MTFza Academy class of 2020 kicks off with virtual classrooms
The MTFza academy aims to create the next generation of storytellers, playing a critical role in strengthening the South African film and TV industry and ensuring its sustainability and competitiveness in a tough future environment.
By giving these aspiring filmmakers on-the-job training and the opportunity to work with seasoned industry professionals, they gain valuable hands-on experience in skills such as script writing, sound, lighting, editing and production.
Each year, the chosen group of interns is tasked with producing four unique films. These movies are made almost entirely by the interns themselves. They come up with the stories which they then script, produce, manage, shoot, light, direct, and even post-produce; an incredible achievement for young people who have never made movies before. Participants of this academy have produced over 20 films which have made it to prime slots on Mzansi Magic, DStv channel 161.
To ensure their safety, this year’s interns will be completing their first few weeks of lectures remotely, sharing in the experiences, knowledge and skills of some of the country’s most acclaimed filmmakers online.
“The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa may have changed the format of our development programme but it has not dampened the enthusiasm of the Class of 2020,” says Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice CEO of General Entertainment. “Our next group of carefully selected candidates have embarked on an exciting 12-month journey with Africa’s most-loved storyteller to realise their dreams of being part of South Africa’s film and television industry.”
Since the inception of the MTFza (previously known as M-Net Magic in Motion Academy) in 2015, the MultiChoice Group has invested over R11 million each year into this exceptional programme, giving more than 70 interns the opportunity to showcase their creativity. All the graduates from the programme have since made their mark in the industry, with 17 subsequently becoming owners of their own production companies.
“We have seen over the years that with deliberate support, it is possible to create a local film and television industry that competes with the best in the world,” adds Phahle. “We are going to be watching in anticipation as this next group of young, talented filmmakers shines in front of and behind the camera, setting new and higher standards in creating local content that our audiences will love.”