BY ESE DIBEBI
The Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, was the venue of an engaging event where a panel of representatives from M-Net West and East Africa discussed preparations for the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) with East African filmmakers and members of the press.
The panel included the Regional Director, M-Net West Africa, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, the Channel Head, Maisha Magic East, Margaret Mathore and the Public Relations Manager for MultiChoice Tanzania, Barbara Kambogi. A surprise addition to the panel was respected Kenyan film producer, critic, and academic, Njoki Muhoho, who was also unveiled as the new Head Judge for the 2016 AMVCA.
The event also featured a lively question and answer session with participants commending the organisers whilst also posing questions on the AMVCA including the entry, voting and judging processes, as well as questions on the AMVCA’s future and the possible expansion of the event.
On her part, Mba-Uzoukwu said: “We are delighted to be here, engaging directly with the stakeholders from East Africa. This region is an extremely important contributor to the African film and television industry and we continue to see an increase in the quantity and quality of works from here.“
To enter for the AMVCA, filmmakers who have produced and broadcast, or publically exhibited their works from October 1, 2014 to September 30 2015, should prepare a two or three minute long showreel for an online submission. They must then log on to www.africamagic.tv and click on the AMVCA submission banner which redirects to a submission page and is then filled, with the showreel uploaded. Once successfully done, a unique reference number will be generated and allocated to each completed submission. Quoting this unique reference number, filmmakers can then send a hard drive of their submitted work to any one of three different addresses, depending on their regions. West African submissions should be sent to MSSL Local Productions, 1652, Olosa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Also speaking at the event, the newly announced Head Judge, Njoki Muhoho, spoke from the perspective of having participated in the judging process of the three previous editions whilst challenging East African filmmakers to take advantage of the new entry process and show the rest of Africa just how rich and exciting the region’s content is.
Njoki’s career in TV and film is the result of a hobby gone serious. Writing as a hobby, Njoki became the Kenya National winner of M-Net’s New Directions Scriptwriting Competition in 1999. Not certain if this was a fluke or symbolic of a latent talent, Njoki took a one-year sabbatical from her busy Management Consultancy career with Pricewaterhouse and joined the New York Film Academy, at Universal Studios, Hollywood, earning a Diploma in Filmmaking. She has not looked back. She is now an award winning producer.
Entries for the AMVCA are open until the October 30, 2015.
For more information, please visit www.africamagic.tv