Film and theatre director and producer Imran Shaban appears to be making waves with his Yao themed productions.
Shaban's movie, The Beautiful Hen Behind Yao Mountain has just made the list of movies shortlisted for the seventh Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards' (AMVCA) Southern Africa category.
Released last year, the film will compete for recognition along with three others from the region-Kukuru by Philippe Talavera, Dalitso by Adam Kabwe and Kwacha by Cassie Kabwita.
Africa Magic unveiled the nominations in a live broadcast on Thursday. Seven categories will be open to the public to vote for while 21 including the one that Shaban is nominated in, will be chosen by the AMCVA panel of judges.
The Beautiful Hen Behind Yao Mountain, is tragic love story, set somewhere in Yao land where a young man Amadu falls in love with the ‘beautiful hen’ that is Asuwema, he impregnates her but later learns that she is actually his half-sister.
Devastated by the news, Amadu takes his own life.
Aside from the story of the two love birds, it also quite evident, that the movie is a celebration of Yao music and traditions, that for a long time have remained closeted.
Watch the movie...The URL provided has no embeddable content.
In 2019, the movie, originally a stage play by Shabaan’s Young Travelling Theatre, was also nominated for the Southern African Filmmaking competition of the Sotambe Documentary and Arts Film festival in Zambia but did not win.
In the same year, it was screened at the Bayelsa International Film Festival in Nigeria.
Shaban also recently directed Bakili Muluzi’s Wit, a play written by Smith Likongwe.
In 2018, Shemu Joyah's Road to Sunrise won an award in a similar category. Will Shaban walk in Joyah's footsteps?