Voting opens in Focus on Ability Short Film Awards

Malawi records 26 entries


Voting has opened in the 2020 Focus on Ability Short Film Awards.

Focus on Ability Society (Foas) in collaboration with Nova Employment has since called on people to vote for their favourite film or documentary.

Voting went live from August 18 to 24 2020.


Focus on Ability (Foa) is designed to encourage filmmakers to focus on the ability of people with disability.

A press statement says this year the festival is celebrating 12 years at international level and four in Malawi of promoting abilities and achievements of people with disability.

Based in Australia, this year’s Foa festival received 61 international films with Malawi having 26 entries.


The statement says following successful screenings last year around Australia, New Zealand, Los Angeles, New York and Malawi, this year the competition received entries from 19 countries.

Further, the statement says this could be the richest short-film festival in the world, with over, Australian $100,000 in prizes to be shared among the winners.

The winner of the international short film and documentary sections receives Australian $5,000 cash prize.

There are also prizes for most online votes.

Foas Executive Director and Co-founder MacDonald Nyirenda, said apart from competing at international level, Malawian films have also chance of grabbing local prizes.

“Two top films will walk away with $500 each and two best actors will go home with $250 each. Voting is available on their website,” Nyirenda said.

He said the country has done well this year sending 26 entries having only sent 12 entries last year.

According to Nyirenda, in 2009, Nova Employment Chief Executive Officer Martin Wren started the festival with a belief in the ability of people with disability and that the goal was to bring that belief to the world through the medium of film.

“Wren recognised the power of film to challenge people’s fixed beliefs and perceptions about the lives and abilities of people with disabilities around the world,” he said.

In 2017, Nyirenda under Foas adopted the festival to Malawi.

Meanwhile, players, whose films have been nominated in the country have called for votes and they include visual artist Chrisford Chayera, who is physically challenged.

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