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Highlights from the 10th Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA)

By Patience Chat Moses

The Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA), inaugurated in 2013, recently celebrated its 10th edition, marking a significant milestone in honouring the best of African cinema and television. The much-anticipated event spanned three days, from May 9th to 11th, 2024, at the Eko Hotel Suites in Lagos, Nigeria, featuring a vibrant array of activities such as the Special Night with Icons, Young Filmmakers Day, the Cultural Day Celebration, and the main Awards Night. These festivities brought together the finest talents in the African film and television industry, showcasing remarkable achievements in storytelling and performance. Hosted by the renowned IK Osakioduwa and attended by industry luminaries like Joke Silva, Sola Sobowale and Richard Mofe Damijo, the 10th AMVCA highlighted the exceptional creativity and talent that defines African cinema. This edition not only celebrated past successes but also looked ahead to the future of African storytelling, solidifying the AMVCA’s role as a cornerstone of the continent’s cultural and creative landscape.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Busola Tejumola, Executive Head of Content and Channels, West Africa MultiChoice said, “The Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards was created to honour exceptional achievements in television and film across the continent and we are excited to have been able to keep that fire burning through 10 editions. “Year after year, we have received numerous entries and can attest to the growth in the quality of submissions with each edition. While this year’s edition is a milestone edition as it is the 10th, it is also a testament to the growth the film industry in Africa has experienced. “We congratulate all the winners and nominees who have put in the incredible work. We’d also like to say a big thank you to everyone in the African film industry. You have all made us proud,” he concluded. This year’s edition had 27 categories, with 16 non-voting and nine audience voting categories, and the winners were selected by a jury led by ace filmmaker and head judge, Femi Odugbemi.

During the eventful evening, notable winners emerged, adding to the rich tapestry of African storytelling. Some of the highlights from the awards include Breath of Life and Jagun Jagun, winning multiple awards. Iya Rainbow aka Idowu Philips and Richard Mofe Damijo were the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Chimezie Imo was the recipient of this year’s Trailblazer Award. Wale Ojo emerged winner of the Best Lead Actor award for his portrayal in the movie ‘Breath of Life,’ beating prominent actors like Richard Mofe Damijo (The Black Book), Adedimeji Lateef (Jagun Jagun – The Warrior), Marc Zinga (Omen), Gideon Okeke (Egun), David Ezekiel (Blood Vessel), and Stan Nze (Afamefuna). Femi Adebayo’s film, ‘Jagun Jagun’ claimed the award for “Best Indigenous Film”, showcasing the depth and diversity of storytelling rooted in African culture.

Additionally, Lola Awe’s exceptional talent in costume design was recognized with the award for “Best Costume Designer”, showing the importance of visual aesthetics in storytelling.

The celebration of excellence extended to various productions, with ‘Breath of Life’ emerging winner in the Best Movie category. This recognition reaffirms the creative prowess and artistic merit of African filmmakers, who continue to captivate audiences with compelling narratives and captivating performances.

An array of Winners
Best Writing Award: Volume, Best Writing Movie: Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti – Tunde Babalola, Best Sound Design: Grey Jones Ossai x2 (Breathe of Life and Blood Vessel), Best Editing: Antonio Ribeiro, Best Indigenous West Africa. Femi Adebayo Jagun Jagun, Best Digital Content: Layi Wasabi, Best Short Film: Broken Mask, Best Unscripted M-Net Original: Nwuyee Bekee (Foreign Wives), Best Scripted: Slum King, Best Makeup: Mami Wata (Campbell Precious Arebamen), Best Art Direction: Over the bridge, Best Costume Design: Jagun Jagun (Lola Awe), Best Supporting Actress: Genoveva Umeh (Breath of Life, Best Supporting Actor: Ademola Adedoyin (Breath of Life), Best Cinematography: Over the bridge, Best Indigenous MNet Original: Irora Iya, Trailblazer Award: Chimezie Imo, Industry Merit Awards: Iya Rainbow aka Idowu Philips and Richard Mofe Damijo,Best MultiChoice Talent Factory Movie: Our Dark Past, Best Series (Unscripted): Gh Queens (s2), Best Series Scripted: Itura, Best Director: BB Sasore (Breath of Life). However, reactions of Nigerians on social media vividly show that many were discontent with ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ losing out on all nominations. The Funke Akindele movie lost all five nominations despite becoming the first Nigerian movie to gross over N1 billion in cinema last December.

@Ifeobayeji wrote, “Anyway, Kehinde had a better performance than Funke if we compare both movies [‘Adire’ and ‘A Tribe Called Judah’]. But how ‘Breath of Life’ won best movie over ATCJ [‘A Tribe Called Judah’] is shocking.” @EObaniyi opined, “Award or not, Funke Akindele is the best in the game.” @abazwhylllz wrote, “A Tribe Called Judah is my own movie of the year. Keep your head high Funke Akindele.” The prestigious AMVCA awards celebrates the outstanding achievements in the Nigerian entertainment industry, showcasing remarkable talents across various categories.

Over the past 10 years, the AMVCA has recognized talent, celebrated artistry, and fostered different crafts. The awards show has not only become a focal point in representing the myriad stories of Africa’s vast diversity. Covering over 3,000 tribes and a population exceeding one billion, it has also made a significant economic impact in its enabling country, Nigeria. With an investment of 9 billion naira, it has created over 3,000 direct and indirect jobs, reaching an estimated total of 27,000 jobs throughout all its editions.

The hospitality, transportation and logistics, fashion and beauty, event planning, marketing and creative design industries are some of the direct sector beneficiaries. Moreover, the recognition and prestige associated with the AMVCA help attract investment and funding to the African film industry, leading to increased production budgets and improved resources for filmmakers.

The tenth edition of the AMVCA was sponsored by headline sponsor, Amstel and tactical sponsors, Pepsi, Promasidor and Martell. Other sponsors of the event include: TECNO, Hypo, Supa Komando, QuickTeller, Verve, Tiger Beer, MTN, Indomie, ONGA, Nivea, Goldberg, Jameson, Lush Hair, Legend Twist, and Chivas.