• Saturday, July 13, 2024
businessday logo


AMVCA: Promoting African cinema


Since its creation three years ago, The AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) has changed the way the African cinema is perceived. AMVCA aims at celebrating excellence in the African film and television industry. Now in its third edition, it has gained prominence across the continent and beyond.

“In 2013 MultiChoice acknowledged,” says John Ugbe, managing director, MultiChoice Nigeria, “the role its subscribers have played in making the M-Net/Africa Magic channels a success by introducing the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards. The AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) gives audiences a voice to say what they like while at the same time, honouring the role they have played in making the African film and television industry what it is today. Through these awards MultiChoice Africa not only acknowledges the contribution of its subscribers but provides exposure that acknowledges excellence in the industry.”

The brain child of Multichoice, the AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards is in line with its vision to sell African films to the world and nurture homegrown talents. “MultiChoice is committed to the economic and social upliftment of the continent. The AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards is therefore a natural inclusion to the company’s social investment portfolio. The AfricaMagic Viewers’ Choice Awards provides a platform to nurture and showcase indigenous talent. The AMVCA and the significant investment made by MultiChoice through M-Net is a show of our commitment to the development of skills, talent and social cohesion in the continent,” explains Ugbe.

According to Ugbe, the AMVCA is Multichoice’s way of raising the bar and encouraging improved standards in movie production. “In the past two years, we have been able to establish the AMVCAs as a platform for recognising the efforts of our actors, actresses, producers, directors and everyone in the movie and television production industries across Africa.

“It is our way of raising the bar and encouraging improved standards in movie production. This commitment is already paying off as more categories are emerging. For instance for the first time ever, the Best New Media – Online Video has joined the list of categories, showcasing the emergence of a new generation of African storytellers. Ultimately, we hope the AMVCA achieves the same level of regard as the Oscars worldwide, and place our African stars alongside their peers in other continents.”

Aside the AMVCAs, Ugbe says Multichoice has invested billions of naira in the African cinema to further promote the African movie industry.  “MultiChoice has invested billions of Naira in digital entertainment in Nigeria, and a good deal of this investment has been in the support of original African programming, and by extension; Nollywood. As a business in Nigeria, we operate always bearing in mind that the socio-economic environment can be impacted.

“By supporting Nollywood and making Nigerian movies popular both in Nigeria and beyond, we provide a platform for the Nollywood business to bloom and grow. This will in turn provide jobs and increase the bottom line in this genre.

Also in a bid to positively impact the movie industry in Nigeria, we offer training and skills transfer through various workshops. Our hope is to help build entrepreneurs, leaders, shapers and thinkers of tomorrow,” he adds.”

Furthermore, Ugbe says to combat Piracy, which has been impeding the growth of the African movie industry, Multichoice has put in place more secured decoders.

“Piracy is indeed a huge concern as it affects not just MultiChoice as Pay TV operators, but also the nation’s economy in the long run. We are partners in the anti-piracy war with the Nigerian Copyrights Commission, whose major mandate is to curb piracy across Nigeria. One of the ways in which we are addressing the issue is by introducing more secure decoders. We recently embarked on a nation-wide decoder phase out campaign that enabled customers a free swop of their legacy non-secure decoders, for more secure ones.”

In the coming months, Ugbe observes that lovers of AMVCA and DSTV should watch out for more innovative ways Mltichoice is changing how TV is experienced on the continent. “DSTV Now is our most recent innovation, and it embodies our ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ proposition. It is an application that enables our premium subscribers watch television on the go, through the internet. They can watch live TV, view the TV Guide and enjoy DSTV Catch Up content at their convenience on their mobile phones and tablets. One of the most exciting things about DSTV now is that even when you travel outside the country, you can still catch up with your favourite programs on the go.”