Malawian film wins award at US film festival

Continuing where he left off with his award winning debut feature Seasons of a Life, Malawian filmmaker Shemu Joyah has scooped another first after his 2012 drama The Last Fishing Boat won the award of Best Narrative Feature Film at the just ended Silicon Valley African Film Festival which took place in Silicon Valley, California, USA, from 11 to 13 October 2013.

This is the second award the film has won after the award of Best Soundtrack at the Africa Movie Academy Awards 2013, where it had five nominations.

And speaking to Nyasa Times soon after he received news of the triumph, a visibly ecstatic Joyah said the award is an endorsement from the film industry that they are on the right track.

“It feels good. After the success of the first film, people were wondering whether it was a short in the dark. So this win is an assurance that we are on the right track,” he said.

Movie action: Last Fishing Boat wins award at US film festival
Movie action: Last Fishing Boat wins award at US film festival

Seasons of a Life, which was directed, written and produced by Joyah, lends on the acting talents of Hope Chisanu, Robert Loughlin, Flora Suya, Robert Kalua, Tereza Mirovicová and Ashukile Mwakisulu.

The 110 minute drama, set on the shores of Mangochi, traces the life of once successful fisherman on Lake Malawi is now struggling due to the depletion of fish in the lake, while his cultural values are being threatened by the expanding tourist industry.

His son, whom he had hoped would be a fisherman, has become a tourist guide and rumours are abound that he sleeps with both female and male tourists for money; while his young and beautiful third wife is torn between loyalty to her husband and the endless sexual overtures by a white tourist who is ready to pay her anything in order to sleep with her.

The story develops into a cultural clash between traditional African values and modernisation.

The Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF) is described as a showcase of Africa’s seasoned and emerging filmmakers whose works reflect the true stories, hopes and dreams of Africa.

Watch The Last Fishing Boat snippet here:

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