Jacaranda School for Orphans student Reuben Salima has been awarded a full scholarship to study film in Paris, France.
A press statement says Salima, who has been visible on social media with prosthetic makeup, is the first student from Jacaranda School for Orphans in Chigumula, Blantyre, to study film and the first student from Malawi to receive a scholarship from Parisian film school, Don Bosco International Film Academy.
Salima, whose passion has been visual arts, special effects and makeup, will now grow his film skills at the academy.
Jacaranda Foundation Executive Director Luc Deschamps orchestrated the scholarship.
“Paris is the City of Arts and French cinema is renowned worldwide, notably through the Cannes Film Festival. So, for Reuben spending an entire year in Paris studying cinema is a dream and we are so thrilled that he has got such an opportunity,” Deschamps, who is also French Honorary Consul to Malawi, said.
He described Salima as a talented young man and that his portfolio convinced the film school to offer him a scholarship.
“He now has the chance to study with experts—and, very importantly, to develop the tools he needs to tell stories from Malawi, from his life and from his background. We hope this scholarship will then open doors to other Malawian youths, who want to develop careers in the film industry,” Deschamps said.
Jacaranda School for Orphans founder Marie Da Silva said she was happy to witness students choosing such careers and being able to pursue them.
“We have filmmakers such as Shemu Joyah, Elson Kambalu, Tawonga Nkhonjera, Chaz Munthali, Bright Makina, Joyce Mhango Chavula, Flora Suya and many others. We need to give these chances to our youths so that they can contribute to our film industry,” she said.
Don Bosco International Film Academy trains youths in technical movie profession such as film, editing and special effects.
The country has made strides in the film industry of late, with a number of films being premiered and they include Fatsani : A Tale of Survival by Gift Sukez Sukali and HD Plus, All We Have is Us by Ashukile Mwakisulu, Sowing Seeds by Cathreen Mlenga and the latest Highbrow by Chaz Munthali, which has received mixed reactions.
Salima, who leaves the country tomorrow, will today be at the school as he is currently finishing a mural on the school’s wall next to DD Phiri’s mural.
He has also got other opportunities and travelled to China and United States of America in 2016 and 2018.
“My dream has always been to work in the movie industry and put Malawi on the map. I know there are people out there who are trying hard to change our nation and I want to be one of them. I know I can do better because I believe I deserve better,” he said.