First it was Lilongwe, the international award-winning movie. Now it is Nyasaland. Filmmaker and actress Joyce Mhango-Chavula is ready with her latest movie Nyasaland and will be according Malawians a chance to sample it.
Mhango-Chavula said Lilongwe residents will be the first to sample her new movie when it premieres tomorrow March 24 at Madsoc Theatre in Lilongwe.
Nyasaland follows her 2016 production, Lilongwe, and it tackles the divisive issues and damaging elements that some cultural practices have brought upon the various Malawian societies whose judgement and conclusion are yet to inform any standing decision going forward.
So, tomorrow evening Malawi will be given an opportunity to see and appreciate this rumbling debate from another perspective and the attempts that Mhango-Chavula mirrored in trying to solve the cultural conundrum through Nyasaland.
“Every time I introduced myself as a Malawian during my official travels, people were always curious to know about the hyena story. This triggered something in me to produce a movie that would not only dwell on the hyena.
“So, in this film am bringing out the positive efforts by many people in trying to combat the harmful cultural practices. I wanted to highlight that strong and independent Malawi woman who is not afraid and victimised,” said Mhango-Chavula.
She said she intends to screen the movie, which had a production budget of K3.5 million, in various festivals around the world despite the standing problem of lack of movie theatres and cinemas.
“It is very painful that despite many individual efforts in the art industry, our progress is still very slow. Film makers and artists have been crying for government and private sector support for so long but there is nothing tangible yet.
“We simply do not have the required infrastructure to spur growth of the industry. But we will keep on pushing, even if it takes forever we will not stop making movies,” said the writer, director and producer of Nyasaland.
Film Association of Malawi president Ezaius Mkandawire says the efforts that have been made by people like Mhango-Chavula need to be commended as they work under very difficult circumstances.
“In the face of all the hardships, we have individuals like her who are still giving their last breath to represent the industry which is beset by countless challenges. They have displayed that it possible to achieve great results with minimal resources,” he said.
Mkandawire said it is the view of his association that time is ripe for the country to establish a film commission which should be fully supported by the government in order to spur growth of the industry.
Forming the cast of Nyasaland are Brenda Mselu in leading role supported by Joyce Kathewere, Chifuniro Zacharia and Kelvin Ngoma.
Mhango-Chavula scooped the southern Africa movie category of the African Magic Viewers Choice Award which is organised by Multichoice Africa for her movie Lilongwe. n