The once slowly-growing industry is now fast exploding at significant speed catching more attention with many actors taking part and more movies taking turns on the theatre scene. This boom is what many creators were looking for and willing to participate to help drive the economy with visual content which people believe can turn things around. 

Movie industry is considered as one of the neglected sectors in Malawi that has not been given much attention over the years compared to other sectors like Sports which have been dominant. But, truth be told, movie-making is one of the hidden gold in Malawi which has over time lacked support from individuals, companies and the government itself.  

Despite the drawbacks, Malawi has produced a number of noteworthy films and filmmakers that have gained both national and international recognition. The Last Fishing Boat, Seasons of Life, Lilongwe and Fatsani are among the list of movies that made breakthrough in recognition and populace. On top of that, we have also witnessed Malawian stories being told by international industries like Hollywood and at the same time allowing Malawian actors to share roles with international stars. This is with reference to “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” a 2019 movie which tells story about one Malawian inventor, William Kamkwamba. The movie featured Malawian actors like Lily Banda, Samson Kambalu, Edwin Chonde and many more. These are good developments that’s shaping the market and export of our potential actors as well as building their capacity through experiences they encounter from the big movie sets as well as interaction with international actors.

Our country and its culture has deep stories that are rich for visual consumption which can inspire Malawi’s movie venture. Apparently, there are a lot of great stories out there. But, with limited resources at hand, local producers have failed to execute plans into actions for fear of lack of a readily-available market for movies and issues of piracy here in Malawi.

Nevertheless, with precise policies and support as well as private and government interventions, the industry can help solve some of the problems our nation is facing. With the high unemployment rate in the country, particularly among the youth, the movie industry can be part of the solution to absorb talented youths in the creation sector by offering job opportunities at different stages of the industry ranging from development, pre-production, production, post-production and distribution. This will in turn boost the industry as the inflow of new talents, young filmmakers and actors bring fresh ideas and perspectives to Malawi’s film scene. This is exactly what the industry has witnessed over the last few years: the emergence of young talents, filmmakers and actors have added meat onto the reborn of Mollywood.

The world is fast changing. With internet and its technological advancement, among others, the world has been made a global village with fast and easier connection, e-commerce and also accessible platforms. Our local TVs have for long time uplifted and provided viewing platforms for local content including Local movies. Now that we are moving towards commercialization, the online streaming platforms such as Showmax, Netflix and Airtel TV are now taking over. This is to say creators have vast wide range of choices to showcase their content provided they meet each platform’s requirements. However, local producers have to roll up their sleeves because the global village also means that they are now faced with competition from foreign content. Today Malawians have several options on the movies they can watch at their disposal; they can either watch Malawian produced content or can watch movies produced in other countries through DSTV or by streaming on the various online platforms. Therefore, local creators and producers must produce quality and standard work if they are to maintain their local audience as well as secure international fan base, otherwise they will lose their local audience to foreign industries.

Thanks to the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) which meanwhile is introducing professional short courses in filmmaking at MUBAS and UNIMA. This has come at the right time when the industry is the talk of the day. It will help to increase supply of professional local content to the country’s media industry, especially television. On top of that, the Film Association Malawi (FAMA), is now at the forefront of promoting the growth of the country’s movie industry. We have seen twist and turns and how the current at FAMA have shaken up things to bring the relevance of the movie industry. 

Overall, we can no longer say Malawi’s movie industry is still relatively small, with several positive developments happening, it has definitely painted the picture that the future looks bright for the industry.