Twenty students of the inaugural set of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) West Africa Academy graduated yesterday after a full-year, tuition-free training in film and television production.
The event took place at the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, where the graduands received their certificates, with some of them rewarded with scholarships. The MTF Academy is a 12-month fully-funded training launched in May 2018 to churn out skilled and talented movie professionals that produce high-quality pan-African content.
Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, noted that the 20 graduates from both Nigeria and Ghana were chosen from over 3,000 entries in 2018. He commended the students, saying that their passion, dedication, and willingness to learn helped them create magical moments throughout the training and successfully completed the program.
“From the first meeting with them at the welcome breakfast till now, I have watched them grow into confident and promising film and TV professionals; soaking up knowledge and skill from our esteemed Academy Director, Femi Odugbemi, and other leading industry experts who have tutored them. Their story is that of growth,” Ugbe said.
He enjoined the graduates to maintain the personal attributes, which helped them persevere throughout the programme, and encouraged them to use the skills learned to create a positive impact on the African film industry.
He said: “Today, as you prepare to positively impact the creative industry and change it one story at a time, remember – you are now part of a small but growing class of young, creative professionals equipped to tell Africa’s stories through authentic lenses while recognizing and embracing her growth possibilities and opportunities. You were not built to be an extra in this story nor were you built to break.”
You are the power that is integral to changing and owning our collective narrative.”Femi Odugbemi, MTF West Africa Academy Director, described the training as a landmark programme, noting that the students aptly demonstrated their skills as filmmakers.
“Over the course of the programme, the students expertly honed their raw talent into professional skill. This is the essence of the MTF Academy – giving up-and-coming talents the chance to hone their abilities, thereby increasing the pool of available talent and world-class professionals in the industry. This graduation is, therefore, a landmark moment both for the students and the programme,” Odugbemi said.
Students who excelled during the programme were rewarded with scholarships and grants.Gilbert Bassey, a 26-year-old Nigerian, won a scholarship to enhance his skills at New York Film Academy College of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA), as he displayed his multidisciplinary abilities during the programme. Also, Edmund Asamoah from Ghana won a two-week internship with Nihilent Limited, a Bollywood production.