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Malawi misses out on Focus on Ability Short Film Awards

Malawi failed to scoop any award at the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival red carpet event held on Friday in Sydney, Australia.

The festival was attended by over 700 people including filmmakers from across the world whose films were winners in different categories in the 2019 competition.

Focus on Ability Society (Foas) Executive Director, MacDonald Nyirenda, who attended the event, said yesterday more films from Malawi participated this year but did not make it.

The winners were filmmakers from Rwanda and Nepal.

Nyirenda said Malawi filmmakers, who made it to the international stage, could now turn their focus on the local event to be held in November at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC).

He said he was happy that the organisers of the Focus on Ability Short Film Festival Malawi had managed to attend this year’s red carpet awards.

“During the awards night, we were given an opportunity to give an overview on Focus on Ability Short Film Festival Malawi and its plans. Our festival, which started in 2017, has made progress. The organisers hailed us for having close to 10 films competing on the international platform,” Nyirenda said.

According to Nyirenda, a record 244 films including 11 from Malawi were entered.

“Every year, the festival culminates in our red carpet awards night and, during this year’s event in Sydney, entrants had the chance to have their films screened at a bigger platform. Last year, 10 films were screened across Australia’s free to air television,” he said.

“We normally have this trend where films enter both at the international and local level so in this case we have failed to do well at the international level and so we turn to the local level where we will have two winning films and two best actors,” Nyirenda said.

He described the competition at the international level as tough.

“Malawi filmmakers should not lose hope, next time we will do well for sure. All we ask is for filmmakers to participate when we make calls,” Nyirenda said.

One of the films that made it to the international stage is that of artist Fungai Mutsinze titled I Believed. In the film, Mutsinze talks about his life and the journey he has travelled to be where he is today.

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