The film Nelia’s Dream written by Bright Makina received praise from people during its premiere at Golden Peacock in Blantyre on Sunday.
The 40-minute film, which features established actors such as Flora Suya, Tawonga Taddja Nkhonjera, Memory Black and Deus Sandram, tells the story of a financially struggling family that has a girl child by the name of Nelia, played by Sandra Chilimani, who works hard at school and dreams of becoming a truck driver.
In an attempt to make ends meet, Nelia’s father finds himself in debt, which forces him to marry off his daughter at an early age.
Nelia’s dream of becoming a truck driver and going further with her studies suffers a setback as she is forced to go into early marriage and with it come responsibilities and challenges that put her life at risk.
Later, she gets pregnant but finds herself out of marriage and back at her parents’ house where she gets her dream back on track.
After delivery and with her mother taking care of the child, the young Nelia goes back to school and realises her dream. The climax, played by Yolanda Katsonga Phiri as the grown up Nelia, sees her getting her dream job.
“This film was inspired by the several stories in the media of many girls dropping out of school and going into early marriages. I am excited to premiere this film and it is part of a campaign to bring girls back to school,” Makina said.
Veteran filmmaker Shemu Joyah described the film as educative and that it tackles an important topic.
“I am impressed in that, through the film, Bright has introduced new talent in the girl who played Nelia. Of course, I would have loved it if punishments were meted out at the end,” Joyah said.
There was an auction after the premiere that saw a number of people, including Agness Katsonga Phiri and Marie Da Silva, paying more to get the DVD.
Before Nelia’s premiere, the audience watched Makina’s two short films Brave and Why Me which speak volumes of mental health.
The premiere was spiced up by a special performance from some of the actors of Mdyangu Comedy, which airs on Times Television.