Southern Times Writer
Windhoek - Hot on the heels of the graduating class of 2019, the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academies in Lusaka, Nairobi and Lagos are buzzing with excitement as the class of 2020 sit for their first day in class.
The 60 students from 13 countries were chosen after a month-long process which shortlisted candidates from thousands of entries. This year’s applicants were put through a rigorous interview and adjudication process by a group of leading film and television industry experts and the regional academy directors and represent the very best in young talent from across the region.
The 60 new students start the academic year with an orientation programme in partnership with the University of Zambia, Kenyatta University in Kenya, Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria and the Henley Business School.
These academic partners have been onboard since the academies first opened their doors in October 2018 as part of MultiChoice Africa’s ground-breaking corporate shared value (CSV) initiative, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) aimed at igniting Africa’s creative industries through TV and filmmaking.
The second intake of students from Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe will be provided with training and hands-on experience in the film industry, with a focus on storytelling, production, audio and directing among other key areas.
The curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn directly from leading African and international industry experts, work on live sets of local TV productions and create original content aired on local M-Net channels across the MultiChoice platforms – DStv, GOtv and Showmax.
“It is a new year with new students. Different backgrounds and different expectations. For all of us to grow in our careers, we have had mentors in our journeys, we have also learnt a lot from each other and from life experiences. I hope that MTF provides all these to our new students,” said Njoki Muhoho, East Africa academy director.
The 60 aspiring filmmakers carry a lot of hope for the African continent in their quest to tell stories that reflect who Africans are and how far they have come as storytellers.
Femi Odugbemi, MTF West Africa academy director attests to this “We are very excited to welcome the Class of 2020 and to begin a new journey of discovery. We learn filmmaking by making films and that process of hands-on exposure and learning from the best industry leaders remains our path to infusing the passion of our students with creative power.”
The MTF has over the past 12 months partnered with government, local and international film industry associations and partners to hone and sharpen the skills of emerging filmmakers and industry professionals and Berry Lwando, Southern Africa academy director, feels that the past year has equipped the academy directors with great insights to produce the next generation of authentic storytellers.
“The first year was a great learning curve and I’m excited for the Class of 2020 as they embark on their new journey. Their passion for filmmaking makes us wake up in the morning wanting to do more.”
The MTF is a multi-tiered training programme designed to focus on positively impacting the technical and professional value chain in the film and television industry across the continent.
It is a shared-value initiative that provides a platform for the creative industries to develop their talent and engage with one another through their shared passions. Through the MTF academies, every year, the academies select 60 talented individuals from across 13 countries to participate in a 12-month academic and practical immersion programme including both theory and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling.