Foas Film Festival adds new category


Focus on Ability Short Film Festival Malawi has added high and secondary schools entry category for its 2020 short film festival.

A press statement from the organisers, says this year, Focus on Ability Society (Foas) in partnership with Nova Employment would be calling for five- minute film or documentary submissions from high and secondary school students in Malawi.

The statement says that the film or documentary should tell a story about abilities or achievements of a student(s) or person(s) with any form of disability.


Foas Executive Director, MacDonald Nyirenda, said Wednesday they have added high and secondary school category to give an opportunity to students in schools across the country to gain skills in telling stories about abilities of students/people with disability through films.

“The first film winner will be awarded US$500 cash with the second receiving US$250 cash,” Nyirenda said.

He said they would want students to identify a student or person with any disability, shoot a video of the person and tell a story about his/her abilities and that the theme of their story should be ‘Focus on Ability’.


Nyirenda said students are expected to submit the video to Focus on Ability Short Film Festival together with an application form that will be provided to those interested or can be obtained on www.focusonability.

Meanwhile, Nyirenda has called on schools to invite them so as to offer a 20-minute orientation as well as screen two sample films from previous winners.

“We have already started visiting and approaching schools such as Chichiri Secondary School and Saint Andrews International High School,” he said.

Focus on Ability Short Film Festival is an annual competition which calls on filmmakers and everyone interested to submit five-minute film/documentary showcasing skills and achievements of people with disability, including children and women with disability across the world.

The festival awards filmmakers and people with disability featured in the submitted films or documentaries.

A film participating in Focus on Ability Malawi Short Film Festival is also considered to win at international level.

Foas has since said that the submission for the 2020 festival will close on May 29 2020.

In 2009, Chief Executive Officer of Nova Employment, Martin Wren, began the festival with a belief in the ability of people with disabilities including women and children with disabilities, and bring that belief to the world through the medium of film.

Nyirenda said Martin recognised the power of film to challenge fixed beliefs and perceptions about the lives and abilities of people with disabilities around the world.

In Malawi, the festival started in 2017 and has seen a number of people being decorated with awards.

Last year two films—Life through My Own Lens and One Leg in the Water came out top during the festival which was held at Blantyre Cultural Centre.

However, the country failed to win any awards on the international scene despite submitting a number of films.

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