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AMVCA: Power of the Viewers vs Power of the Critics

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The conclusion of the 10th Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) left Nollywood enthusiasts with mixed feelings. While some may regard it as satisfactory, many viewers found it unfair and unjust, especially since some of their faves didn’t win their categories

On one side, some celebrated it as a significant triumph for Nollywood: the AMVCA has evolved into a more reputable awards platform, honoring expertise, excellence, and skill. According to them, it stayed true to its newfound pledge this year.

This groundbreaking development came as a response to criticisms of the former awarding system. They cried that it was about time the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) listened and changed from awarding on a voting basis. For too long, the previous voting system has been biased to favour actors and films with social media popularity rather than genuine acting talent and overall performance.

Finally, they listened to our cries and introduced a jury system. It was refreshing to see the AMVCAs take a bold step towards rectifying this issue. This jury system took charge of 17 categories, including Best Movie, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Lead Actress, and Best Lead Actor (the most popular categories) Leaving just 9 voting categories like the Best Digital Content Creator, Best Indigenous Language (West Africa), Best Scripted MNET Original, Best Unscripted MNET Original, among others.

This development now poses these questions, has the integrity of the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Award been compromised? Has the authority of the viewers not been usurped? For an award system initially designed to honour recipients based on the choice of the people, it now seems to have shifted its power dynamics entirely.

In a surprising turn of events, “Breath of Life” emerged as the top winner, securing 5 AMVCAs. This was widely accepted by many, as it was publicly and popularly acclaimed. Meanwhile, “Over the Bridge” and “Jagun Jagun” followed with 2 wins each, leaving the national box office hit, “A Tribe Called Judah,” with no wins! That broke the camel’s back. How? Just how?

It’s quite perplexing that films like “Over the Bridge” and “Funmilayo Ransome Kuti” won a ‘viewers’ choice award’ knowing fully well that the films were not released for public consumption! Let’s not get into the fact that most of the nominated films are not available on the African Magic channels but rather on rival streaming platforms. How did the viewers get to choose?

Amongst all this, let’s look put all sentiments aside and look at the good side. This development signifies a positive shift—a move from mediocrity to credibility. And that’s exactly what the industry needs right now. The industry is growing fast, and we should too.

However, it’s crucial to maintain this newfound credibility but with this comes the risk of losing integrity, the only pitfall the 2024 AMVCAs are now guilty of.

It was an exhilarating breath of fresh air as Chiemeze Imo received the Trailblazer award, following what seemed to be a significant disappointment for being nominated in the Best Lead Actor category. Moreover, the recognition of “The Black Book,” an action film not widely embraced by Nigerian audiences, with 8 nominations and an AMVCA win, underscores a commendable appreciation for quality work beyond mere popularity.

Nonetheless, it marks a promising beginning for the evolution of Nollywood and African cinema, hinting at even greater advancements on the horizon. We’re so proud of where Nigerian cinema is going, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing the transformative impact this could have on the industry as a whole..

More wins for Nigerian cinema!

Here’s the complete list of the AMVCA winners.

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