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Tuesday, 24 March 2020 15:16

FOAS short film festival still on

Written by  Aisha Amidu

Lilongwe, March 24: The call for entries for the 2020 Focus on Ability Society (FOAS) short film festival is still on despite the deadly COVID-19 disease.

In the previous years, the process included online application and small meetings but this time around small meetings will not take place amid the coronavirus issue which has put the world on its knees.

President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika last week declared ‘State of Disaster’ for Malawi amidst Coronavirus threat where measures such as restriction of all public gatherings to less than 100 people were put in place.

Focus on Ability Executive Director Donald Nyirenda said the short film festival is still on and saying they are receiving entries till month end of May this year.

“The festival has not been interrupted with the wide spread of COVID-19 since the festival mostly runs online,” he said.

He further said that FOAS has increased the prize up to $160, 000 in order to create room for many contestants to at least get a prize from the short film festival.

Commenting on the matter, Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) Public Relations Officer who was the guest of honour at the previous short film screening award said the initiative helps the public to appreciate abilities that persons with disabilities have.

“The untold stories that are being told in a documentary or a short film act as a motivation to people with disabilities. People with disabilities undermine themselves and this changes their mindset.

She further said that upon watching the short film festival, many persons with disabilities have been approaching MACOHA seeking for assistance in terms of school fees, or a place into the vocation training centres in order to enhance reliance.

One of the 2019 FOAS short film festivals from Malawi Assan Mustafa urged the public to try their luck by applying into the 2020 short film festival.

“In every competition there is always a winner and a loser. Contestants should not aim for winning but rather showcasing their skills as the stories have great impact to the general public and not just people with disabilities.

This year’s film festival is dwelling on raising awareness of the abilities of people with disability in Malawi, Africa and the world.

FOAS festival was founded in the 2009 by NOVA Employment in Sydney, Australia but the short film festival in Malawi started in 2017 by FOAS.