While entries for the 6th Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards 2018 will open on 1 March, this year the actual choice of viewers as to who should win, will represent just a quarter of the award show's winners - 25.92% to be exact.
Entries to submit work will open for Africa's film and TV producers on 1 March and close on 30 April, and South Africans are welcome to enter - while sadly the say that viewers have in deciding winners is being dramatically cut down although it's still called a "Viewers' Choice" awards ceremony.
The 2018 AMVCAs done by MultiChoice and M-Net will take place in the third quarter of this year, on 1 September 2018.
The AMVCA organisers didn't bothered to explain why the viewers' choice has been dramatically reduced. Previously viewers across Africa chose 16 of the 27 categories in 2017. This has been gutted with viewers who will now just choose a shocking 7 of the 27 categories in 2018.
In January TVwithThinus reported that the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards isn't scrapped despite Nigerian trash reporting erroneously claiming that the AMVCAs has come to an end.
M-Net explained that the AMVCAs didn't take at the beginning of this year but that the annual pan-African award show celebrating the continent's film and television as well as its producers and stars is going ahead.
M-Net said that it deliberately decided to move the AMVCAs to the latter part of this year to unclutter the event television schedule.
"Nearly one year after the last AMVCAs, we are pleased to announce the call to entry for 2018 edition of the awards," says Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, M-Net West Africa director.
"The African movie and television industry is brimming with exciting talent, and at Africa Magic we contribute to the industry by not only giving these talents the platform to showcase their skills and passion, but by celebrating their achievements whilst also encouraging them to continue honing their craft."
The Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards celebrate filmmakers in different categories ranging from acting and directing to script writing and cinematography.
For 2018 M-Net says "a number of awards in different categories will be presented ranging from acting and directing to script writing and cinematography."
Other categories will include: short film or online video, soundtrack, costume designing, sound and lighting.
For 2017 there were 27 categories in total with viewers who decided 16 and 11 who were decided by the AMVCA panel of judges.
M-Net and MultiChoice are however dramatically cutting viewers' choice down in the AMVCAs for this year, limiting true "viewers' choice" to just 7 of the 27 categories and with 20 decided by the AMVCA judges.
Its disingenuous from M-Net's Africa Magic and MultiChoice to call it a "Viewers' Choice Awards" when the vote from viewers suddenly count just 25.9%.
It's also very bad from M-Net's Africa Magic and MultiChoice - that presumably want viewers' buy-in for a show premised on a popular vote - but signaling that the very viewers expected to vote and to vote are not actually trusted in their decision-making and choices.
Meanwhile John Ugbe, MultiChoice Nigeria's managing director, in a statement says he is delighted "at the the growing success of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards".
"We have been inundated by calls from filmmakers across Africa with everyone asking when the AMVCAs would return for another edition. After a brief hiatus, we are thrilled to announce that 2018 will indeed mark the sixth consecutive year of MultiChoice and Africa Magic successfully hosting the AMVCAs and we remain proud of the improvements seen in the industry since the inception of the awards as we know that these cannot be ignored or overstated."
"Furthermore, our continued investment demonstrates our dedication in helping unearth and celebrate talent on continent and we believe that the 2018 edition of the AMVCAs will leave an even bigger impact on the African film production industry than the previous five."
Entry for the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards is free and the closing date for submissions is 30 April 2018.
Films, made-for-television movies or television series previously entered into or nominated for an award, or awarded a prize in another film and television competition are eligible to be entered for the AMVCAs, and all films, made-for-television movies or television series are eligible for entry to the AMVCAs if they are broadcast or publicly screened during the period of 1 October 2016 to 31 March 2018.
Here are the guidelines:
1. Prepare a 2 to 3 minute long showreel for online submission.
2. Log on to www. africamagic.tv and navigate to the submission page.
3. Fill out the submission forms and upload the clip. A unique reference number will be allocated to each completed online submission. Depending on their location, participants should send their entries to either of the following addresses, quoting their unique reference number:
Attention: Hadizat Ibrahim (Nigeria)
Mss Local Productions
4 Industrial street, off town planning way, Illupeju, Lagos.
Attention: Buhle Ngcauzele (South Africa)
137 Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg, 2123, South Africa.
Attention: Margaret Mathore (Kenya)
2nd floor, M-Net Offices
Local Production studio, Jamhuri Grounds off Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya.
More information on entry requirements and submission procedures are available at www.africamagic.tv