Is there a film industry in Malawi? That is a question a friend asked on Facebook recently.
Hollywood is known as the epitome of the film industry in the world, located in Los Angeles, California in the USA.
Even within the US, actors aim to find their way to the famous Hollywood to make their mark.
In Africa, there is the now famous Nollywood (Nigerian film industry) and Ghallywood in Ghana while Bollywood represents the Indian film industry.
In seeking to find an answer to the question on what people would call Malawi’s film industry, the following were some of the responses: Mollywood, Malawi Cinema and Nyasa Movies.
Industry greats such as Shemu Joyah, a writer, director and producer of award-winning film Seasons of a Life and The Last Fishing Boat, felt we should not be copycats at anything and there is no need to name the local film industry.
“I don’t believe in giving names to industries; therefore, I don’t think that the Malawian film industry should have a name. If we have no name for our fish industry, bonya being just the name of a product and not the industry itself, why should we have a name for a film industry?” he questioned.
Joyah, however, suggested that if others should want to name the industry then we should avoid a name like Mollywood, which will only make us look very uncreative.
“Why should we go around publicly declaring that we are copycats of others? There are too many “woods” now, I don’t think any new one will be taken seriously,” said Joyah.
In her words, Rising Choreos director Joyce Mhango Chavula concurred with Joyah on the need to find a unique name for the local film industry. She felt Nyasa Movies would be an ideal name.
“If it were in my power or given a chance to name our industry, I would call it Nyasa Movies or find a local name to identify ourselves!” said Mhango Chavula.