By Funsho Arogundade
This year is off to an exciting start for the United Kingdom-based Nigerian filmmaker, Obi Emelonye, as his 2011 hit movie, Mirror Boy, led the way with 11 nominations at the first-ever AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards, AMVCA. This was revealed on 28 January during a special hour-long edition of lifestyle series, 53 Extra, held at the Porsche Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Though Mirror Boy leads other Nigerian productions on the nominations chart, the focus on the night was South African hit flick, Otelo Burning, which garnered 14 nominations, the highest.
Man on Ground, another Nigerian offering trailed with nine nominations, just in front of other titles scoring multiple nominations. These included Perfect Picture (8), Two Brides and a Baby (7), Maami (5) and Skeem (5).
Some of the most eagerly awaited categories also featured high profile nominees.
In the Best Actress In A Drama category, the nominees are Bubu Mazibuko, Genevieve Nnaji, Nolwazi Shange, Funke Akindele and Jackie Appiah. The Best Actress In A Comedy has Funke Akindele, Lilian Esoro and Mercy Johnson in the running. In the Best Actor In A Drama category, the nominees are Fabian Adeoye Lojede, O.C Ukeje, Kenneth Uphopho, Edward Kagutuzi and Jafta Mamabolo. Nominees for Best Actor in a Comedy are Hafiz Oyetoro, Kunle Bamtefa, Bovi Ugboma, Francis Odega and Ikhide Isaac.
In total, there were 110 nominees for 28 awards in 26 categories, chosen from 43 different productions from Cameroun, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Viewers are expected to vote for winners, while others in 18 more technically focused categories will be selected by a panel of industry experts. The panel will also select the TrailBlazer of the Year, and the Industry Merit recipient, meant for a veteran industry professional whose long term contribution will be honoured.
Members of the panel are Femi Odugbemi, AMVCA Executive Judge; Allison Triegaardt, Armand-Guy de Beer, Bongiwe Selane, Deborah Odutayo, Ebou Waggeh, Eileen Sandrock, Njoki Muhoho, Phad Mutumba and Richard West.
The selection team will be joined by a South African accounting firm, SizweNtsalubaGobodo, which will also verify all winner results.
Biola Alabi, M-Net Africa Managing Director, said the organisers want the AMVCA to be transparent. “We know that everyone associated with these awards must be diligent and conduct themselves with integrity during what are challenging, tough processes. At this time, I must also say that we are truly delighted with the list of nominees and we wish them all well. Roll on March, we couldn’t be more excited about the big night and promise TV audiences an event to remember,” she said.
Held in association with MultiChoice, and headline sponsor Amstel Malta, the AMVCA will recognise and reward excellence in African film and TV.