Musician-cum-writer Taonga Taddja Nkhonjera has returned on the arts scene with the Malawi Lens, a programme designed to champion cinema while promoting the film industry.
As curator, he will be identifying films by Malawians that fit a set narrative to be featured on a particular day.
Said Nkhonjera who is also a thespian: “I will choose productions that show potential in production value and market product competitiveness on the international film scene. The films will be screened on the last Saturday of every month.
“Malawi Lens will promote positive activity and vibrant enterprise in the film industry in Malawi. This month we will host Malawi Lens on May 30 at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Mandala Blantyre.”
The series will open with The Moon and Lake of Stars by Lawrence Luhanga. The film is a thematic story of cichlid fish that are endemic to Lake Malawi, humans and the degradation of their habitat and possible extinction.
“The film was nominated for the Prince of Prestige Academy Award in the category of Best Documentary Project. We will invite the filmmaker to a Q and A session after the screening so that he should interact with the audience,” said Nkhonjera.
He said the idea is to develop a film audience that is dedicated to cinema as a form of expression and an art form, but also with the desire, and perhaps even means, to help with the business aspect of the film sector in Malawi.
Said Nkhonjera: “This could be by linking filmmakers to international festivals, connecting and networking filmmakers with funding partners and even hosting local festivals.”
In an interview, Lilongwe-based filmmaker Cathreen Mlenga said the programme will benefit the industry through exposure.
“Currently, we lack opportunities or platforms to showcase our productions as there are few television stations buying content from us. It is also not easy to take and have your production on that station, yet we have so much content.
“So, the Malawi Lens will give us a chance to let fans know the intricacies of the film industry and what goes around in production, among other things,” she said.