KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
IT was the same familiar story for Zambian filmmakers last week Friday when the nominees for the Africa Magic Viewersâ€™ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) 2016 were announced â€“ not anywhere near.
Even after cleaning oneâ€™s lenses, it was difficult to find a Zambian movie, actor, actress or director who had been nominated. It was a pointless effort. The quickest way though, if you did not want to clean your glasses, was to go to the list of nominees for Best Movie â€“ Southern Africa.
Perhaps, only perhaps!
There was a glimmer of hope of there â€“ a certain Joyce Mhango Chavula had been nominated. But having been nominated for the movie titled Lilongwe, it was clear that, unless she is a Zambian export like Cassie Kabwita, who has made a name for herself in East Africa, this was another miss.
And it was; Joyce, like the title of her film suggests, is a Lilongwe-based actress and director who is also vice president of the Film Association of Malawi (FAMA) and National Theatre Association of Malawi (NTAM).
For Zambian filmmakers, it is again a question of thinking you are so near, yet you are so far.
Two films stood out for the 2016 AMVCAs – Nigeriaâ€™s â€˜Road to Yesterdayâ€™ as well as the South African â€˜Tell Me Something Sweetâ€™.
The Best Overall Movie (Africa) has Dry â€“ Stephanie Linus, Freetown â€“ Adam Abel and Garrett Batty, Ayanda â€“ Sara Blecher, Tell Me Something Sweet â€“ Akin Omotosho, Road To Yesterday â€“ Ishaya Bako, Silverain â€“ Juliet Asante and House Arrest â€“ Joseph Kenneth Ssebaggala while Best Television Series has Jane and Abel â€“ Dorothy Ghettuba, How to Find a Husband â€“ Erica Sugo Anyadike, Santalal â€“ Gerald Langiri, Officer Titus â€“ Olabisi Jinadu and Daddyâ€™s Girls â€“ Ariyike Oladipo.
In the Best Writer of a Movie/TV Series, there is Freetown â€“ Melissa Leilani Larson, Anniversary â€“ Afe Olumowe, Road To Yesterday â€“ Emil B. Garuba, Iquoâ€™s Journal â€“ Blessing Egbe and Ayanda â€“ Trish Malone while Best Director has Road to Yesterday â€“ Ishaya Bako, Dry â€“ Stephanie Linus, Tell Me Sweet Something â€“ Akin Omotosho, Ayanda â€“ Sara Blecher, Gbomo Gbomo Express â€“ Walter â€˜Waltbangerâ€™ Taylaur and Rebecca â€“ Shirley Frimpong-Manso.
Best Actress in a Comedy (Movie/TV Series) has Jenifaâ€™s Diary â€“ Funke Akindele, Being Mrs Elliot â€“ Lepacious Bose, Skinny Girl In Transit â€“ Abimbola Craig, An African City â€“ Nana Mensah and Desperate House Girls â€“ Ini Edo while Best Actress In a Drama (Movie/TV Series) has Road to Yesterday â€“ Genevieve Nnaji, Donâ€™t cry for me â€“ Mary Lazarus, Stop â€“ Belinda Effah, Ayanda â€“ Fulu Mugovhani, Falling â€“ Adesua Etomi and The Visit â€“ Nse Ikpe-Etim.
The Best Movie â€“ Southern Africa, in which Joyce is nominated, has two other films – Ayanda â€“ Sara Blecher and Tell Me Sweet Something â€“ Akin Omotosho.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka