Movie industry is struggling

Gosm Films is an up-and-coming movie production company with a series running on State broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and a new movie released. Our Arts Editor EDITH GONDWE caught up with Gosm Films director Isaac Misoya for details.

Misoya: I am the witness of how tough it is here in Malawi

Q

: Your production house has just released a movie titled Don’t Die. You also produced a series called Ndirande airing on MBC TV. What is the motivation behind both productions?

A

: Gosm Films has got more than 100 actors from Blantyre and Lilongwe. We have a team comprising actors and technicians who make it easy for us to work on our productions. The motivation is to tell our stories through movies. Malawi has got many good and intriguing untold stories that are worth sharing and greatest motivation is to bring out these stories through movies. So for us movies/series are a good platform to talk about morals and issues that affect us as possible. As Gosm Films we are always thinking about the next new production whenever we are done with another. Ndirande Series is an going programme, so whenever we have a break from shooting Ndirande series we shoot a movie.

We are about to launch our website for people around the world to be able to watch Malawi movies. Currently we are trying to create content for our website so that people should be entertained and educated whenever they visit our website.

Q

: The movie industry in Malawi is still struggling to make headway in the country and the region. How are you coping and how do you market your productions?

A

: It is a fact that the local movie industry is struggling. But for us we see opportunities and potential for Malawi film industry to make a breakthrough. The struggles the industry is undergoing are our step towards the right direction. Everything has its start and challenges. We are capable as filmmakers to overcome the challenges being encountered. I am the witness of how tough it is here in Malawi to be a filmmaker. When we started on the ground as Gosm Films, no one knew about us but now we have managed to make a name for ourselves and our series is on public broadcaster. We now get calls from outside Malawi and within asking for our content. We are the ones to create a market and creating job opportunities for others through movie productions.

As earlier indicated, we are about to have our own website. This is one way of extending our marketing strategy. We understand that people are doing business on the Internet, so, we have learned and we are still learning how best we can do it. We are learning all about online market to reach new clients.

Q

: Your new series Ndirande has been on air for a month now. What is the agreement with the broadcaster? For how long will it be aired and are you being paid for it?

A

: Mostly we don’t get paid when we give our content to local television stations. Our agreement stipulates that we both look for sponsors. When we get the sponsors that is when we benefit. Ndirande series has just been premiered on MBC but it has not yet started officially. It is our wish to have it aired on three or four television stations and we are still working on it. The reaction we got after we premiered Ndirande series was mostly positive and people are very eager to watch it.

Q

: So apart from looking for adverts, how else do you generate money from the movies?

A

: We produce DVDs for small generation of revenue though these days it is hard to sell DVDs. This is why we are trying to venture into online marketing.

Q: What do you wish to happen so that the movie industry flourishes?

A

: We have to produce good and quality movies, this is a must. Secondly, we have to tell more of our local stories than copying others. Let us sell our culture, tradition and lifestyle.

We also have to do more movies so that people should start following our movies and if they like them, we will be able to make money.

Movie industry players must also come together as filmmakers to help each other, collaborate and work together.

It is also crucial for government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism to help the film industry. Companies and organisations have to come and sponsor the industry as well.

I think it is also important for filmmakers to develop a spirit of learning new things. Let us participate at workshops and read books about films. Let’s ask those who made it in the film industry here in Malawi and abroad. We have the best director Charles Shemu Joyah, we have best actresses in Flora Suya and Joyce Mhango-Chavula. We have renowned cameraman from Ghana, Saul Mettle, and through these people we can learn a lot. As Gosm Films we are planning to have workshops and the people mentioned above will be facilitators.

Q

: Tell us more about your latest movie?

A

: The title is Don’t Die. It is a story of a graduate woman who got satisfied by just being a house wife because her husband has a good job. After she realised that it was wrong to depend on her husband. She decided to get a small job and this displeased her husband who reacted negatively. This created conflicts in the marriage and they were all affected emotionally because they loved each other.

In the movie, we are trying to show that both men and women need to work. We are dealing with the mentality that women have to stay at home while men work. So the movie basically deals with some patriarchal dictates of our society.

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