‘Wakanda’ Black Panther star graces European Film Festival in Malawi

Courtesy of European Union in Malawi, the European Film Festival (EFF) has opened with a call for funding in the creative industry.

EU Ambassador Sandra Paesen and Black Panther actress Connie Chiume
Part of the audience
Mr and Mrs Kambalu and Connie Chiume
EU Ambassador Sandra Paesen and Black Panther actress Connie Chiume
European Film Festival

The festival, which opened on Friday, 4th will on Saturday, 5th and 12th October hold a series of three screenings in Lilongwe and Blantyre.

The EFF opened with a screening of Going South, a short film by Malawian filmmaker Elson Kambalu honoring those who leave home in search of greener pastures.

Filmmaker Elson Kambalu expressed excitement for both the festival and the film screening.

“As a filmmaker, occasions like these provide me an opportunity to learn and to give. I‘m really excited to share a story that I hope will resonate with many Malawians, and anyone who’s ever left home in search of work,” Kambalu said.

The following film was a feature film King of the Belgian from directors Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth.

Speaking to Nyasa Times, guest of honor, South African based Malawian Black Panther actress Connie Chiume urged both the government and the private sector to invest in the creative industry.

“The South African film industry is growing because the government has realized the potential of film. The cultural preservation aspect and the positive messages that films can send to the world.

“The film industry also creates jobs for the citizenry. In South Africa we have the Department of Arts and Culture working together with the National Film Foundation and Department of Trade because this art form has to be recognized as a career, as a job,” she said.

Although she has spent 42 years acting in South Africa, Chiume’s father hails from Nkhata Bay.

“I belong to a movement called “Salawians” which promotes Malawi and the arts industry. We call ourselves Salawians because we were born in South Africa but we are Malawians,” she revealed.

The festival is showcasing both established and rising talents in filmmaking from Europe and Malawi.

Head of Delegation for the European Union in Malawi Sandra Paesen observed that through visual storytelling, Europeans and Malawians can connect on a deeper level as themes in films show shared values and offer cultural understanding between peoples.

“Europe, just like Malawi, is about unity in diversity. Through this first film festival we celebrate cultural diversity and a commitment to talk about things that really matter to people – from family relationships to survival and the hardships of life. Culture is critical for any nation to strive and I am happy to see so much Malawian talent represented at this festival, next to established European movies,” she explained.

The European Film Festival kicks off day two, Saturday 5th October with a series of morning workshops on production, financing, and marketing for filmmakers invited from all around Malawi.

From the afternoon until late evening, audiences can choose to see a variety of screenings from Malawian and European cinema.

The first screenings of the day will be Malawian short film The Hunters by Mwizalero Nyirenda, followed by feature film Petit paysan by Hubert Charuel.

On Saturday 12 October, Blantyre will host the Euro Film Fest at the Jacaranda Cultural Centre from 10am to 10pm offering the exciting range of ten European and Malawian films.

Entrance for all screenings will be free but must be booked online on Eventbrite. Alternatively, the public can collect physical tickets for free, available in Lilongwe outlet at Cuneco (Lilongwe Wildlife Centre) and in Blantyre at the Jacaranda Cultural Centre on a first-come, first-served basis.

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