* Set to be premiered in January 2023 on OneZed on both DStv and GOtv channels
By Duncan Mlanjira
A specialized film production firm was identified and in conjunction with Malawian filmmakers and producers, it is preparing the country’s first-ever TV series set to be premiered in January 2023 on DStv and GOtv channels.
MultiChoice Malawi’s Corporate Affairs Manager, Zena Makunje confirmed this development at a press briefing on Wednesday, saying the local filmmakers and producers have scripted a Malawian story, which subscribers should expect to be the best.
The Malawian producers were identified after undergoing Masterclass in scriptwriting to be shown on OneZed channel on both DStv and GOtv.
The first physical Masterclass in scriptwriting was led by industry veteran, actor, producer and director Neil McCarthy in conjunction with the Ministry of Information & Digitization in the closing of a fruitful two-day event — following the establishment of the MultiChoice Expansion program, dubbed Project Pamodzi.
It was launched in Malawi as a collaborative project between MultiChoice, local television stations and local content producers, for industry-development and training programs facilitated by MultiChoice Talent Factory Masterclasses.
The Masterclasses will equip content producers with the tools and knowledge to fulfill their true potential and cultivate work that represents truly Malawian stories.
At the Media Showcase — MultiChoice’s annual engagement with the media, which summarizes and exhibits how MultiChoice embraces its role as Africa’s most-loved storyteller, Managing Director, Emma Gichonge had said the Malawian stories should embody essence of ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’ — with a hint of international appeal and flare.
“We are committed to ensuring Malawian stories are told and it brings me great joy to have observed such a positively overwhelming response to the call for proposals for the first Malawian comedy or drama series that has been commissioned for OneZed channel,” she had said.
OneZed, which was added onto GOtv last July, is a pan-African channel that caters to the Zambian and Malawian markets — a full family entertainment channel through which DStv and GOtv viewers are enjoying shows that tell authentic African stories with international appeal.
At the press briefing on Wednesday, Makunje also mentioned of the positive results from MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) — that trains and develops skills in filmmaking, saying they are proud to produce two more graduates following the 3rd cohort 2022 session.
They are Chisomo Kawaga and Asante Mbaimbai, who were part of other students across three academies in Southern, Western and Eastern Africa.
They join four other Malawians from two previous cohorts — Jonathan Kapumba and Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba from Class of 2019 and Mphatso Makamo and Chisomo Livason (2010).
Makunje said Kapumba now owns his own film production company; Mkwezalamba is a professional filmmaker and actor; Makamo is a lecturer of film theory and professional filmmaker while Livason is a producer; graphics artist and owns a media consultancy business.
She added that the MTF Academy has proven that the African entertainment industry is ripe with gripping stories that are waiting to be told.
The MTF Academy initiative has enjoyed continued success through its strong partnerships with renowned organisations such as NYFA, Dolby Studios, Canon, Zee World, Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria, Kenyatta University in Kenya, and the University of Zambia.
The specialised cademy provides a 12-month accredited programme in filmmaking and as part of their curriculum, the students participate in various courses under the tutelage of seasoned industry professionals from all over the continent, including Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani and veteran Kenyan producer Appie Matere.
The final requirement of their curriculum was to create and develop feature films, to be launched on DStv local channels.