Entertainment

Actors call for support for creative industry

Veteran and u p – and-coming actor s have called on the government and the corporate world to support the creative industry which they say has the potential to contribute to the country’s economic growth.

The players said this during an international film acting training held at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre.

The training, which came barely a week after another session in Lilongwe, started on Saturday and ended yesterday with participants expected to receive certificates of attendance.

“I have been in the creative industry for close to 20 years and I have been involved in a lot of projects. There is talent in the country but the industry is not given the respect it deserves; yet it contributes a lot to the economy of the country,” actress Mercy Malinga said.

Malinga, who is also part of the cast of Spouses and Workmates, a soapie which screens on Times Television, said it was unfortunate that the creative industry still does not have the Arts Council.

Another veteran actress, Mildred Murindiwa Mithi, said the industry has the potential to solve problems such as high unemployment rates.

Murindiwa Mithi then hailed organisers of the training, saying it had come at the right time as players in the industry are seeking more knowledge to expand their base.

“We need more of these trainings because they give you a chance to learn from each other and share knowledge, especially on new developments,” she said.

Writer Matilda Phiri said there are many young artists who require government’s support in terms of funding as is the case in other countries.

The international film acting training is funded by United States (US) Embassy in Malawi through its Public Affairs Section and supported by Mwezi Arts, Participant Media and Vallejo Shakespeare from the US.

While in Lilongwe, the training was facilitated by award-winning actress, Joyce Mhango Chavula, in Blantyre, the main facilitator was Constance Thyangathyanga, who is an actress and deputy director at JCC. In Mzuzu, next weekend, the training will be facilitated by Kelvin Ngoma.

Ngoma, who is driving the training and starred in Chiwetel Ejiofor’s film The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, which was shot in Kasungu District, said they were satisfied with the participation.

“In Lilongwe, we had over 50 participants and it is the same situation in Blantyre. This shows how important the trainings are. Funds permitting, we intend to continue having the trainings,” Ngoma said.

Filmmaker and award-winning actress, Brenda Mselu, said the training was part of reminding each other the dos and don’ts of acting.

“It is trainings like these that help you to perfect your work. I have been in the industry for some time now and I have received nominations for my work but I am still learning and it was good to even learn from others during the training,” Mselu said.

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