He is arguably one of the best film talents Malawi has. He displayed great potential with his first movie Seasons of a Life, which can also be described as a success.
The movie shot, edited and directed by Shemu Joyah has screened at several international film festivals including the Zanzibar International Film Festival (Ziff) where it won the Ziff Chairmanâ€™s Award and Verona Jury Award, among others. It also won the Special Schools Award in Verona, Italy. In 2010, Seasons of a Life received nominations in eight categories for the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AAMA).
Joyah is now back with news of his new movie; The Last Fishing Boat.
â€œAt the moment, we have not come up with a specific date and place of release but we will make an announcement soon.
â€œWe are making final touches to the movie. I hope that people will enjoy the new film the way they enjoyed Seasons of a Life. This is a more complex story which was shot on a more complex set. The challenges were huge. So, I am eager to find out how people will receive it,â€ said Joyah in an interview.
â€œThe movie is about the interaction between a fishing village along the lake and a couple of tourists. We shot the movie in Mangochi, the main location being Mpemba Village and beach. We also shot at Nkopola Lodge and Maldeco. It is not an action movie but rather a captivating drama about the changing fortunes of a fishing village in an ever-changing world and I am sure people will love it,â€ he explained.
Joyah said the movie cost him a fortune.
â€œAbout 16 million kwacha was spent on the movie which is 1 hour 45 minutes. We are still working on it so it might be shorter by the time of release. It took us three weeks to shoot. And we have been working on the post-production for the past eight months. Two of the main characters are Hope Chisanu and Flora Suya, who were also in Seasons of a Life. The others, who will be known later, are new,â€ he said.
The award winning film producer said he has future plans of shooting more movies if resources allow.
Said Joyah: â€œDefinitely, I will be shooting another one but I am not sure when, since it depends on availability of finances.
â€œThough the industry does not exist yet, but I have to say its future is bright if people are committed to make it work. The biggest problem we have is that we are poor, and filmmaking is not a poor manâ€™s hobby.
â€œBeing poor brings with it all the attendant problems like lack of trained cast and crew, poor equipment and so on. I will be cheating myself if we try to compare ourselves with South Africa. We are far much behind.â€