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Feast of films at EU Film Festival

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By Sam Banda Jnr

European Union (EU) Film Festival, whose aim is to support the local film industry, returns for its third edition this weekend with a number of European movies and several short films from Malawi expected to be screened.

The festival, spearheaded by EU, will take place at EU Ambassador’s Residence in Area 10 in Lilongwe today and tomorrow whereas in Blantyre it will take place at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) tomorrow.

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The movie fiesta comes barely a month after EU held a workshop in Lilongwe aimed at giving filmmakers a chance to learn from each other and share ideas for the progress of the film industry.

EU Ambassador Rune Skinnebach said recently that through the festival, EU aims to strengthen meaningful engagement with Malawians by facilitating the organisation of EU Film Festival to create spaces for intercultural dialogue.

“We fully embrace culture in our diplomacy in order to reach out more widely to the world, show value of Europe’s artistic expressions and organise collaborative events in order to enhance the values and priorities of EU,” Skinnebach said.

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A press statement says that the screening in Lilongwe will take place at the EU Ambassador’s Residence, in an open air cinematic setting with premium visual and sound production offering a quality viewing experience.

JCC Director Luc Deschamps said movie lovers will experience an entire day of cinema featuring four European films tomorrow as well as several short films from Malawi.

“Entry is free and we are happy to host this special festival,” Deschamps said.

The festival at JCC comes barely a week after the venue last Saturday staged The Last Fishing Boat, a film by Shemu Joyah as JCC and Film Association of Malawi (Fama) launched Movie Nights at Mandala to be held every month end.

Fama President Gift Sukez Sukali hailed EU for the festival as well as hosting a workshop last month.

“Past editions of the festival have already helped in terms of developing skills among many local filmmakers. EU is a friend indeed because they believe in art for social change,” Sukali said.

Fama has since embarked on several projects including master classes as part of capacity building and called for support from well-wishers and the corporate world.

“We welcome the opportunity for collaboration with the Malawian creative industry. We are also glad that our film festivals offer a platform for our young filmmakers to tell their stories,” she said.

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