Malawian new film ‘The Last Fishing Boat’ hits the market this month

‘The Last Fishing Boat’, a Malawian latest movie written, directed and produced by Shemu Joyah, will start selling in about four weeks, the film maker has disclosed.

He said this Friday night in an interview with Nyasa Times during the movie premiere at Hotel Victoria in Blantyre.

Joyah, whose company, First Dawn Arts, produced his first award-winning movie ‘Seasons of a Life’ in 2009 said unlike his first release, which targeted global festivals, the new film is mainly for commercial purposes.

“I went with ‘Seasons of a Life’ to festivals before putting the DVD on the market, but this one is for the people. I’m not planning to screen it much at festivals, but put it straight on the market in the next three to four weeks,” said the 53-year-old writer.

In ‘The Last Fishing Boat’, shot on the shores of Lake Malawi in Mangochi, a once successful fisherman (Hope Chisanu) is now struggling while his cultural values are being threatened by the expanding tourist industry.

Joyah introducing the cast and crew. Photo by Kimpho Loka

While his son (Robert Kalua) has become a tourist guide, to the condemnation of his father, on the other hand, the fisherman’s beautiful third wife (Flora Suya) is torn between loyalty to her husband and the endless sexual overtures by a white tourist (Robert Loughlin) who is ready to pay her anything in order to sleep with her.

The story, written by Joyah and Michael Phoya, develops into a cultural clash between traditional African values and modernisation, and speaking further during the interview, Joyah said it was important for Malawians/Africans to be proud of their cultural values.

“The world is changing everyday and this trickle down to us. We might be poor but we have our dignity which we don’t have to lose, that’s what this movie is teaching us,” he said.

The movie premiere attracted a huge crowd that filled the Victoria Hotel conference hall full to capacity, bringing together movie lovers from all walks of life in the city.

Commenting on the patronage, the film maker said: “I’m happy to have such a great audience, to be honest, I didn’t expect such a huge attendance. This is a testimony that Malawians are now interested locally produced movies and this is an encouragement to us to work harder in our productions.”

Loughlin, who has been in Malawi for four years and played as Richard, the white tourist in the movie, said he was delighted to be part of what he described as a “great project.”

Saying “Malawi has great potential in movie production”, he also told Nyasa Times: “I’m happy to see the people loving the movie. This was my first time to act, but I loved the whole experience, more especially working with this crew of professionals, and not forgetting the beautiful people of Mangochi.”

Prior to the movie screening, one of the country’s renowned acoustic musicians, Agorosso, performed three tracks and paved way for Chichiri Dance Troupe, before Joyah introduced the cast and crew of more than 20 people.

The ‘Last Fishing Boat’ will next be screened at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe on Sunday (2nd December)from 5:00pm and then in the northern city of Mzuzu on 8th December at St John of God Hall.

Part of the audience after the movie screening. Photo by Kimpho Loka/Nyasa Times

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