Shemu Joyah tips actors


Veteran filmmaker, Shemu Joyah, who has been instrumental in raising the country’s bar in the film industry, on Sunday called on actors to continue perfecting their work to bring out the best.

The award-winning director, whose movies Seasons of a Life, The Last Fishing Boat and The Road to Sunrise have bagged awards on the international scene, said acting is very important to film production.

He said actors are the faces of the film and that they were supposed to be well trained.


Joyah made the remarks during the presentation of certificates of attendance to actors who had undergone a two-day training at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre.

The training, which came barely a week after another session in Lilongwe, started on Saturday and ended on Sunday.

“I would like to commend Kelvin Ngoma and others for initiating this idea as well United States [US] Embassy through the Public Affairs Section for funding it. Acting is a very important part of social life”, Joyah said.


He added: “Art is the people who represent us in our society and they assist in development. If we neglect art, we are neglecting development.”

Joyah said as filmmakers, they have always struggled at times when working with actors as some of them lack the basic knowledge of acting.

“People come and want a film set but they don’t know what to do and so in most cases, we have to do the training and start from scratch and this ends up delaying the shooting,” he said.

Joyah described the country’s film industry as still in its infancy but was quick to say that necessary strides are being made.

During the event, the filmmaker also took time to tell the story of his three movies, how he produced them and why he used some of the actors.

He then observed that Malawians are good at underrating themselves.

“I have worked with a lot of players in the industry and I have seen talented actors who need support. All I can say is that one day, we are going to surprise the world,” Joyah said.

The training started with theory on Saturday before going down to practicals on Sunday. The team on Sunday also had time to shoot a short movie as part of the practicals.

Meanwhile, Joyah has said he is working on two scripts although he is still looking for funding.

“If things work well, in January 2020, I might start shooting but it depends on funding and other things working well,” he said.

The training in Blantyre, which was facilitated by Constance Thyangathyanga, attracted over 50 participants.

The next destination is Mzuzu—slated for this weekend—where Ngoma, who starred in Chiwetel Ejiofor’s film, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, will be the facilitator.

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