Budding filmmakers’ journey begins

Source: Budding filmmakers’ journey begins –Newsday Zimbabwe

The MTF Southern Africa Academy is one of three filmmaking learning institutions on the continent with the other two located in Nigeria’s capital city, Lagos, for West Africa and in Kenya, Nairobi for East Africa.

ASPIRING local filmmakers Mollen Ruvimbo Chisveto and Sandelo Msalili have started their filmmaking schooling this week at the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Southern Africa Academy in Lusaka.

The two started their classes on Monday alongside 18 other students who make up the MTF 2024 Southern Africa cohort hoping to complement their passion and talent with education to enter the world of filmmaking on a better footing.

The MTF Southern Africa Academy is one of three filmmaking learning institutions on the continent with the other two located in Nigeria’s capital city, Lagos, for West Africa and in Kenya, Nairobi for East Africa.

MultiChoice Zimbabwe head corporate affairs and public relations Charity Njanji said this year’s students were chosen via a rigorous six-week selection process of interviews and adjudication by film and television experts, as well as regional academy directors.

“In this year’s MTF Southern Africa Academy 2024 intake, 55% of students are male and 45% are female, hailing from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana and Angola,” she noted.

“The MTF students learn under the tutelage of experienced industry professionals from across the globe. In the final stages of the course, the students will develop feature films for broadcast on various DStv channels and on DStv Showmax.”

At the Lusaka Academy, just like in other MultiChoice Talent Factory academies in Nigeria and Kenya, the students will spend 12 months gaining skills in screenwriting, editing, producing and directing through study and practical experience on television and film productions.

Njanji noted that in southern Africa, the MTF Academy’s curriculum was created with MultiChoice Africa’s partner institution, the University of Zambia, which confers the course qualifications on completion of the academy programme.

The fully-funded curriculum for the MTF academy includes workshops, lectures, masterclasses and assignments.

Recently the students also enjoyed an intensive online training course with the New York Film Academy.

“The training that the MTF Academy provides is geared to broadening the skillset of aspirant filmmakers and to empower them to work in various creative disciplines, not only in the film industry. An MTF survey has found that 92% of MTF academy graduates go on to work in the creative sector, a thoroughly satisfying figure,” she said.

“Once the students graduate, many go on to work on MultiChoice productions or with other broadcasters in the region, while other graduates start businesses and become our partners and suppliers in the industry. So, MTF is about developing the skills to support a vibrant, collaborative industry environment.”

Njanji said MTF Southern Africa classes supported the MultiChoice vision of producing quality local content.

“We have seen how DStv audiences across Africa react to content made by other Africans and we look forward to seeing the work produced by this year’s group of MTF students,” she said.

Njanji revealed that they are looking forward to increasing the number of students in southern Africa from 20 when the current group graduates.

Last year, MTF Southern African Academy created a talented pool of passionate and skilled young creatives many of whom have joined local productions with the Zambia National Film Commission.

Some have joined pan-African film and television productions such as Salem, Tempted, Engaito, Mvamizi, Mum vs Wife, Makofi and County 49.

Since its establishment in 2018, the Africa-wide MTF academy programme has produced more than 300 graduates, who are now qualified young filmmakers helping to take African stories to the world.

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