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Focus Festival ready for entries

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Organisers of Focus on Ability Short Film Festival yesterday announced that they have opened up entries for 2021.

Focus on Ability Society (Foas) Executive Director Macdonald Nyirenda said, despite all the challenges they faced last year due to Covid, they had a record-breaking year in the competition that saw Malawi coming out top on the international platform.

Nyirenda said they were looking forward to the best once again this year despite having the pandemic on the ground.

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“The 2021 and 13th at international level, and fifth locally, annual Focus on Ability Film Festival is now open and we are calling upon filmmakers to participate,” Nyirenda said.

Last year saw Martin Mkandawire with his short film Under Heavy Rock scooping position one in the Best International Short Film.

For coming out top, the film went away with a cash prize of $5,000 approximately K3.7 million.

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At Malawi level, the festival saw Dzaleka Filmmakers’ with their film It’s Not My Fault and Phillip Kuipa’s Resilience selected Best Short Films and pocketed $500 each.

In the category of Best Actor, Talandira Kagoya and Wailesi Taimu came out top pocketing $250.

“It is with that determination that Foas and Nova Employment are calling for entries for 2021 Focus on Ability Short Film Festival Malawi. As a festival, we aim at raising awareness of the abilities of people with disabilities,” Nyirenda said.

He said that the theme for the competition this year is challenging filmmakers to focus on the ability of person with disability.

Nyirenda said this year they would be awarding filmmakers and people with disabilities with different prizes.

“For winning filmmakers, we will award two who will receive $500 each and then we also have the Nova Choice for film subject with disability. We will award two people with disability featured in the films and they will receive $250 each,” he said.

Nyirenda also said that, apart from participating in the local contest, the country’s filmmakers are also eligible for entry in all international festival prizes.

Meanwhile, Nyirenda has called on companies, organisations and other well-wishers to support the festival.

“We aim it to be the biggest yet, with all films entered to really showcase extremely talented people with disabilities. The length of the film or documentary should be not more than five minutes. Filmmakers just need to contact me on 0888525496,” Nyirenda said.

The deadline for receiving the entries is July 30 2021.

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