Malawi will have its first ever film academy, courtesy of the African Movie Academy Awards (Amaa), which is investing over $500 000 in film making equipment.
The film school will be an educational institution dedicated to teaching aspects of filmmaking, including film production, digital media production, and screenwriting.
Technical training will include instruction in the use and operation of cameras, lighting equipment, film or video editing equipment and software, and other relevant equipment.
“It’s our tradition that everywhere we go in Africa for the Amaa nomination gala event, where people get to know personalities and films that have made it into the 25 categories of the awards, we open an African film academy, our office as well as Digital Cinema Centres,” said Amaa chief executive officer Peace Anyiam Osigwe.
“The academy is mainly aimed at promoting the youth from Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre that are currently undergoing a three-week course called Film in a Box, where among others they are learning screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, acting and sound production management, for them to stand on their own. After the training, they will need resources and that’s where the academy comes in.
Other than the school and offering state of the art equipment at next to nothing prices, she said the film academy will also link Malawian actors and actresses to the rest of Africa and the world.
“While the youth and others enjoy using our equipment that will cost us not less than $500 000, the academy will be the hub for casting agencies for up and coming as well as celebrated actors and actresses among others who stand a chance of being spotted by big names in the film industry like Nollywood from Nigeria, Gallywood of Ghana and even Hollywood, as it will accord them the opportunity of presenting their information at the centre.
“The idea is to make Malawi the next big thing in the movie industry as it has the potential. As such, we will continue training the youth and all people with interest in the movie industry. Right now, we are trying to identify a place in Lilongwe where we can build the academy.
“If not, we will start with a place for rent while working on our permanent premises. But whatever the case, by May, we should have the academy our eighth, running,” Osigwe said.
Amaa will also establish digital cinema centres with the aim of promoting cinema experience.
Said the Amaa CEO: “People will be watching African movies at a lower fee at these centres. Our plans are to have such centres in all the 28 districts of Malawi by the end of this year.
“We are currently identifying places for the centres but soon some should be up and running.”