In the just ended 2013, a lot in the movie industry has taken place. There were more film makers and more movies were produced than a year before. A good number of Malawi film makers with their own initiative and international motivation ventured into film making and gained international recognition.
Some of these managed to get international nominations.
Shemu Joya’s Last Fishing Boat got an award for best sound track at the Amaa and best narrative feature film at the Silicon Valley Africa Film Festival. On top of that, the movie was showcased beyond Malawian boarders.
Indeed success fell on the nation in terms of movie making African Movie Academy Awards ran a 14-day workshop called Film in a box aimed at providing training to aspiring film makers.
Following this, 400 people were trained as professional film makers. The training brought significance of the industry in Malawi. Sixteen year old Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba directed a movie titled The Designer which shone at the Silicon Valley Film Festival in California,USA.She also won the best emerging film director award.
Malawi’s actor William Kamkwamba with his William and the windmill documentary, made headlines in the international scene after winning best documentary award at the Flyway Film festival in Wisconsin, United States of America. Not only that, Malawi’s own Eugene Khumbanyiwa starred in Hollywood comedy Choppie with Hollywood’s best actors.
There was also a good bond between Malawi and other countries in the movie industry.Nollywood actor Desmond Elliot came in the country and made in a movie with Malawian actress Joyce Chavula-Mhango. She travelled to a number of African countries and Britain showing the movie.
Interest in movie making also hyped as we saw a number of the locals venturing into the industry. There came Mada Matola with a movie Child Labour Mission, comedian Bon Kalindo aka Winiko revealed his intentions to venture into movie production with a film called Broken Promise. In October, veteran playwright Roy Sagonja also ventured in the movie industry and released a cultural based movie Living Corpses.
The movie industry through the Amaa awards also made it possible for Africa’s finest and internationally recognised Nigerian music giants, Peter and Paul Okoye popularly known P Square and 2 Face to date the country which was a great experience for fun-lovers.
In an interview with Film Association of Malawi (Fama) director, Ezaius Mkandawire says in the just ended year, there has been progress and it has been fruitful in as far as movie production is concerned.
“It is in the year 2013 that we have seen that Malawians and movie makers have started taking the movie industry more seriously and as a money generating industry. To us this is progress,” he said.
He, however, said the country encountered some problems in the movie industry of which as an association they got affected.
“In the previous year we had awards that motivated not only us but also film makers to do more in the film production circles but this year we never had any. This has posed a great concern to us, for the awards act as a motivating fact to us. So not having any was not right,” said Mkandawire.
“As an association, we promise to be fully committed to support film makers in the year coming such that we are looking forward to quality productions in the coming year and we hope to see more people venturing into the movie industry.