Three MultiChoice Talent Factory alumni travel to the USA for New York Film Academy scholarship

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This year, renowned film school, the New York Film Academy opens its doors to MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) alumni Mainala Silondwa (Zambia), Gilbert Bassey (Nigeria) and Hillary Lanogwa (Kenya). The alumni, one from each of MultiChoice Talent Factory’s three campuses in West, East and Southern Africa, were selected as top of their classes for the prestigious full-tuition award. Director and screenwriter Silondwa co-wrote the screenplay for final-year MTF student film, The Painting; whilst cinematographer Lanogwa was the camera operator for MTF student films Ensulo and Promises; and producer, director and editor Bassey was the assistant director on MTF student film Dreamchaser, which he also composed the music for.

As part of the inaugural MTF cohort, Silondwa and Lanogwa travelled to the US on 4 January to participate in the New York Film Academy (NYFA) eight-week filmmaking workshop. Bassey will start the programme at a later date. This once in a lifetime opportunity expands on MTF’s mission to empower emerging filmmakers through training, skills and creative development. “All of us at the New York Film Academy are extremely proud to have MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy’s special award alumni Mainala Silondwa, Hillary Lanogwa and Gilbert Bassey join us for their 8-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. On behalf of the New York Film Academy I want to welcome Mainala, Hillary and Gilbert to follow your passion and join us here at NYFA,” says Jim Miller, NYFA Vice President.

As the MultiChoice Africa’s flagship Corporate Social Value (CSV) initiative, MTF Academy’s 12-month training programme is distinctly designed to train the next generation of African film and TV creatives in partnership with stakeholders across the continent and globe. One such international partner is the New York Film Academy. “Through strategic partnerships with widely acclaimed institutions such as the New York Film Academy, 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,” says Reatile Tekateka, Executive Head of Corporate Affairs, MultiChoice Africa.

Divided between hands-on instruction in class and production, the eight-week filmmaking workshop at NYFA is designed for creatives who wish to study the craft of filmmaking in an intensive environment, and challenges students to produce five films over a period of two months. During the last four weeks of the programme, each student writes, directs, and edits a final film of up to ten minutes. These films will be showcased at a screening in New York, and students who successfully complete the workshop receive a NYFA certificate and a digital master copy of all their projects

A critical platform for film and TV creatives, the New York Film Academy has lent support to African content creators by hosting workshops across the continent and names African film and TV stars such as Banky Wellington, Kemi Adesoye and Natasha Thahane among its star-studded list of African alums. Continuing its efforts to fortify film development internationally, as well as its ongoing partnership with MultiChoice Africa, New York Film Academy will add these rising video entertainment creatives to their alumni network.