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‘B’ella’ comes to Jacaranda Cultural Centre

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After taking the centre stage at several platforms, both local and international, B’ella, a film written and directed by Tawonga Nkhonjera is out again and will screen at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre tomorrow night.

JCC and Maison de la France Deputy Director, Daisy Belfield, said yesterday that the showing of the film was part of the Thursday movie screenings they have just introduced.

“It’s time for people to watch B’ella, especially those who have missed it. It’s a good movie and, as such, those who have watched it can watch it again,” Belfield said.

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She maintained that JCC was open to everyone and that the venue has a variety of activities to satisfy everyone.

“As I said earlier, this place is open to everyone. Apart from the other activities, we have introduced Thursday film screenings; hence, having B’ella,” Belfield said.

Nkhonjera said they were happy to screen the film at JCC, saying they are making final screenings before it goes on TV.

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“Again, there are a lot of people who have been asking us to screen it again, especially those who missed all our screenings in the country. We are looking [at the possibility of] signing a few contracts for B’ella on TV,” he said.

The filmmaker and actor said this was also a way of saying goodbye to his debut movie.

“I am now changing my focus to short films. Since I was introduced to short films, I have developed a strong passion for them and, so, I have taken up production of short films. Short films communicate so much in a short period,” Nkhonjera said.

Several players at international film festivals have described B’ella as a simple and beautiful story that has managed to tell the good story of Malawi.

Set in Chazunda, in the outskirts of Blantyre, the film tells the story of the life of B’ella, a 17-year-old girl in secondary school, her familial attachments, social associations and her school life.

Nkhjonjera said most of the actors in the film are residents of Chazunda, who, prior to the shooting of the film, had never imagined that they would be film actors.

Through the film, boNGO Worldwide, the non-governmental organisation behind the production of the film, intends to educate people on girl empowerment.

Nkhonjera said the film has helped build the capacity of Chazunda youths, giving them confidence.

The cast of the film includes Vinjeru Kamanga, who stars as B’ella, actress and director Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba, as the manipulative antagonist Kalilole and former radio and television presenter Tony Khoza, as the villainous Mathematics teacher.

Some of the international festivals the film has screened at include Zanzibar International Film Festival (Tanzania), Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Czech Republic), Bergen International Film Festival (Norway), Silicon Valley African Film Festival (USA) and Africa in Motion Film Festival (Scotland).

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