The movie Fatsani: A Tale of Survival by Gift Sukez Sukali and HD Plus over the weekend won the Best Film Director—Southern Africa Award at Sotambe International Film and Arts Festival in Zambia.
The film, which premiered in Lilongwe in April this year, received two nominations—Best Film Director—Southern Africa and Best Feature Film—Southern Africa.
However, it failed to collect the Best Feature Film accolade which went to a film from Zimbabwe.
Sukali, who travelled to Zambia alongside Hastings Golosi and other actors, said they would have loved to have collected two awards but were satisfied with their achievement, being their first movie.
“This was the first time for us to participate in Sotambe Film Festival and to walk away with an award is a very big achievement for us as well as Malawi,” Golosi said Sunday.
The film’s triumph came barely a day after the movie also premiered at Garden Court Hotel in Zambia, where it pulled an attractive audience.
“The competition was stiff because we competed with films from Uganda, Zambia, Botswana and Malawi. I was telling people during the event that, if you google Malawi, what comes out is that it is one of the poorest countries and to everyone out there, what comes out of this country in terms of art is the issue of poor quality but this is not true,” Golosi said.
According to Golosi, they received a trophy with no money attached but there are opportunities to work on future projects with Sotambe and also get grants for their next films.
He said, with Fatsani, they want to change people’s mindset and use arts to compete on the international stage.
“It has been an experience participating in Sotambe. We have networked and now we are trying to push and expand and reach out to Sadc, Africa and the world as a whole. We, as filmmakers, need to work together to raise Sadc’s profile,” Golosi said.
On the premiere, Golosi said Zambians and Malawians who came enjoyed it.
“The support we got was massive. Our very own musician Zani Challe also joined us when she heard that we were in Kitwe. She came for the premiere and the gala as well,” he said.
Sukali, who is also Film Association of Malawi president, said recently that Fatsani is also set to premiere in other countries and international film festivals.
The film will also premiere at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre on October 2.
Apart from Golosi and Sukali, Gilbert Moyo, Uthandiwe Chidambo, Joyce Mhango Chavula and Hannah Sukali travelled to Zambia.
The movie tells the story of a young girl who is forced to sell bananas in the streets for the sake of survival.