Ministry of Local Government says the creative sector is one of the strategic players towards fulfilling the country’s long-term development plan Malawi 2063.
Speaking on Friday when he officially opened the 2022 European Film Festival in Lilongwe, Minister of Local Government Blessings Chinsinga said the creative industry is crucial in Malawi’s development blueprint.
He said: “We are in creative and innovation era where development needs critical and innovative minds to achieve progress.
“You may wish to know that the integral part of achieving the Malawi 2063 is about imagining the future. And the creative sector, including film making, is at the centre of ensuring that human imagination and creativity is stretched to the limit to realise our potential as a nation.”
Chinsinga said a vibrant film industry could help harness some of the key aspects of development.
He said Malawi is home to numerous potential talents which need massive investment.
However, Chinsinga acknowledged that the country’s creative industry faces challenges, including lack of training institutions and spaces to nurture different talents and creativity.
European Union (EU) Ambassador Rune Skinnebach, described the Euro Film Festival as an important element for the EU’s cultural diplomacy.
He said the festival is crucial for intercultural dialogue to foster peaceful inter-community relations.
Skinnebach said: “What brings us together during the Euro Film Festival in Malawi is an enjoyable topic of culture and arts.
“We realise that movies constitute a window to another world, and this festival offers a unique opportunity to watch movies unlikely to be screened elsewhere in Malawi.”
Film Association of Malawi president Gift Sukali described the Euro Film Festival as a learning platform for film makers.
However, he emphasised that the local film industry was stagnant due to lack of support.
Sukali said: “Filmmakers in Malawi operate on small budgets. There are no government-sponsored programmes that could see more filmmakers produce movies. This is our cry.
“Let me take this opportunity to appeal to the government through our line ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife to consider the arts and creatives in Malawi because it plays a huge role in our development.”
Held at the EU Ambassador’s residence, the film screening in Lilongwe provided an open-air cinematic experience. It began with the Malawian short film titled Manda Aliza followed by the Oscar-nominated movie, Luzzu, a feature film from the small European country of Malta.
The Euro Film Festival in Lilongwe was produced by Tom Schrieber with support from renowned local sound engineer Lemekezani Phiri and live events streamer Kelvin Before Gumbi, among other local creatives.