The 2016 AMVCAs held on Saturday, March 5, 2016, and it has a lot of people talking. From Nollywood fans to Nollywood practitioners, people are talking about the winners.
How did the 'new acts' beat the 'veterans' at the 2016 AMVCAs?
If the 2016 AMVCAs were to be Jury determined, the major winners would have still emerged winners, except that probably, “Road to Yesterday” would have lost to “Dry” as ‘best movie in West Africa.”
Personally, I have never loved a winners list as much as I do love this year’s list. It felt refreshing, real, like an Academy awards, and not something based on popularity. This year’s biggest surprise came from Adesua Etomi beating Genevieve Nnaji and Nse Ikpe-Etim to win the “best actress” award, and Daniel K Daniel beating Majid Michel, Mike Ezuruonye,Van Vicker to win the “best actor” award.
How did Adesua beat Genevieve and Nse Ikpe-Etim? I mean It’s a viewers choice awards, and they are more popular than she is - that’s probably the question that ran through your mind. Yes, it’s a viewers choice award, Genevieve and Nse are more popular than Etomi - Majid, Van Vicker, Mike Ezuruonye are more popular than DKD, but the winners had a stronger campaign game than other nominees.
Genevieve and Nse barely campaigned/’asked’ for votes, while the ‘new acts’ went real hard on their campaign game. It’s a viewers choice awards, so, just being popular isn’t enough. The winners were chosen based on the number of votes they got and not based on how popular they are.
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If a veteran gets nominated, sits back and thinks “I’m the king/queen” without working hard for the votes, then the 'hardworking' ones will keep winning every year. The AMVCAs is an award system based on the number of votes, and not on the number of years you’ve entertained veiwers.
Also, because the AMVCAs is based on a voting process, the important thing is being nominated. Being nominated makes you a winner, since the actor with the highest votes would go with the plaque.
According to Charles Novia in his review of event, a top director said :‘Ol’Boy, this award nor too pure this year’ While another top filmmaker said “ ‘How can ‘small small’ kids in acting, the up and comers be winning the big prizes in acting every year at the AMVCAs consistently? Look am na! E nor pure!These guys just nominate the big names alongside the new ones and then disgrace the old and established actors by giving the awards to people we don’t even know!’
Here’s what I think, If you’re a top Nollywood filmmaker and you don’t know Etomi and Daniel, you don’t have an idea of how talented they are, or the only ‘new acts’ you know are OC Ukeje, Blossom Chukwujekwu and probably Ivie Okujaye, then you’re definitely part of the problem the industry is facing. You are probably one of those who don’t know the industry is growing, and who thinks Nollywood is still in the era of “Living in Bondage.”
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I won’t go into the argument of Adesua being better actor than other nominees, but I can boldly recommend her movies to everyone because she’s really TALENTED. I have followed her work from the days of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” to “Brave” and even on stage, she’s one actress who keeps getting better.
DKD got nominated for his role in the movie “A Soldier’s Story,” and I’m going to focus on that. His role in the movie was exceptionally amazing. I had predicted that Ezuruonye would win based on his popularity, but DKD would win if there were to be an Academy choosing the winners.
The best actor in a comedy category got its rightful winner -”Falz.” The only competition he had was Bishop Umoh Imoh and Kelechi Udegbe.
I guess no one doubts Funke Akindele’s win. For the Best Supporting actor category, I thought Blossom Chukwujekwu would go home with the prize based on his popularity, but Chiedozie ‘Sambasa’ Nzeribe win for “A Soldier’s Story” is a very much deserved win.
The trailblazer award went to Kemi Lala Akindoju, and hearing her name, I suddenly couldn’t think of any other person more deserving of it. From her work in film, to her work on stage, Lala is that hardworking talented actress you would love to watch on screen.
While I’m pleased with this year’s winners list, I think it’s time the awards moved from being a viewers choice award to a Jury choice award. Better still, some technical and big categories should be based on the decision of a jury.
It would make it more credible knowing that the awards were dished out based on critical reviews and decisions of seasoned academy members in the industry.
As I once stated, some filmmakers use the AMVCAs as a yardstick for their success as filmmakers, and I’m like “brother or sister, you could have lost to another nominee if he had campaigned harder.” Your ‘fans’ got you the win - just like at the Teens Choice Awards.
So, we need top categories to be awarded based on something stronger than the viewers choice, and social media popularity.
But on the good side, I still think if the 2016 AMVCA winners were to be Jury determined, the major winners would have still emerged winners, except that probably, “Road to Yesterday” would have lost to “Dry” as ‘best movie in West Africa.”
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