New Malawian film gets first nominations at international festivals

‘The Last Fishing Boat’, a new film by Malawian movie producer and director Charles Shemu Joyah, has won the first selection for screening in a competition at the Kenya International Film Festival.

The competition started on 23 October and will run to 3 November in the Kenyan capital Nairobi and Joyah will be flying to the east African country next week as his film will be screened on 01 November.

“It has been selected to be screened at the festivals and it is one of the films that have been shortlisted for competition at the festivals,” Joyah told Nyasa Times in an interview.

“The Kenya screening will be the first time the film will be screened to the general public.”

Joyah’s new production The Last Fishing Boat

After Kenya, the 105 minutes Malawian film will be going to Italy where it has also been selected to be screened at the Verona African Film Festival which will run from 16-25 November, according to Joyah.

‘The Last Fishing Boat’ is about a once successful fisherman on Lake Malawi who is now struggling while his cultural values are being threatened by the expanding tourist industry. His son has become a tourist guide.

On the other hand, his 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 film is Joyah’s second production after the 2009 award-winning ‘Seasons of a life’ which was screened in over twelve international film festivals around the world and won seven awards.

“I am very happy about the film. I think it shows that we are producing serious films. Of course ‘Seasons of a life’ won many awards, but I would not say this one will win as many. If it does not win I will still be very proud because I don’t make the films to win prizes but to entertain. The prizes are a bonus,” he said.

After the two festivals, Joyah’s film company, FirstDawn Arts will premiere the film in Malawi and as indicated by the director, the screening date will be announced later.

Meanwhile, the 53-year-old Malawian filmmaker has clinched a deal with Africa Magic to beam ‘Seasons of a life’ on digital satellite television (DStv) ten times over a period of 18 months.

This is good news not only to Joyah but to Malawi as a country because the nation has no local content that is beamed on the leading continental film channel, mostly dominated by Nigerian movies.

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