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Filmmakers, actors awarded at Focus on Ability Film Festival

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By Sam Banda Jnr & Elvis Howahowa:

Focus on Ability Film Festival Malawi took place on Saturday at Malawi Business of Applied Sciences (Mubas) in Blantyre with two films namely Yolanda by Dzaleka Filmmakers and Inclusive Choir by Makande Model Primary School coming out top.

As winning films, they received $500 each whereas in the category of best actors (persons with disabilities featuring in the film), the winners were Ruth Chirwa for the movie titled Ability in Fashion and Benson Kamanga for the film Ndingathe. They received $250 each.

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Focus on Ability Film Festival Malawi is driven by Focus on Ability Society (Foas) in partnership with Nova Employment of Australia.

The festival aims at raising awareness on the abilities of people with disability.

Foas Executive Director Macdonald Nyirenda described the festival as a success.

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“We received more entries and are happy that more people have taken interest in telling good stories of the abilities of persons with disability,” Nyirenda said.

Meanwhile, Nyirenda has said the country was not successful on the international scene whose winners were announced last month despite Malawi sending more entries.

The festival received 46 films from Malawi, more than any other country competing at international level.

The theme for the competition this year was ‘Focus on the Ability’ and, according to Nyirenda, their goal is to bring to light talents of persons with disabilities.

The country made history in 2020 when Martin Mkandawire’s Under Heavy Rock came out top, outclassing both local and international films to grab the top prize of $5,000 for the Judges Choice Best International Short Film.

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