Two local films earn award nominations

Malawi Heat

Two local films, Fatsani and Sowing Seeds have made it to a shortlist of 14 films for awards at the regional Sotambe Film festival.

The two films have been nominated in the feature film category and will compete against other productions from South Africa, Kenya, United States of America, Zambia, Cameroon, Uganda and Tanzania.

Speaking in an interview yesterday, Fatsani movie producer Gift Sukali said earning a nomination after beating 247 movies from across Africa was an achievement that made him proud. He said he believed the nomination was the start of bigger things to come from their production.

“If you ask me, I would rate the chances of the film doing well at 99 percent. As a team, we have trust in the effort that we invested in the production,” he said.

Sukali, who is also Filmmakers Association of Malawi president, said the recognition of the two films means that Malawian stories are being appreciated. He stressed that it is time Malawi started exporting its talent.

On her part, Sowing Seeds movie producer Cathreen Mlenga also sounded optimistic on the chances of her movie making the final cut during the festival. She said she was encouraged to have her first movie recognised on an international platform.

Mlenga said: “I have great confidence in the film. The actors did a very good job and so did the technical guys. We received positive feedback here in Malawi when it was screened and that makes me believe that the film will do well beyond the borders as well.”

The filmmaker said for a long time the Malawian film industry has not received the recognition it deserves. She said the attention that local content has received on various international platforms shows that the industry is improving.

The Sotambe Film Festival is a Zambian arts platform established in 2014 and aims at educating and raising awareness on social issues through film and arts.

The annual event, which takes place in September, consists of documentary movies and locally produced movie screenings and a panel discussion involving film directors centred on the challenges they face in the course of their work.

Fatsani is a film about survival which was produced by Gift ‘Sukez’ Sichali and Sowing Seeds is a movie about girl power and was directed by Mlenga.

~Brian Itai, The Nation.


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