B’ella: the heart-warming story of a self-determined girl from Malawi
pics on Facebook from shooting the film
pics on Facebook from the finished film
B’ella was premiered in April 2014 in Blantyre (read an article) and since then has been screened at eight international film festivals with more to come. So far you might have seen B’ella at (1) Africa in Motion (Scotland), (2) Zanzibar International Film Festival (Tanzania), (3) Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Czech Republic), (4) Bergen International Film Festival (Norway), (5) Silicon Valley African Film Festival (USA), (6) Goteborg International Film Festival (Sweden), (7) Houston Africa Film Festival (USA) and (8) Luxor African Film Festival (Egypt).
What is the film about:
The story is about B’ella – a 17 year-old secondary school student in semi-rural Malawi. It covers issues such first love, friendships, school bullying, peer pressure, self-confidence, the importance of education, gradual loss of traditional values, teacher-student relationship, stigma connected to HIV and more. The film is not meant only for the Malawian audience but for the international one too. Through the film we want to show that a Malawian girl is just like any other girl in the universe, growing up and looking for her identity in the jungle of every day life. Also we want to break the cliché of showing Malawi, and other African countries, as poverty-stricken places, but show the reality – Malawi being a beautiful place in which people have difficulties and joys just like anywhere else in the world.
Length: 93 min
How is the film going to be used:
The film is first of all an attractive educational tool for both youths and adults.
In the second half of 2015 we hope to pilot the B’ella in Malawi schools project in 60 secondary schools in Blantyre. After screening at each school the student will be discussing themes raised in the film. Funds are yet to be raised
The first Western country where B’ella is being used for development education at secondary schools is Scotland (in partnership with scotland-malawipartnership.org). This is after the film raised interest at the Scottish festival Africa in Motion.
Partners in the film production:
(1) Dikamawoko Arts in Malawi (screenplay, directing, editing, music …)
(2) First Dawn Arts in Malawi (technical support)
(3) Nadace Agrofert: funding corporate foundation from the Czech Republic
(4) Karel Janecek: funding individual from the Czech Republic