By Ogova Ondego
Published October 26, 2014
Young people in Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town, get ready to step up your story-telling skills. But you have to apply for the opportunity before the October 31, 2014 deadline!
Yes, Africans are spoilt for choice, a Kenyan student in England tells me; “Africans at home have so many opportunities that we abroad can only dream about,” the student says.
But let’s not worry about this conversation with the said student that sprang back to my mind the moment I heard about the new opportunity for African youth to participate in a new training initiative offered by Unilever and Mo Film through Academy for African Filmmakers.
Though the Academy for African Filmmakers programme is expected to officially roll out in 2015 across the mother continent, a taste of it is expected in December 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria (December 1-3); Nairobi, Kenya (December 5-8) and Cape Town, South Africa (December 10-12).
“The Academy for African Filmmakers spends three-to-four days in every country and engages with leading local filmmakers and creatives to present a structures three-day seminar in each country,” says Beathur Mgoza Baker who is one of the three lead team members of AAF initiative.
Those being targeted are “young filmmakers under thirty who have had some prior exposure to filmmaking and some work to their name,” AAF, that says it will select 30 young people for three days of training in each country, explains.
“The training culminates in an exciting local film industry event and in a pitching process for the attendees before a panel of experienced local directors, writers and producers in their countries to whom they present their concepts and are awarded based on merit,” Beathur Mgoza Baker, a director and producer.
But first things first; how does one participate in the training?
Applications happen online via the MO FILM website, mofilm.com, during September and October 2014.
“An important element in our approach as filmmakers to presenting the seminars in each country is the input and participation of leading filmmakers in each country, both as trainers and guests showing their work to young attendees and helping to shape their approach to making great films!,” Beathur Mgoza Baker says.
With MO FILM and Unilever International as co-producing and funding partners, respectively, Beathur Mgoza Baker says “the training is master-minded, designed, implemented and produced by leading African filmmakers with very specific training gaps and milestones relevant to our industry uppermost in our minds. This producer core forms the AAF leadership team who work in consultation with leading local filmmakers in every country to arrive at a seminar programme that is relevant and exciting and delivered with the skills of local filmmakers in each country.”
Other AAF team leaders are producer Neville Josie and director Akin Omotoso.