* Replicas of ideas and storylines that already exist in OneZed’s content offering will not be accepted
* Must be unique, fresh and truly Malawian stories for comedy or drama TV series
* That reflects authentic Malawian stories with an outstanding storyline
* OneZed is a pan-African channel that caters to the Zambian and Malawian markets but is mostly Zambia-centric
By Duncan Mlanjira
Through the MultiChoice Expansion Program-Project Pamodzi, which seeks to empower Malawi’s film and TV industry, the country’s filmmakers are being invited to submit authentic productions for Malawian TV series for OneZed channel on DStv and GOtv.
A statement from MultiChoice says the experienced filmmakers must submit unique, fresh and truly Malawian stories for comedy or drama TV series that reflects authentic Malawian stories with an outstanding storyline.
Replicas of ideas and storylines that already exist in OneZed’s content offering and for any submission related queries or questions, the Malawian applicants are being asked to contact Zena Makunje at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposals must be sent through the M-Net corporate submissions portal according to the criteria stated on https://submissions.mnetcorporate.co.za/channel/one-zed and that entries close on August 29, 2022.
“This investment into Malawi’s film and TV industry displays our commitment to telling pan-African stories that resonate with diverse audiences,” OneZed Channel Head, Mosibudi Pheeha is quoted as saying.
OneZed channel, on DStv (channel 172) and GOtv (channel 8), is a full family entertainment channel whose shows tell authentic African stories with an international appeal.
On offer are drama/comedy, ‘Landlady Meets Landlord’ and thought-provoking drama series ‘Ubuntu’, afro-novela’s ‘Zuba’ and ‘Mpali’ — but it is mostly Zambia-centric.
At the launch last month at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre, MultiChoice Malawi’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Zena Makunje was asked why the channel was more Zambia-centric than Malawian to which she responded that there was first need to invest in Malawian content producers into such TV soap operas together with what is already being offered through MultiChoice Talent Factory — the industry-development and training programme.
Mid last month, a delegation from MultiChoice Africa visited the country where it launched the MultiChoice Expansion Program — Project Pamodzi in its endeavour to revolutionise the African TV sector.
MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy Director, Christopher Puta said then that Project Pamodzi is set at taking industry skills to a new level and boosting the quality of content for audiences across the continent, saying: “MultiChoice prides itself with being Africa’s number one storyteller”.
“So it is with great excitement that we are proud to announce that later this year, MultiChoice will be putting out a call for proposals for the first-ever Malawian series to be produced for and aired on GOtv and DStv.”
Project Pamodzi initiative is a collaborative project between MultiChoice, local television channels and industry bodies in various African territories — to be done through industry experts led Masterclasses and driven by MultiChoice Talent Factory, which is the MultiChoice industry-development and training programme.
Puta said: “The first phase of this programme is aimed at upskilling professionals at our local Free-To-Air broadcasters.
“We hope that through providing skills development opportunities for local TV professionals, we will provide our audience with more choice and greater representation in productions and through content.”
He added that Project Pamodzi will consist of online learning courses, masterclasses, and practical training through which MultiChoice will partner with local broadcasters to help develop skills in the various territories.
It will include certified short courses in critical production skills such as post-production, sound, screenwriting, 3D animation and cinematography.
The programme’s online-learning component enables MultiChoice to reach as many content creators as possible, across the continent, while also allowing working professionals to do courses at their own pace.
The programme will initially reach 300 broadcast workers who are already producing content in their local markets through e-learning. They will then be able to instantly apply their learnings on domestic productions.
“Local broadcasters are the grassroots of the TV industry in every country,” Puta had said. “By building the industry, we are enabling local job creation, enabling an industry to contribute to the economy and responding to the ongoing consumer demand for quality local entertainment.”
Two Malawians — Asante Mbaimbai and Chisomo Kawaga are currently studying filmmaking at the MultiChoice Talent Factory — the industry-development and training programme, which has honed the skills of 120 emerging filmmakers in 13 countries across the continent in its third year.
Mbaimbai and Kawaga are the third cohort who are set to join four others who graduated from the programme — Mphatso Makamo, Chisomo Livason, Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba and Jonathan Kapumba.