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Two Zimbabweans Seek to Boost African Film-Making With MultiChoice Talent Factory Programme

Two Zimbabweans are among the 60 students selected for the MultiChoice Talent Factory programme for 2023, both of them hoping to help boost the ranks of trained professionals in Africa’s growing world of film-making.

Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe, said Marvellous Matswimbo and  Simbarashe Nyahwa of Harare had joined 58 other students from across Africa to form the Class of 2023 in the ongoing MTF programme, now in its fourth year.

The MTF programme is fully funded by MultiChoice Africa, which introduced the concept five years ago as a means of increasing the pool of talent in the field of film-making in Africa and which has so far helped 180 graduates ready themselves for a launch into the industry.

“We are excited to once again have two Zimbabweans in the MTF academic year, having had two in each of the previous year-long programmes,” she said.

“They are now at the MTF Academy in Lusaka, which is the base for students from Southern Africa, along with 18 other students from this region. Other academies in Nairobi for East Africa and Lagos for West Africa each also have 20 students, making up the 60-strong Class of 2023.”

The MTF programme received thousands of applications from 13 countries across Africa and after a rigorous selection process the 60 aspiring filmmakers for this year were selected for the 12-month training programme that includes theoretical training and hands-on experience in film-making, from scriptwriting to cinematography and from editing to audio post-production.

This year’s candidates in the Southern African academy are made up of 50 percent males and 50 percent females, while the West African academy features 40 percent males and 60 percent females and the East African academy hosts 55 percent males and 45 percent females.

MTF Academies will this year continue to work with regional and international partners to ensure that the students receive the best training and practical experience possible as they work towards a place in the film and television industry.

Renowned local and international facilitators are part of the trainers such as academician Dr Benea Shapaya, Senior Lecturer Film and Media Studies at Kenyatta University, who will be facilitating a session on the history of film and television industry in Africa, and 4x SAFTA award-winning writer, producer, and Director – Neil McCarthy, who is currently one of the most highly experienced screenwriters in the country.

The program also boasts a high calibre of award-winning specialists from across the continent, many of whom produce content for M-Net group channels.

The top graduates from each of the three academies will be given an opportunity to develop their skills even further after the course, earning internships sponsored by MTF partner organisations, among them the New York Film Academy and Zee World.

“This exciting opportunity for the top graduates will give them access to even more hands-on experience and further prepare them for roles in film-making in the future,” said Ms Dziva.

“Film-making is a wonderful art and science and, because it is continuously evolving, MTF students are encouraged to explore and exploit emerging technologies that are already revolutionising the industry.”

MTF’S class of 2022 has, since graduating three months ago, seen 60 percent of its number become economically active in film-making, testimony to the effectiveness of the MTF programme.

 “We wish all 60 students well, especially our two Zimbabwean representatives, and we look forward to hearing of their progress as they work through 2023,” said Ms Dziva.

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