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Two Malawi films on Sotambe Fest shortlist

SHABAN—We should not underrate ourselves

Malawian filmmakers continue to make strides on international platforms, the latest development being that two movies The Beautiful Hen Behind the Yao Mountain and Submerged have earned themselves a selection.

The two movies were directed by Imran Shaban and Joyce Mhango Chavula respectively.

The two films have been selected in the category of Southern African competition – Feature Film.

A letter from the organisers addressed to Shaban, whose film The Beautiful Hen Behind the Yao Mountain was recently also selected to screen at the Bayelsa International Film Festival (Biff) in Nigeria to be held early next month has congratulated him for the selection.

The Sotambe Documentary Film and Arts Festival will this year be running for the sixth edition.

“We are extremely happy to receive your movie(s) for the sixth edition of the Sotambe Documentary Film and Arts Festival and we would like to congratulate you for the official selection of your project,” reads the letter in part.

The organisers further say they have announced the official selection of movies for the Southern African Filmmaking Competition in the categories of documentary, feature film, short film as well as national category – the Up and Coming Filmmakers, Short film and Television series.

Shaban described the selection as a blessing yesterday.

“This just shows that we are making progress as an industry. The strength of your industry is shown when you participate in such platforms and then have your films selected. We should not underrate ourselves and for people here, let them continue supporting us,” he said.

Shaban said they were happy in that the selection in Zambia had come barely two weeks after the film was selected for screening in Nigeria but also three members of the group got nominated in the categories of cinematography, best actress and best actor.

The nominated members are Ken Kananji (Best Actor), Bertha Nkhoma (Best Actress) and Imran Kaisi (Cinematography).

Shaban and team star under Young Travellers Theatre. The Beautiful Hen Behind the Yao Mountain was premiered last year as a stage play before it was turned into a movie which they premiered in July.

The organisers have indicated that, due to inadequate funds, the filmmakers should arrange for their own transport to the festival.

Award-winning filmmaker Mhango Chavula confirmed of the selection Wednesday.

“Yes the film has been selected. It is a film by Brenda Mselu,” Mhango Chavula said.

The film in July was also nominated for another festival in Zambia known as Shungu Namutitima but it failed to win any award with another film from Malawi The Road to Sunrise shining.

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