Two Malawians, Asante Mbaimbai and Chisomo Kawaga are amongst the 60 new students that form the third cohort of the fully-funded MultiChoice Talent Factory 12-month academic programme starting in October.
Four other Mphatso Makamo, Chisomo Livason, Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba and Jonathan Kapumba graduated as young filmmakers after their successful completion of their filmmaking training through MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF).
The 60 candidates were selected after a 6-week rigorous interview and adjudication process by film and television experts, as well as regional Academy Directors across 13 African countries in East, West and Southern Africa to be trained at the MTF Academy hubs in Nairobi, Lagos and Lusaka.
Now in its third year, the MultiChoice Talent Factory has honed the skills of 120 emerging filmmakers in 13 countries across the continent, who are now part of the growing MTF alumni network, taking African stories to the world.
In a statement, Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice’s CEO for general entertainment & connected video, is quoted as saying the success of any academic programme can be measured by the contribution made by alumni in the industry.
“To find out how MTF academies are continuing to ignite Africa’s creative industries, MTF carried out an annual survey, and found that of those that participated in the survey from of the inaugural class of 2019, 92% are economically active in the industry.
“This is exactly what the industry needs and why MTF was launched. As Africa’s most loved storyteller, our commitment is not only to tell authentic African stories but to also invest in them — that is why some of our alumni are working on M-Net and Showmax productions.
“Currently we have alumni in 7 countries working on M-Net and Showmax productions and the list keeps growing. They are helping us to realise the vision of taking African stories to the world with a ‘hyperlocal’ approach, producing relevant content within the respective regions of our continent, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all strategy,” Phahle said.
The statement also says at the onset of the pandemic, MTF looked for ways to ensure that its curriculum was still delivered with the expected impact.
“Critical to this was leveraging relationships with our strategic partners when identifying solutions for our students. This led to even greater opportunities as our last cohort benefited from an intensive 3-week New York Film Academy (NYFA) online training course.”
Formulated in partnership with NYFA, this course is now part of the MTF curriculum where the new cohort is set to learn how to produce micro documentaries, public service announcements, television commercials and music videos.
“This type of training broadens their skillset and allows them to be economically active in various sectors, not only the film industry,” Phahle said.
The academy’s curriculum was tailored alongside MultiChoice Africa partner institutions Pan-Atlantic University in Lagos, Kenyatta University in Nairobi, and the University of Zambia in Lusaka, which will respectively confer the course qualification upon completion of the academy programme.
In addition, The Henley Business School offers an orientation intervention to the students at the beginning and end of the 12-month programme as well workshops on Business for Creatives focussing on entrepreneurship.
In addition to these trainings, MTF also provides resources for industry professionals across Africa in line with the second pillar of the MTF masterclass initiatives that is aimed at upskilling industry professionals and emerging creatives alike by offering exclusive access to practical, expert-led industry skills workshops across the continent.
“Through these masterclasses, MTF has trained over 1,000 creatives since 2019,” Phahle said. “The MTF Portal is a third pillar, a pan-African digital market-place for the over 40,000 creatives who are registered which provides access to free online masterclasses and profiling opportunities.”