Malawian film-makers impress Nigerian trainers

There is huge potential in Malawian film-makers, African Movie Academy Awards (AMMA) technical director Akasa Stephen Angba has noted.

Angba is in the country with a team of trainers conducting training for young film-makers in a project dubbed Film-in-Box.

The Africa Film Academy runs training programmes across Africa Film in a Box, an all round film training course. The courses are held in Lagos, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Uganda and Nairobi.

Over 100 youths attended the Film-in-a-Box training at Blantyre Youth Centre over the past four weeks. Next week, the training moves to Lilongwe where youths from Lilongwe and Mzuzu will be trained.

“This training is a necessity not only for Malawi but for Africans at large. I see it as an avenue to educate and enlighten people about film production so that they can tell their own African stories. What we have had previously is people coming from outside to tell our story,” Angba noted.

Some of the participants mob their trainer. - Picture by Chipi Khonje
Some of the participants mob their trainer. – Picture by Chipi Khonje

He emphasized the need to train the film-makers while they are young.

“It is important to train them while they are young so that they project their values and culture as they see it,” he said.

Angba noted that the African story is the same across the continent, regardless from which country it is told.

“There was a time in Africa when we knew no borders and we did not require visas and passes to travel from one territory to another. But when businessmen came, they created borders on the territories they had conquered.

“But when they left, they left us with these borders which have affected our trade and our values and the way we interact. But we are the same people. I came to Malawi, yet I feel like I am home. Yet I require a visa to come here.

“Our stories are so similar. People have their own experiences, their own sad and happy stories. Telling a story using film, which is a universal media, will help share the stories from a first-hand experience so that we appreciate each other’s values and cultures,” he said.

Angba said he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the young Malawian film-makers.

“The interest is amazing for a country that is yet to be known on the continent. And the ability of the participants to work as a team is an example to take home. Even the films that they made at the end of the training were amazing; their sense of story-telling, the ability to express themselves visually.

“Based on what I have seen; their enthusiasm and their ideas, I hope that the Malawian film industry will sell enough movies to the world in order to support the economy. There is so much here that the world hasn’t seen,” he said.

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