Three MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) alumni have travelled to the US to attend the New York Film Academy (NYFA) workshop.
Mainala Silondwa (Zambia), Gilbert Bassey (Nigeria) and Hillary ‘Hillax’ Lanogwa (Kenya) emerged from the MTF’s three campuses in west, east and southern Africa and were selected as top of their classes for the prestigious full-tuition scholarship award.
Silondwa and Lanogwa, who are part of the inaugural MTF cohort, have been given a lifetime’s opportunity to participate in the NYFA eight-week filmmaking workshop whilst Gilbert will start the programme at a later date.
Silondwa, director and screenwriter, co-wrote the screenplay for student film The Painting, cinematographer Lanogwa was the camera operator on student films Ensulo and Promises, while Bassey, a producer, director and editor, was the assistant director on student film Dreamchaser.
Expanding on MTF’s mission to empower emerging filmmakers through training, skills and creative development, they will be trained on the craft of filmmaking in an intensive environment and also challenged to produce five films within two months.
Each student will write, direct and edit a final film, which will be showcased at a screening in New York, and a NYFA certificate and digital master copy of their projects will be given to students who complete the workshop.
Jim Miller, VP at NYFA, said: “All of us at the Academy are extremely proud to have MTF Academy’s special award alumni Mainala Silondwa, Hillary Lanogwa and Gilbert Bassey join us for their eight-week filmmaking workshops at NYFA’s New York City campus. These astonishingly talented filmmakers – who each have the passion and commitment to become creative professionals – will certainly excel in our programmes, which will immerse them in NYFA’s philosophy of hands-on intensive learning.”
Reatile Tekateka, executive head of corporate affairs at MultiChoice Africa, said: “Through strategic partnerships with widely acclaimed institutions such as the NYFA, Africa’s creative industries are enriched through skills sharing and exposure to global best practice. We’re excited for our alumni and we hope that this opportunity will empower them to tell authentic African stories to a global audience.”
Bassey said: “It’s the first time that I will travelling out of Nigeria, and it is to do something that I love. I look forward to what this will bring to my career – it’s undoubtedly a big step on the path to mastery. Being a part of MTF was a solid experience, so this, I believe, will build on that. I’m looking forward to learning more about production and the business of filmmaking, such as using the little that we have to push us forward.”
The NYFA, which currently partners with MultiChoice Africa, has supported African content creators across the continent by hosting workshops with the intention of continuing its efforts to fortify film development internationally.