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MultiChoice Talent Factory Boosts Southern Africa’s Film-making Talent

The pool of filmmaking talent in Southern Africa is set to substantially increase as the latest cohort of 20 students graduates from the 2024 year of study at the MultiChoice Talent Factory Southern Africa Academy in Lusaka.

Charity Njanji, Head of Corporate Affairs and Public Relations at MultiChoice Zimbabwe, stated that the MTF Southern Africa Academy is one of three on the continent, with the other two located in Lagos for West Africa and Nairobi for East Africa. Each academy is currently hosting 20 students, making a total of 60 students across the continent for this year.

“At the Lusaka Academy, as well as the others, students will spend 12 months gaining skills in screenwriting, editing, producing, and directing through study and practical experience on TV and film productions. The fully-funded curriculum includes workshops, lectures, masterclasses, and assignments,” she said.

Among the current group of students, who began their training on Monday, February 12, are two Zimbabwean students, Mollen Ruvimbo Chisveto and Sandelo Msalili, both aspiring to enter the world of filmmaking upon completion of the course.

MTF students learn under the tutelage of experienced industry professionals from across the globe, and in the final stages of the course, they develop feature films for broadcast on various DStv channels and on DStv’s Showmax. The most recent MTF Academy group also enjoyed an intensive online training course with the New York Film Academy.

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Mrs. Njanji highlighted that in Southern Africa, the MTF Academy curriculum was created in partnership with MultiChoice Africa’s partner institution, the University of Zambia, which confers the course qualifications upon completion of the academy programme.

“This year’s students were chosen after a rigorous six-week selection process of interviews and adjudication by film and television experts, as well as regional academy directors,” she added.

In the MTF Southern Africa Academy 2024 course, 55% of students are male and 45% are female, hailing from Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana, Angola, and Zimbabwe.

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 bring African stories to the world.

The training provided by the MTF Academy is aimed at broadening the skill sets of aspiring filmmakers and empowering 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.

“Once they leave our Academy, many MTF graduates go on to work on MultiChoice productions or with other broadcasters in the region,” said Mrs. Njanji. “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.”

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Last year’s MTF Southern African Academy created a talented pool of passionate and skilled young creatives, many of whom joined local productions with the Zambia National Film Commission, as well as pan-African film and television productions including “Salem,” “Tempted,” “Engaito,” “Mvamizi,” “Mum vs Wife,” “Makofi,” and “County 49.”

MTF Southern Africa classes support MultiChoice’s vision of producing quality local content.

“We’ve 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.”

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