 2011
- Monaco International Film Festival Award for the Most Entertaining Film – 2011
- Best Film at the Copenhagen Nollywood Festival – 2011
- American Black Film Festival (ABFF) nominee for Best Director – 2011
- Nominated Black November for the Best Picture at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) – 2011
- Best Screenplay at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) – 2011
- Nigerian Entertainment Awards named Inale as the Best Film – 2011
- Nominee at the African Academy Movie Awards (AAMA) for Best Nigerian Film – 2011
Jeta Amata Quotes
“It is impossible for God to put us with wild animals and not expect us to find a way to tame them all, learn to cohabit.”
“Educate yourself, my people, never stop reading and learning, we need to awake!”
“Nigerian celebrities need to rise up and do what’s right. We must hold hands with our South African brothers for the world to see. That is how we change our narrative.”
“South Africa is not our problem, we are. Every black man is tribal, and when it suits us. There is NO Nigerian that hasn’t suffered some kind of discrimination due to tribe.”
“Our parents may be tough on us; however, the most important thing a father can do for his child is being there and showing up.”
Entrepreneurial Lessons From Jeta Amata
Pursue Your Passion With Determination
Jeta Amata had a passion for the arts from childhood, and he knew that passion wasn’t enough. Therefore, he went on to develop himself, so he can stand out.
Firstly, he gathered experience by producing from his teenage years. Afterwards, he went on to study Theatre Arts in the University to build on his experience. Till date, Jeta Amata does not play with self development, because he want to remain relevant in his field.
As an entrepreneur, passion with determination is a strong key to success. Every entrepreneur must be determined and work hard to see their dreams come to fruition.
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Image Credit: onobello.com, npr.org, Jeta Amata – Facebook