In 2013, the movie industry witnessed the berth of Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA), a platform created by by Africa Magic in partnership with MultiChoice, to reward excellence and talents in the budding movie industry. At the time, Nollywood was considered an industry fit for only small screen titles and low budget straight to TV films. The thought of a Nollywood movie at the cinemas was unthinkable. There were dozens of straight-to-home videos which flooded the market but there was hardly any film worthy of picking a cinema box office ticket; even marketers got in the movie making business with little or no care for quality production values or storylines. All that changed with the launch of AMVCA as the platform played a key role in positioning the African movie industry as an industry with limitless opportunities, immeasurable potential and a strong cultural and economic export for Nigeria. More so, it plays an incredible role in the country’s economy – contributing immensely to the GDP and providing direct and indirect employment for the country’s teeming young, ambitious, talented and creative youth.
Long before the actors, movies, top notch cinematography and art direction were praised at the AMVCAs, MultiChoice already laid the foundation for the industry with its variety of TV stations which were dedicated to showcasing the African film and TV industry in all of its glory. MultiChoice’s initiative in setting up Africa Magic and its resultant language channels (Africa Magic Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa) was way ahead of its time when the stations initially began airing and was the first of many moves that allowed the movie industry flourish and cultivate an audience.
However, as the industry grew, Africa Magic grew with it, lighting the torch for indigenous movies. Hence, when the time came for Nollywood, and by extension the African movie industry to be properly celebrated, there could be none other only but Africa Magic to champion this cause. The AMVCA has seen actors and creatives earn well deserved accolades for their efforts since its inception. It has become the pinnacle of success for Nollywood acts. as the name implies, AMVCA gives the viewers the power to determine who takes home the award. It operates a transparent voting process where filmmakers submit their works for consideration, while the viewers decide who gets the gong. This system ensures that every stakeholder in the industry is involved in the awards, including the people that pay to see these movies and TV series.
Beyond what the awards represent in terms of pride and reputation for the winners, what the AMVCA has been able to do is set a standard for what is expected in Nollywood and celebrate the remarkable progress the industry has made thus far.
Five years later, AMVCA is still a towering platform in the industry. Over 151 awards have been handed out and more will be given at the sixth edition of the awards which will hold on September 1. Just like last year when critically acclaimed movies like ‘76 and Oloibiri stole the headlines for their well-earned accolades at the AMVCA, this year the awards will be even more competitive, reflecting the improved quality of cinematic roll outs we have seen during the course of the year in review.
From the feel-good drama comedy Potato Potahto, which puts a hilarious twist on divorce, to Isoken, a beautifully contrived romantic comedy with a fascinating narrative, this edition of the AMVCA will once again see Nigeria and Africa’s best slug it out for the awards. Out of the 27 categories listed in this year’s edition, seven have been opened up to the viewers to vote. These include critical categories such as Best Actor and Best Actress.