The award-winning film Fatsani: A Tale of Survival will not be on DVD anytime soon as some quarters have wished but instead they have a chance to watch it online through Showmax.
The producers of the film HD Plus held a press briefing in Lilongwe on Friday, when they announced that the film was now available on Showmax.
The development has, however, attracted mixed reactions with some people saying Showmax would only benefit a few and that not many people can access online platforms with high data costs in the country.
But HD Plus Director Gift Sukez Sukali said he was happy that they had made strides in taking the film to the world.
“I am happy for all people who support art with the little they have, Fatsani is not going to be on DVD anytime soon, but you can now stream on Showmax for as little as K4,000 a month and you will not only watch Fatsani with that; you will also have free 14 trial,” Sukali said.
Apart from Showmax, Sukali said they also approached other platforms like Netflix and that they were looking forward to working with them in future.
“This is the first Malawian film on Showmax; what matters is a step we have made and we should never despise baby steps. Through Showmax, the world will know we have a film industry and very soon I see international film companies working with Malawian actors and crew,” he said.
Sukali said people in the country have watched so many pirated movies, to the extent that “we think it is normal”.
“We don’t even have the conscience about it, people spend money and resources for people to watch this; so let us appreciate art; film making is expensive,” he said.
Producer Hastings Golosi said Showmax is an online streaming platform that is available in over 66 countries and that this is not a small achievement to them, this being their first film to ever produce as a company.
“In December last year, we had promised Malawians that the movie would be out before Christmas and at that time everything was in pipeline. We engaged several distributors but as we planned that, Showmax came in,” Golosi said.
He said it was then that they decided to put their other plans of having it on DVD on hold.
“With the Showmax deal, we cannot have the film on DVD according to the contract. We can only do that after the end of the contract,” Golosi said.
He said they cannot just shoot the film and then hide it, but rather they want to make it available and that this will be through different platforms.
Golosi said the film has been purchased at an undisclosed amount.
“We have started a long term partnership with this distribution company. Our film will be available from January to April according to the contract we have signed,” he said.
Some people took to social media Sunday saying they had watched the film, describing it as “good.”
The film, which won the Best Director Award at Sotambe Film Festival in Zambia last year, has had premieres in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Zambia among other places.
The movie also got a nod from the Malawi Oscars Selection Committee to represent the country at the 2022 Academy Awards.
The film tells the story of a girl Fatsani, played by Hannah Sukali, who is forced to sell bananas in the streets for the sake of survival.