Tauka Arts Pictures Production Company — managed by actor, script writer, producer, editor and director, Precious Pungulani Denja — has been identified and commissioned as the successful candidate to produce the first Malawian series for OneZed, the entertainment channel of DStv and GOtv.
MultiChoice says shortlisting process was rigorous as all proposals were equally good but Tauka Arts Pictures was top.
Born and raised in Malawi, Precious Denja began his career in film in 2006, working on productions in Malawi and collaborating with fellow industry veterans and featuring in more than 20 productions.
Precious Denja says: “It is an honour, I owe all this to God Almighty, the provider of talent. I am not special, but my Lord is. I thank OneZed for according Malawi such an opportunity.”
This initiative to have Malawian stories be featured on OneZed is part of the MultiChoice Expansion Program-Project Pamodzi, which was launched in Malawi in July.
“We are excited to contribute toward the enablement of local job creation and entertainment through the production of this series,” says Emma Gichonge, MultiChoice Malawi Managing Director.
“Through our skills development programmes and investment in Malawi’s creative industries, we hope to provide a stage for authentic and original Malawian stories to be told.”
MultiChoice assures its customers that more details will be shared on the progress of the production and last month, MultiChoice Malawi’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Zena Makunje said the local filmmakers and producers have scripted a Malawian story, which subscribers should expect to be the best.
First under the The Malawian producers were identified after undergoing Masterclass in scriptwriting to be shown on OneZed channel on both DStv and GOtv.
The first under the Project Pamodzi was a physical Masterclass in scriptwriting which was led by industry veteran, actor, producer and director Neil McCarthy in conjunction with the Ministry of Information & Digitization.
It was launched in Malawi as a collaborative project between MultiChoice, local television stations and local content producers, for industry-development and training programs facilitated by MultiChoice Talent Factory Masterclasses.
The Masterclasses equipped content producers with the tools and knowledge to fulfill their true potential and cultivate work that represents truly Malawian stories.
Also at this year’s Media Showcase — MultiChoice’s annual engagement with the media, which summarizes and exhibits how MultiChoice embraces its role as Africa’s most-loved storyteller — MD Gichonge said the Malawian stories would be encouraged to embody the essence of ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’ — with a hint of international appeal and flare.
OneZed, which was added onto GOtv last July, is a pan-African channel that caters to the Zambian and Malawian markets — a full family entertainment channel through which DStv and GOtv viewers are enjoying shows that tell authentic African stories with international appeal.
At the press briefing last month, Makunje reiterated the positive results from MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) — that trains and develops skills in filmmaking, saying they are proud to produce two more graduates following the 3rd cohort 2022 session.
They are Chisomo Kawaga and Asante Mbaimbai, who were part of other students across three academies in Southern, Western and Eastern Africa.
They join four other Malawians from two previous cohorts — Jonathan Kapumba and Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba from Class of 2019 and Mphatso Makamo and Chisomo Livason (2010).
Makunje said Kapumba now owns his own film production company; Mkwezalamba is a professional filmmaker and actor; Makamo is a lecturer of film theory and professional filmmaker while Livason is a producer; graphics artist and owns a media consultancy business.
She added that the MTF Academy has proven that the African entertainment industry is ripe with gripping stories that are waiting to be told.
The MTF Academy initiative has enjoyed continued success through its strong partnerships with renowned organisations such as NYFA, Dolby Studios, Canon, Zee World, Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria, Kenyatta University in Kenya, and the University of Zambia.
The specialised cademy provides a 12-month accredited programme in filmmaking and as part of their curriculum, the students participate in various courses under the tutelage of seasoned industry professionals from all over the continent, including Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani and veteran Kenyan producer Appie Matere.
The final requirement of their curriculum was to create and develop feature African stories in films for DStv local channels.
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