Shooting film without permission is illegal in Malawi, govt warns

The Tourism and Culture Ministry has warned filmmakers in Malawi that it’s a criminal offence to “make, direct, assist or take part in the making of a film without a film-making permit.”

The ministry in a statement published as an advertisement in the press signed by Secretary for Tourism and Culture, Fletcher Zenengeya, said those who will violate this regulation “will be taken to task.”

“It is also a criminal offence to violate the terms and conditions of the film-making permit as issued,” the Ministry said in a statement on Monday, titled ‘Regulations on making films in Malawi’ .

The Ministry, noting that the country has a “promising film-making industry which should be supported by all stakeholders in the film making industry,” said the Censorship Board advises all filmmakers  to “first” apply for a film making permit before undertaking film making.

Malawi movie-maker Charles Joyah
Malawi movie-maker Charles Joyah

“This regulation is for both documentary and feature films and is applicable for both local and foreign film making crews,” the ministry said.

Filmmakers are also required to submit their films for classification before the film is distributed to the market.

Malawi has no film industry worth mentioning  but  there has been a call  to find a unique name for the  thriving local film industry.

The suggested names have been ; Mollywood, Malawi Cinema and Nyasa Movies.

Shemu Joyah, a writer, director and producer of award-winning film Seasons of a Life and The Last Fishing Boat, suggested that if others should want to name the industry then avoid a name like Mollywood, which will only make Malawi look like copy cat to Nollywood or Hollywood..

Rising Choreos director Joyce Mhango Chavula concurred with Joyah on the need to find a unique name for the local film industry. She felt Nyasa Movies would be an ideal name.

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