MultiChoice launches training programme

Takudzwa Chihambakwe
AS revenue generated in the global film and movie industry continues to grow by billions each year, MultiChoice has decided to invest in the sector through an intensive training programme dubbed MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF).

The programme will result in at least 60 participants from African countries, including two from Zimbabwe, being trained on how to make films that can compete globally.

The course will be fully funded and will run for a year.

Southern African MTF academy director Berry Lwando shed more light during an interview with The Sunday Mail Society.

“MTF is planning to be a driving force behind the development of future talent to help build and strengthen the creative industries across Africa,” said Lwando.

“It is an Africa-wide, multi-tiered educational and experiential-learning programme designed to provide the African creative industry with a platform to learn, develop their talent, engage and connect with each other through their shared passions.”

Lwando noted that through MTF, MultiChoice Africa will develop emerging television and film talent whilst simultaneously promoting the growth of local content in key markets through a well-structured and impactful social investment programme.

But the MTF training programmes at accredited academies in Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia are not limited to the selected 60 selected candidates.

“Filmmakers that are not in the academies will also benefit from initiatives such as the MTF portal and master class programme. The portal offers open access to film creatives across Africa to showcase their talent, access opportunities, stay up to date with industry news and expand their industry network.

“The master classes will offer exclusive training to industry professionals. The workshops will feature industry experts-led skills workshops, that will afford film and television professionals the ability to interact and learn from the best,” revealed Lwando.

The MTF academy will partner with local channels, studios and content providers to directly impact the career development of the students.

“As the MTF Academy programme moves forward, MultiChoice is working to strategically expand partnerships in the programme and build on the successes of its first pilot year. The 12-month programme will culminate in the production of local content by the students for broadcast on local channels,” he said.

Zimbabwe boasts of a number of highly educated filmmakers from some of the best film schools in the world but they are not well equiped.

Therefore will MTF provide equipment for the two Zimbabwe candidates when they return home?

“There is no plan to provide equipment. The training is designed in such a manner that it opens participants to new opportunities and abilities to become their own employers.

“The programme will enable the participants to pitch successfully and by understanding it as a functional business opportunity, the issue of equipment should not hamper the production of quality local content,” said Lwando.

The MTF initiative is a positive development, especially for Zimbabwe as there are very few competitive film schools in the country.

The state of the Zambian film sector has drastically shifted positively since MultiChoice entered the country and exposed numerous filmmakers to its equipment and technical crew.

When watching southern African films on Zambezi Magic, one can tell that Zambian films have developed in terms of scripting, audio and picture quality.

“One of the keen outcomes of the MTF is to impact on the quality of local content that will be put on our platforms. We expect that by implementing three pillars of the MTF, we as Multichoice are actually spreading training to the Sadc region.”

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