Two Zimbabweans have been selected for the second year of the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy for Southern Africa, an initiative created in 2018 to increase the number of film-makers in Africa.
MultiChoice Zimbabwe publicity and public relations manager Liz Dziva said the two successful applicants, Nkosilesisa Ncube and Nelson Madzima, both from Bulawayo, were selected after a series of interviews of short-listed candidates from among the dozens of young aspiring film-makers who applied for the 2019-2020 academy year scheduled to start on October 1.
“The MTF Academy concept is part of the overall MultiChoice Factory initiative that seeks to enhance the film industry across Africa by expanding the pool of talent and by encouraging young Africans to enter the industry,” she said.
“Three academies were set up last year: one in Lagos for West Africa, one in Nairobi for East African and one in Lusaka for Southern Africa. At each of these 20 students study each year in a varied and comprehensive programme of study. Two Zimbabweans are about to complete studies after being selected for the 2018-2019 year which ends in September, and now we have two more for the second year, which is very exciting and stimulating for our film production industry.”
The announcement of the 2019-2020 students is the culmination of a two-month rigorous selection process across 13 African countries, resulting in 60 aspiring filmmakers being selected, 20 at each regional academy to start their 12-month training programme at the MTF Academies in Nairobi, Lusaka & Lagos on October 1.
The final candidates were selected after interviews and adjudication by film and television experts, as well as regional Academy Directors Njoki Muhoho (East Africa), Berry Lwando (Southern Africa) and Femi Odugbemi (West Africa).
Launched in May 2018 as part of MultiChoice Africa’s ground-breaking corporate shared value initiative, the MTF Academy is a 12-month, fully-funded training programme aimed at training the next generation of Africa’s film creatives.
As the first touchpoint of the shared-value initiative, the academies’ curriculum was tailored alongside MultiChoice Africa partner institutions Pan-Atlantic University in Lekki, Kenyatta University in Nairobi, and the University of Zambia in Lusaka, which will confer the course qualification on completion of the academy programme. In addition, the Henley Business School in the UK offers an orientation intervention to the students at the beginning and end of the 12-month programme.
“MultiChoice Africa wants not only to tell African stories but also to invest in them, recognising the need for a dynamic training programme such as the MTF Academy to do so. The whole of MultiChoice across Africa asks ourselves: what’s next in the industry, and how can we better prepare for it? The MTF Academy is the answer to that question, by giving young Africans the chance to build and refine their television and film production skills.”
The Class of 2019-2020 comes directly after inaugural Class of 2018-2019 whose students are ready to graduate and have their first films screened on M-Net channels and on Showmax. This year’s class will reap the additional rewards of new partnerships between the MTF Academy and Jasco Broadcast Solutions, as well as Nihilent with its connection to Bollywood, and also through existing partnerships with the New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Dolby Institute and Universal Music Nigeria.
As part of their curriculum, the 2019 candidates will also be exposed to MTF master classes, also aimed at enhancing skills among existing industry professionals and emerging creatives alike by offering exclusive access to practical, expert-led industry skills workshops across the 13 participating countries.
“We in Zimbabwe are excited to have two more young Zimbabweans in the team of 60 going forward to the training year and we know this will provide a much-needed boost to our film and television production industry,” said Ms Dziva.
The two Zimbabweans about to complete studies from 2018-2019 are Nobert Mapfoche and Rutendo Mahofa.