Malawi movie makers decry poor market

Some of the country’s movie producers have expressed dissatisfaction with the local market, saying it favours foreign movies, chocking the local industry in the process.

Some of the local movie producers told Nyasa Times in separate interviews the market was failing to support locally-made movies, instead, it prefers international movies which, in most cases, have little or no significance to the local masses.

Apart from the poor buying power, the movie producers also decried piracy, which has infected not only the movie industry but almost every section of the arts industry with music being the top-most victim.

Malawi movie, Moyo: Action

“There is a need for the people in this country to change their mind set towards local movies otherwise we are losing a lot in producing movies that are least appreciated by the local industry. This idea that foreign things are best is killing the motivation and talent. As a country we need to start supporting locally made stuffs if we are to be at par with other developed countries,” said Jacobs Mwase.

Mwase, who has several movies to his credit including the latest Moyo, said it was frustrating to note that most people prefer international movies especially Nigerians to local firms that are educating, entertaining and informative.

“Despite efforts to promote our movies, only few people are able to buy them and most of these people are those that either know us or have interest in local movies, but otherwise there is a big task to change people’s perception. We are investing a lot of money and that calls for a profit in return otherwise the local industry will die a natural death,” he said.

Mwase said was forced to start selling copies of his movies by himself following an increase in piracy, which has been escalated by uncontrolled booming of unlicensed music and video burning cafes in the country’s populous townships.

Almost on every corner-street of the populous townships there are burning cafes that are promoting piracy, thereby hurting the struggling local artists who rarely enjoy the fruits of their creativity.

“How would one talk of ending piracy when there are thousands of unlicensed burning cafes out there duplicating our work at cheap price? This is also maddening considering that we struggle to put out such good work only to be enjoyed by unscrupulous people who have nothing to offer to the society,” he added.

Another movie producer, Benjamin Chikoti while concurring with Mwase said there was a need for government and other stakeholders to start recognizing and support the efforts by local artists.

“The issue of people start buying local movies will only work if government and the corporate world start investing the local industry through that way, the local movies will be available to local person at cheaper price comparing to international movies which are selling at cheap price than the local movie currently,” Chikoti explained.

Chikoti said government has to start licensing the burning cafes as well as put up machinery to curb piracy, which is choking the local industry.

Meanwhile, the local film industry is facing stiff competition from international movies especially Nigerian movies which are selling like hot dogs.

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