There were standout musical performances by some of Africa’s most gifted artists, superstar red carpet arrivals that set the mood for a brilliant gala event and an impressive line-up of guest presenters but at the end of an incredible night (Saturday March 8), it was the hugely deserving winners of the 2014 AFRICA MAGIC VIEWERS’ CHOICE AWARDS, once again held in association with MultiChoice Africa and Amstel Malta, who fittingly captured the night’s most heartfelt applause.
Broadcast live from Lagos to 50 African countries watching on DStv and GOtv, the second ever AMVCA’s handed out 29 awards in 27 categories, verified by the auditing firm of SizweNtsalubaGobodo. Recognizing outstanding achievements in African film and TV, awards on the night included top honours for rising star Michelle Bello (TrailBlazer of the Year) and accomplished veteran Peter Enochie (Industry Merit), who both also walked away with a Hyundai vehicle, courtesy of Stallion Motors. Meanwhile dynamic and multi-talented icon Rita Dominic, who was named the New Era award-winner, was the fortunate recipient of a Dubai cruise holiday for 4, courtesy of World and Travel Land.
The night’s biggest winners at the EKO Exhibition Centre was Contract and Nairobi Half Life which scooped no less than 4 accolades each. Contract won for Best Movie Director (Shirley Frimpong-Manso), Best Movie (Shirley Frimpong Manso, Yvonne Okoro and Ken Attoh), Best Video Editor (Shirley Frimpong-Manso) and Best Writer (Shirley Frimpong-Manso and Hertey Owusu). Nairobi Half Life took home awards for Best Lighting Designer (Mohamed Zain), Best Art Director (Barbara Minishi), Best Cinematographer (Christian Almesberger) and Best Make-Up Artist (Elayne Okaya).
Other notable winners included the first-ever AMVCA awarded for Best New Media – Online Video, heralding the arrival of a new generation of African storytellers. Walking away with that coveted prize was Mother Tongue (Amarachukwu Onoh). This year also marked the first ever AMVCA win for Best Documentary which went to The Deadwood (Dr Gilbert Chigbo), who impressed the judges for its imagery, technological standards and narrative structure.
Judges for this year’s AMVCA’s, ably led by the highly respected Executive Judge Femi Odugbemi, were once again individuals of enormous stature in the African film and TV community. They were: Deborah Odutayo, Huthy Phad Mutumba, Jahman Anikulapo, Simon Ratcliffe, Steph Ogundele, Abraham Haile Biru, Zik Zulu and Linus Abraham.
They didn’t have to do all the hard work of the night though, because in 9 categories, viewer votes determined the outcomes. The winners of these closely contested categories were: A Wish by Elvis Chucks (Best Movie Comedy), The Price by Frank Rajah Arase (Best Movie Drama), Osita Iheme for The Hero (Best Actor in a Comedy Movie/TV Series), Tope Tedela for A Mile From Home (Best Actor in a Drama Movie/TV Series), Funke Akindele for The Return of Sheri Koko (Best Actress in a Comedy Movie/TV Series), Nse Ikpe-Etim for Journey to Self (Best Actress in a Drama Movie/TV Series), Desmond Elliot for Finding Mercy (Best Supporting Actor Movie/TV Series), Bikiya Graham-Douglas for Flower Girl (Best Supporting Actress Movie/TV Series) plus Best New Media – Online Video.
During the event, skilfully hosted by IK Osakioduwa, Osas Ighodaro and Vimbai Mutinhiri, with Eku Edewor and Denrele Edun on the Red Carpet, a veritable galaxy of stars took on guest presenter roles. They included Majid Michel, Mike Ezuronye, Mercy Johnson, Gideon Okeke, Bimbo Manuel, Folake Coker and Uti Nwachukwu. Meanwhile among those making their mark on the ultra glamourous Red Carpet which preceded the all-important main event were: Genevieve Nnaji, Rita Dominic, Uche Jombo, Mercy Aigbe, Kate Henshaw, Yvonne Okoro, Jocelyn Dumas, Kunbi Oyelese, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha, Joseph Benjamin, Alex Ekubo, IK Ogbonna, Jide Kosoko, Ramsey Nouah, Nick Mutuma, Sarah Hassan, Brian Okwara, Juliet Ebrahim, Rukky Sanda, Jackie Appiah and Funke Akindele.
Amidst fast flashing lights and interview ready camera crews, the polished style, creative flair and breath-taking elegance of Africa’s fashionistas was undeniable. Also in the spotlight on the design front was internationally renowned Vlisco whose coveted fabrics beautifully adorned both of the female presenters on the night.
Performing at the event was Davido, Flavour, Waje, Bez and Cobhams, along with award-winning Nigerian musical Kakadu.
Commenting on the night’s celebrations, M-Net Africa Director for Special Projects Biola Alabi paid tribute to both the winners and the nominees. “We know that Africa’s film and TV industry is making a powerful contribution to the social, economic and cultural development and diversity of this continent. Tonight we must also recognize that this is only possible because there are individuals who make it so. Men and women who work, who create, who believe their art is impactful, entertaining and relevant. Whether its comedy or drama, documentary or short film, each story speaks to myriad lives committed to making that specific production possible. The nominees and winners of the 2014 AMVCAs are ambassadors of that community and it is in their success that we can see a bright future for the continent’s film and TV landscape. Of course, this event benefits enormously from the ongoing support of our partners MultiChoice Africa and Amstel Malta so we extend our thanks to both these fine organizations for their collaboration.”
MultiChoice Africa, CEO Nico Meyer said “We congratulate all the winners and nominees of this year’s event – the impressive selection of original and exciting productions is truly inspiring and we feel honoured to be able to deliver this standard of programming to our DStv and GOtv subscribers on the Africa Magic channels. We are proud partners of the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards, as we believe in acknowledging excellence in the film and television industry is critical for its further growth and development. MultiChoice is committed to delivering the best television to Africa and as such we are passionate about ensuring that we contribute to creating world class television made in Africa for Africa. We thus prioritise our investment in promoting local film and television while collaborating and supporting television and film producers to further build this vibrant and exciting industry.
MultiChoice remains committed to the development of skills and talent and to ensuring that we deliver the best possible television to Africa. We wish to thank our subscribers for their dedication and participation in these awards.”
On behalf of Amstel Malta, Walter Drenth (Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries PLC) said that his organization believes that the AMVCAs are vital in recognizing the efforts of outstanding individuals in the film and television community. He went on to say that the awards align with Amstel’s brand belief of inspiration and the celebration of talent. Further Mr. Drenth congratulated all the winners and nominees saying that they can all be very proud of their achievements and can be confident that their work is being seen, is valued and is appreciated. He also expressed Amstel Malta’s desire to see these individuals continue to apply their formidable talents to consistently create must-watch entertainment spanning multiple genres. In conclusion, he stated that all winners and nominees are contributing to making African film and TV as strong as content found anywhere else on the globe.
The 2014 AMVCAs were screened on Africa Magic Entertainment, Africa Magic and Africa Magic World. For more information on Africa Magic channels and programs, visit www.africamagic.tv