written by Ekine Stronghold
The much talked about AMVCA has come to pass and the film-makers consensus is that it has made remarkable impact except for the unavoidable “buts” which almost all events do experience, there is no such thing as a perfect event, is there? In my honest opinion it is a welcome development as far as African cinema is concerned. Any idea that seeks to reward film-makers and film practitioners in the continent is a welcome development and deserves the support of not just the film community but also the support of government and corporate world in Africa.
However there is a trend that we ought to look at. A side that I have chosen to make known my honest opinion. I have noticed a certain subtle ploy, a particular unwholesome path a few film-makers are toeing, a path that in no way ferments the much needed cohesion that promotes sustainable progress in the industry. I have heard such things like “finally AMVCA has come to dethrone AMAA”, “no need for AMAA again” e.t.c. amongst some film-makers. Sadly some print media don’t seem to know better. one newspaper ran this headline “AMAA JITTERS OVER THE SUCCESS OF AMVCA” and it is highly unfortunate that supposed journalists will for any reason condescend so low, display a total disregard for balanced reportage and professional practice simply because they were not invited for an event. It is very sad.
At this point in the development of our film industry it is only proper that we understand the place of complementing our efforts and synergize rather than fostering the spirit of negative competition. As an industry we must be mindful of such elements that postulate myopic ideas, seeking only selfish gains and tussling for administrative powers just to validate themselves. We must realize that collective good can only be achieved if all members do first, what is best for the group before seeking personal good.
It offends every form of moral decency to take for granted the contributions of AMAA to the development of African cinema. If we must tell the truth, no other organization has single-handedly contributed to the development of African cinema as much as AMAA has done over the years. It has served as a window to the outside world and a vehicle through which the cross-carpeting of African talents has been made possible.
I will not yield to the temptation of highlighting the much good AMAA has afforded the continent even for the benefit of these short-memory practitioners, if I have to AMAA will have to pay me for it. As an industry we ought to quieten these division seeking elements that are trying so hard to polarize the continent into Nigerian and south-African poles. The thought that the AMVCA is a calculated move to oust AMAA is a stand not yet taken or declared by the organizers of AMVCA and until such a time which for the good of African cinema such never come, we must begin to shun such anti-African individuals that insist that AMAA should be a nollywood thing.
In as much as I believe there is a need for constructive criticism to help tighten any perceived loose ends in AMAA, especially in the areas of logistics it should not be abused and turned to a witch-hunting exercise. There is no need for unnecessary bickering, comparisons and bad-mouthing. one persistent problem most film practitioners still have, particularly in nollywood is that they still are unable to separate the person of peace anyiam osigwe and AMAA, consequently they allow their bias against the person negatively color their perception of AMAA. Wouldn’t you agree that is a huge error that ought to be corrected? Be objective and judge by results and it won’t be so hard to see how important AMAA is to the African continent, the need to support and the truth that AMAA is not in contention with anybody.
In my honest opinion, if reports from the field holds completely true then I must say AMVCA will have a few questions to answer themselves. As an industry it is our collective responsibility to guard against every action which does not promote the ultimate good of the African motion picture industry and to do that all forms of improper conduct must be addressed.
The paragraph above certainly gives you, my enlightened readers the impression that I have said less than I know. You are not wrong and in my honest opinion I don’t think I am wrong to withhold some information especially if it is for the utmost good of the African film industry. I encourage those fighting against AMAA to emulate such gesture and switch from bad-mouthing to criticizing constructively and contribute their own quota to making out the best in the Africa film industry and the AMAA initiative.
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