What you need to know:
- The event held in Nigeria was a mixed bag that brought many African films into the same pot. At the time, films from the continent were dumped altogether regardless of genre or form, they somehow ended up competing with each other.
Since they were rolled out nine editions ago, the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) have been a ride. From being a continental audience voted for awards, for films many people had never heard of let alone watched, to being mostly dominated by two countries – Nigeria and South Africa.
The event held in Nigeria was a mixed bag that brought many African films into the same pot. At the time, films from the continent were dumped altogether regardless of genre or form, they somehow ended up competing with each other.
That is how Mathew Nabwiso ended up taking home the AMVCA for Best Actor for his role in Matt Bish’s short film, A Good Catholic Girl. For many years Nabwiso was the only Ugandan winner at the AMVCAs even when a good number of Ugandans have been nominated for an award or two.
Over the years, Ugandans nominated for the AMVCAs include Cindy Sanyu for Matt Bish’s Bella, Richard Mulindwa for Terror 94 and The Torture, Hassan Mageye, Joan Agaba, Raymond Rushabiro, Cedric Babu and Nana Kagga’s Beneath The Lies and Donald Mugisha’s Boda Boda Theives among others.
These have been spread across the years though, and sometimes Uganda had only a solo nomination that they still lost. It is only this year that the country generally had a lot to celebrate, thanks to a number of newly created categories such as Best unscripted comedy show or Best Telenovela category.
Uganda had 17 nominations across all the fields being awarded such as feature films, short films, documentary and comedy, telenovela and TV dramas.
Loukman Ali was nominated thrice, out of the 17, twice for his work on Brotherhood, a best selling Nigerian film of 2022 – he served as cinematographer and director. Then his short film Sixteen Rounds.
Loukman won the two awards for his Brotherhood contribution, making him the first Ugandan to win more than one AMVCA and the first one to win twice on the same night.
Brotherhood owned a big part of the night, taking home five for Best West African Film, Best Actor for Tobi Bakre, Mathew Yusuf for lighting design and Loukman’s Best Director and Cinematography.
Other big winners of the night were the crew from Anikulapo, a Netflix original that took the technical categories such as Best Sound Design, Soundtrack, Screenplay, Best indigenous language film and Best Film Overall.
Even when he has won the AMVCAs thrice now, Loukman has never attended the ceremony, not even when he was in Lagos shooting Brotherhood in 2022, his awards on Saturday were accepted by the team from Brotherhood and other Ugandan nominees such as Hannington Bugingo and Mathew Nabwiso whose projects Popi and Karamoja respectively were nominees.
Other Ugandan nominees were Anne Kansiime for her reality show Kan See Me, Nathan Magoola for his telenovela Presitige, Nisha Kalema and Allan Manzi for the musical Junior Drama Club (JDC) and Morris Mugisha for the film Tembele among others.
While accepting Loukman’s award for Best Director, Fun Factory’s Bugingo rallied Nigerians to collaborate with Ugandans because there is indeed talent.