MultiChoice Africa has acquired a licence to feature three of Malawian filmmaker Charles Shemu Joyah’s movies on its subscription online streaming platform Showmax.
The films, Seasons of a Life, The Last Fishing Boat and The Road to Sunrise, which are under Joyah’s First Dawn Arts Company, were acquired on a 24-month non-exclusive deal, according to a statement the company released.
MultiChoice also announced the signing of a distribution agreement with a French company Trace TV, which will act as its international agent for The Last Fishing Boat and The Road to Sunrise.
“It has always been the wish for New Dawn Arts to get an agent for its films since that greatly assists the distribution of films on various platforms and this agreement offers opportunities of acquisition of the films globally,” reads the statement in part.
In an interview, Joyah said the biggest challenge for a filmmaker is to get agents who can help negotiate and put your productions on major platforms. He said other platforms such as Netflix cannot consider your work if you don’t have an agent.
Joyah said: “It is my hope that this distribution agreement will help open other doors.”
On the acquisition of the film rights by Showmax, the filmmaker said the development means that there is increased accessibility of his productions. Joyah could not reveal the financial implications of the deal.
“It is a deal which is relatively okay but I can’t go into the finer details. The Road to Sunrise is bringing more since it has never been in circulation. I hope this exposure will help us get more funding for our projects that we pended due to funds,” he said.
The three films join two other local films to grace the Showmax platform. These are Fatsani produced by Gift ‘Sukez’ Sukali and Highbrow by Chawezi Munthali.
Seasons of a Life was released in 2008, The Last Fishing Boat was produced in 2012 while The Road To Sunrise, which is the first local film to enter the Oscar Awards, but is yet to be on the market, was released in 2019.