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AMVCA 2018: Africa’s ‘prestigious’ movie award might not hold this year

AMVCA, which has rewarded excellence in TV and film for five years since 2013, has shown no sign of returning for a sixth edition. Africa’s ‘prestigious’ movie award, Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, might not hold this year. AMVCA, which has rewarded excellence in TV and film for five years since 2013, has shown no sign of returning for a sixth edition.Signs that there would be no AMVCA this yearThe usual events that signal the approach of the award show – call for entries, nominee announcement, campaign for votes by nominees, and publicity by the organizers – have been missing.AMVCA was founded in 2013 by Multichoice. And upon its arrival, it found a spot alongside the already existing Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).Over the years, the ceremony has featured performances by prominent artists such as Mavin, Flavour, Davido, Psquare, and is broadcast live on all Africa Magic channels to viewers across Nigeria.The annual attendance by so many A-List actors, punctuality and organization of the show, also aided its rise in the entertainment industry. AMVCA over the yearsThe 2013 edition was co-hosted by IK Osakioduwa and Vimbai Mutinhiri. The winners’ list was led by Akin Omotoso’s “Man on Ground,” while Ivie Okujaiye and Olu Jacobs were honoured with the TrailBlazer and Industry Merit Awards, respectively.In 2014, celebrities reassembled at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island for the sophomore edition, which was hosted by Osas Ighodaro, Osakioduwa and Vimbai.In 2015, IK and Vimbai returned as co-hosts, while Kunle Afolayan’s “October 1” dominated the night.In 2016, Bukky Ajayi and Sadiq Daba received the “Industry Merit Award” for their contribution to the growth of the Nigerian film industry.In 2017, for its fifth edition, the show returned with an underwhelming nominee list and ceremony. Nevertheless, there was the promise of better editions to come.Unfortunately, it’s January,  and there’s no trace of AMVCA 2018. Praise and criticism of AMVCASince it’s inception, the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards has been applauded for its organization, and its glamorous red carpet.However, it has been occasionally criticized for being a popularity contest. Unlike the Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMVCA is mostly a fan-voted system that gives the audience the power to decide winners such as Best Actor and Best Movie.That shouldn’t be a problem as any of the qualified nominees should be qualified enough to emerge a winner.  Unfortunately, in some cases, the nominees aren’t always the best the movie industry has to offer. And since it’s often about who is able to garner more votes, works of questionable artistic qualities are awarded.Why the 2018 AMVCA isn’t happeningWhat’s worse is that the organizers are silent about what viewers should expect.An email sent by Pulse to Multichoice, the organizers of the awards, has received no response. However, according to several reports, the ceremony was cancelled for lack of funds.The rumours started in 2017 after, for the first time, VIP tickets were sold for 100 thousand naira. Also, Amstel Malta, an official sponsor of the show for four years, were noticeably off the backdrop. It is a normal occurrence for shows to get cancelled for lack of sponsors.Reactions to a 2018 without AMVCA  Impact of the AMVCA cancellationIn every industry, there’s need for a credible award system that rewards hard work, effort and excellence.In an industry that boasts of more ridiculous award platforms than reliable ones, the cancellation of Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards takes the Nigerian movie industry a step backward from building an awards body that is reliable and consistent.

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