The stage is set again as South African film, "Otelo Burning' battles Nigeria's 'The Mirror Boy" in the inaugural AfricaMagic Viewers' Choice Awards (AMVCAs).
Though the former scored 14 nominations, with the latter garnering 11 nominations. The popular opinion is that the battle is between Nigeria and South Africa. Following "The Mirror Boy" is another Nigerian production, Man on Ground which scored 9 nominations. Other titles scoring multiple nominations included, Ghana's Perfect Picture (8), Two Brides and a Baby (7), Maami (5) and Skeem (5).
In total, there were 110 nominees chosen from 43 different productions from countries as diverse as Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Meanwhile, some of the much awaited categories also boasted high profile nominees. In the category for Best Actress in a Drama, the nominees are Bubu Mazibuko, Genevieve Nnaji, Nolwazi Shange, Funke Akindele and Jackie Appiah, while in the Best Actress in a Comedy category Funke Akindele, Lilian Esoro and Mercy Johnson are all in the race.
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.
And in the Best Movie Overall category are Skeem (Tim Greene), Man on Ground (Akin Omotoso, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Hakeem Kae-Kazim and Rosie Motene), Jozi King (Jamie Ramsay), Otelo Burning (Sara Blecher) and The Mirror Boy (Obi Emelonye).
The nominees were revealed during a special edition of M-Net AfricaMagic lifestyle programme, 53 Extra. Announcing the nominees were stylish presenters, Eku Edewor and Dolopo Oni, joined by Jara co-hosts Uti Nwachukwu (Big Brother All Stars winner) and Helen Paul, Biola Alabi (M-Net Africa MD), Femi Odugbemi (AMVCA Executive Judge), Lizz Njagah (Kenyan soap and reality star) and Edem Vindah (Media and Public Affairs Manager, Nigerian Breweries PLC).
Encompassing 28 awards in 26 categories, the AMVCAs includes six categories where viewers will vote for winners and 18 more technically focused categories where winners will be selected by an expert industry based judging panel (judges will be announced at a later date).
This judging panel will also select the rising star TrailBlazer of the Year, and the Industry Merit recipient, a veteran industry professional whose long term contribution will be honoured.
And ensuring the awards specifically recognise outstanding achievement, the AMVCAs did not name nominees in two categories (Best Documentary and Best Online Video) as the nominee selection team had preferred to award certificates of encouragement instead to all entrants.
M-Net Africa MD Biola Alabi says: "We want the AMVCAs to be transparent, credible, respected and fair. So we selected people to the nominee selection team who embrace this philosophy. We will do the same when selecting the industry judging panel that will pick winners in certain categories. 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
The award, being organised in association with continental pay-TV operator MultiChoice and headline sponsor Amstel Malta, is billed to hold in Lagos on 8 and 9th of March. It recognises and rewards excellence in African film and TV.