Multichoice has begun its year-long fully-funded training programme in film and television for 20 young and passionate filmmakers at its MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) West Africa Academy in Lagos.
The students consisting of a diverse group of male and females from Nigeria and Ghana, were chosen after a rigorous six-week selection process of interviews and adjudication by film and television experts, as well as regional academy directors.
The MTF West Africa Academy is one of three on the continent, where students spend 12 months in workshops, lectures and master classes, gaining skills in screenwriting, editing, various elements of production, directing and the business of film, amongst others. These are done through rich theoretical trainings and immersive experience working on TV and film productions, all geared to broadening their skill-sets and empowering them to work in various creative disciplines – not only the film industry.
Speaking at the welcome session held for the 2024 cohort, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) West Africa, MultiChoice; John Ugbe, encouraged the new intakes to take a firm hold of the opportunities open to them.
Ugbe said: “Start this journey with an open mind, be ready to unlearn old ways and learn the value that the structure of the MTF provides. The MTF Academy presents you with priceless opportunities for access and resources with which you can grow and expand the horizons of your careers”.
Also speaking at the session, MTF West Africa Academy Director, Atinuke Ngozi Babatunde said, “every year, a new set of MTF graduates are released into the West African film and television industry, and they inject fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm into the local creative sector,”.
Last year, our students achieved great success, with some already entering negotiations with Africa Magic to show their films on the channel. We are proud to be shaping Africa’s creative industries and excitedly look forward to working with this year’s cohort”
Since its establishment in 2018, the MTF Academies across Africa have produced over 200 qualified young filmmakers, who are now taking African stories to the world. An MTF survey found that around 92 per cent of MTF Academy graduates go on to work in the creative sector.
“As Africa’s most loved storyteller, MultiChoice sees the MTF Academy as an investment in our business and the future of our industry,” says Babatunde. “Many MTF graduates later join MultiChoice productions, while others start their own businesses and become our partners and suppliers in the industry.”
The rich experience at the MTF is made possible through partnerships. In West Africa, the MTF Academy curriculum is designed in partnership with one of Nigeria’s most prestigious universities – the Pan Atlantic University (PAU) in Lagos, which confers qualifications to students upon completion of the programme. On the international scene, partnerships with the world-renowned New York Film Academy (NYFA) and Zee World, one of Nigeria’s most loved Bollywood channels, contributes in significantly enriching the learning experience of MTF students. The final stage of the course sees students developing feature films for broadcast on MultiChoice’s local channels and Showmax.
This year’s MTF Academy intakes follow in the footsteps of several highly successful cohorts of students who have won awards, had their work shown on major platforms and gone on to great career success. Three productions from the MTF Class of 2023 students – The Delectable Azeezah Sama, Dark Echoes, and With Love from Bayelsa – received nominations at international film festivals. Many alumni have commissioning discussions with Akwaaba Magic and Africa Magic while several others work on Africa Magic productions.”
“We welcome this year’s MTF students to the MultiChoice family,” says Babatunde, “and look forward to thoroughly equipping them to take African stories to the world, and produce relevant, hyper-local content for markets across the continent.”