BLANTYRE--A film that depicts a tale of HIV and Aids-related orphanhood has been nominated for the prestigious Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival.
Titled Grown Too Quick, the bilingual movie directed by Kwacha Media co-founder Kalumbu Kapisa, premiered at the festival in Qatar this month.
According to Aljazeera website, the eighth edition of the festival in Doha, the capital of the oil-rich country, will showcase 140 films in three categories—short, medium and long movies.
Kapisa's 48-minute movie must outshine 65 other medium films to bring the award home.
It started smaller than the virus that causes Aids, but the moving story of child-headed families in Malawi is literally growing faster than its creators anticipated.
The South Africa-based director told The Nation that Grown Too Quick will take the world head on with the undercurrent of denial and parentless children amid the multibillion kwacha war against HIV and Aids.
"The pandemic has killed a lot of Malawians and the culture of denial is alive as most people believe that it doesn't affect them. Yet, the country has an increased number of children as young as six who have to fend for themselves and their families as their parents succumb to HIV and Aids,” said Kapisa.
Through the gripping realities of Francis' child-headed family, the film not only depicts how orphans are "growing up fast without enjoying their childhood"—but also how HIV and Aids has broken down the extended family structures in the country.
"It is children like Francis who are worst hit. They are expected to continue where their parents failed them and carry the torch for their siblings to move forward," said Kapisa, who worked with South Africa Broadcasting Corporation.
He co-founded Kwacha Media with South African Lesego Kodisang in 2005.
Inaugurated in 2005 by Aljazeera network board chairperson Sheikh Hamad Bin Thamir Al-Thani, the upcoming festivals seeks to be a place where filmmakers from different countries and cultures meet to celebrate creative talent and encourage a cultural interest in documentary films.