Prominent South African filmmakers and media representatives gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel The WestCliff Hotel in Johannesburg as leading South African filmmaker Desiree Markgraff was officially unveiled as the Head Judge for the 2017 edition of Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs), the prestigious initiative that honours film and TV talent across the continent. The event also served as an opportunity for the organisers to encourage more South African entries for the 2017 AMVCAs. The 5th annual AMVCA ceremony takes place in Lagos, Nigeria on 3 and 4 March 2017.

Desiree Markgraff is co-owner and CEO of The Bomb Shelter Productions, a leading South African film and television production company. A council member of the NFVF (National Film and Video Foundation) and Chairperson of the NFVF Fiction committee, Desiree has been at the forefront of creating some of South Africa’s most successful television content, including Yizo Yizo, Zone 14, Jacob’s Cross, Isibaya, Ayeye, Amandla, and many more works celebrated around the world.

Speaking on Desiree’s appointment, the CEO of M-Net, Yolisa Phahle said: “We are delighted to announce Desiree as the Head Judge of the AMVCAs. Desiree brings a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to the role. The AMVCAs is an acknowledgement and celebration of the contribution made by Pan African filmmakers, actors and technicians to the success of the continent’s film and television industries, and we believe the appointment of Desiree further restates our commitment to professionalism and true Pan-African representation at the awards.”

For the 2017 edition, a number of awards in different categories will be presented ranging from acting and directing to scriptwriting and cinematography. Other categories will include: editing, soundtrack, make-up, sound, and lighting amongst others. There are 27 categories in all, with 16 open to viewers and 11 decided by the AMVCA panel of judges. Entry is free and the closing date for submissions is 28 October 2016.

Also speaking at the event, the Regional Director for M-Net West Africa, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu said: “Since the first edition in 2013, the AMVCAs have gone on to become the biggest celebration of film and television talent in Africa. The South African movie and television industry is brimming with exciting talent, and we encourage all eligible filmmakers to enter for the 2017 AMVCAs. Entries are currently open and we ask aspiring South African filmmakers to take advantage of the AMVCA platform to showcase their skills and passion to the rest of the world.”

All films, made-for-television movies or television series are eligible for entry if they are broadcast or publicly screened between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016. 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, also are eligible to be entered.

The newly announced Head Judge, Desiree Markgraff challenged South African filmmakers, at the event, to take advantage of the entry process and show Africa and the rest of the world the skill and quality inherent in the South African film and TV industry.

“The recognition that the AMVCAs bring to nominated and winning works is immense. Since the inception of the awards in 2013, we have seen the dramatic increase in the quality and quantity of the works entered, and when you are nominated for an AMVCA you know you have gained continental and global recognition. I urge all South African filmmakers who meet the criteria to enter their films and show the world the amount of talent and creativity abundant in this region,” added Markgraff.

The AMVCAs and MultiChoice are calling on all film and television industry participants and stakeholders across the continent to take part in this celebration of “African magic” by submitting their works for the 2017 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards.

· Prepare a short show reel for online submission
· Log on to and navigate to the submission page
· Fill out the submission form and upload the clip – a unique reference number will be allocated to each completed online submission
· Deliver a hard copy of your submission (with unique reference number) to Neo Phele, Magic Centre, 137 Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg, South Africa 2194.
· Visit for more information and terms and conditions.

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