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Revisiting the AMVCA: Female Led Categories on the Spotlight

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By Victory Enokela

Filmmaking, production, costume design, scriptwriting, and role-play are some of the many ingredients that go into delivering a noteworthy movie, the rigour that goes into play can only be fully understood by the individuals themselves. The Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards is one of Africa’s great entertainment platforms that is determined to reward such hard work of the stakeholders in the film/ TV production value chain in the region. Driven with the aim to recognize and reward African content and talent, the AMVCA in no small way showcases the individual stories embedded in the rich African culture while shedding light on myths and giving voice to the truths of Africa. 

In an earlier article  –Top 10 Female Awardees at the AMVCA, Amazons Watch spotlighted female winners including some nominees at the 2022 AMVCA Awards night. Winning or being nominated for a category in such a competitive industry and out of all the hundreds of films brought to our screens every year is no small feat. Therefore, in this article, we take an even more interesting dive into exploring the female starred movies, and female-led productions to uncover what made their stories stand out among the rest. We believe there’s more to explore, more entertainment gist to satisfy our readers with, more stories to be told, and most importantly more lessons to be learnt- lessons of zeal, craftsmanship, tenacity in skill, ad resilience.

Here’s AWM insight into the all female-led film productions and female starred movies by category at the top of the AMVCA 2022 list, in no particular order:

  1. The overall best movie category

This category is renowned as the grand category for the night and is often considered to be one of the toughest categories for any movie to be nominated for.  Yet 5 out of the 7 nominees were female-starred movies; from Amina (winner) to La Femme Anjola, to Omo Ghetto, to Voiceless, and Just in time, these movies are packed with timeless lessons.

  • ‘Amina’ Starring Lucy Ameh

The movie Amina alone bagged 4 awards for the night, it is based on the true-life story of Queen Amina who was the first to rule in the Zazzau empire in the 16th century, Princess Amina grows up to become a fierce and fearless warrior who takes her rightful place on the throne regardless of being a woman. 

The indigenous use of English Igala and Hausa makes this movie all the more worthy of its emergence. Although she was born in a chauvinistic society, she conquered the Zazzau empire and became the first and most outstanding female Sarki in Nigerian history, this for sure encourages female youngsters to stand for what is right and just regardless of race, ethnicity, religious background or societal norms and beliefs.  

  • ‘Voiceless’ Starring Asabe Madaki

Another nominee film we find intriguing is the movie Voiceless. This Hausa featured film shares a story of love and the power of dreams in the midst of violence and terrorism in the northeastern part of Nigeria. This movie which is based on an eyewitness account reveals the turmoil of a bright promising girl, Salma who was abducted by a terrorist group along with 245 other girls. Despite her seemingly hopeless reality, she refuses to give up on her huge dreams, alas the struggle to regain freedom and realize her dreams lead to unfathomable pains and deaths. While this story has a sad end, we hold on to the saying” if you want to see real change, tell a true story”.

We believe this story inspires African leaders to take a step in the direction of curbing and eliminating bandits and terrorist groups, to make the continent safe for our children.

  1. The Best Picture Editor category
  • ‘For Maria Ebun Pataki’ Starring Meg Otanwa

 For Maria Ebun Pataki is a story about a mother, Derin (Meg Otanwa ), suffering from postpartum depression. The film follows her in the first few months after the delivery, a process that made Derin lose a lot of blood along with her womb. The film perfectly captures the disconnect she feels from her baby, along with the struggles that come with being in her state.

In for Maria Ebun Pataki, the female drama film explores postpartum depression, a condition that is not given nearly enough attention in cinema both at home and abroad. And as depicted through the mother-in-law (Tina Mba ), postpartum depression is not even a condition many people believe exists or are willing to accommodate. 

“The audience is not supposed to feel Derin’s pain. With a Kubrickian coldness, we are held at arm’s length and called to observe from a distance. What we are promised is not a deep character study but an exploration of a condition. The truth is many audience members have never experienced postpartum depression (and I imagine those who have are not interested in reliving it) and the movie is not exactly interested in putting us in the driver’s seat either; it is more informative than immersive” says director Damilola Orimogunje . This movie truly features a distant yet paramount topic, women must be supported through the struggles that come post-childbirth, this move undoubtedly creates reasonable awareness around the issue in question. 

  1. The Best Supporting Actress Category
  • ‘Country Hard’ Starring Omowunmi Dada

Supporting actors/actresses always add some spice to any movie, we see Omowunmi Dada excellently capture the essence of her role in Country Hard, thereby bagging the award for best-supporting Actress, and she features as Tola in the TV drama movie. Country Hard is based on four stories that reflect on the hardship experienced by seven individuals in a small part of Lagos on an ordinary day that ends with life-altering consequences for all. This Movie showcases the challenges we face in Nigeria, the consequences of our actions or inactions, and the triumph we hope for, it shows the doggedness of the Nigerian people against the backdrop of hardship. 

4.The Best short Film Category

  • ‘I am the prostitute Mama described’ Produced and Written by Taiwo Ogunnimo

Accolades and cheers continue to be with Taiwo Ogunnimo in her award-winning short film ‘I am the prostitute Mama described.’ The writer and producer of this film showcase her rare talent for storytelling, drawing the attention of parents, guardians, and older generations to the need for sex education as a means to protect children from all forms of sexual harassment and abuse. The movie showcases the story of a young wife who lives in guilt due to misinformation from her mother about the sexual relations of married couples, we see that many young girls are naïve and clueless on matters as such, as it is said, ignorance is man’s greatest enemy.

Amazons Watch Magazine has another interquel edition on this series. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with all the timeless lessons and entertainment gist you could ask for. Stay tuned, and stay expectant!

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