On 9th October 2018, Multichoice Africa opened the Multichoice Talent Factory Academy, a multi-tiered programme meant to empower young filmmakers from the East African region with various skills in film production. The programme is set to run for a one-year period, during which 20 young filmmakers will be trained on how to develop their filmmaking skills of cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling through technical and hands-on skills in telling our own African stories.
The Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Mr. Joe Mucheru, the guest of honor at the event, noting the great initiative by the Multichoice company, urged the young filmmakers selected for programme to put in effort, utilize the amazing locations and wildlife in the country for their content and also collaborate with each other to ensure they build on their skill set to deliver quality local productions that can compete on the international platform.
“For a long time, our stories have been told by others. We now have the opportunity to tell our stories and to ensure we don’t lose our culture by importing film content. We just need to put passion into our work and build on what the other filmmakers have done and we will be able to position our country and continent in a greater place on the global stage in terms of film production,” said CS Joe Mucheru.
The Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Mr. Joe Mucheru, notes that the government is committed to projects involving the youth and acknowledges that the film policy will be presented in the cabinet soon and with it will come a fund that will aid in film production in the country. He also adds that talks with various partners are on-going to ensure 47 theatres are set up all over the country among many other projects that are lined-up by the government.
Also present at the event was Mrs. Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed, Principal Secretary, Broadcasting and Telecommunication who expressed her joy having film under the ministry of ICT since it will now bolster the existing partnerships with various stakeholders and even offer a lot of new opportunities for collaboration among various film institutions and corporates like Multichoice Africa among many others.
Kenya Film Commission Ag. CEO Mr. Timothy Owase speaking at the Multichoice talent factory academy opening noted that such an initiative is in line with the commission’s mandate of building capacity of the local film industry. He further notes that such programmes will create a pool of greater skill sets that will improve the quality of productions in the film sector in Kenya and the region.
“Storytelling has no boundaries. Quality productions are capable of traversing the continent and reach a global stage. Stories create understanding so filmmakers should create more content because the future of this sector is bright,” said Mr. Timothy Owase.
The Director of Communications Authority, Mr. Francis Wangusi while speaking at the event, also highlighted that they believe this programme will boost the local content being broadcasted by local media houses to align with the 60% local content uptake set by Communications Authority of Kenya.
Speaking to the students also was MP John Kiarie who urged the students to go the extra mile beyond their talent to fully realize their potential as filmmakers citing need for hard work and creativity in their projects.
Noting the financial challenges talented filmmakers have to go through, Managing Director Multichoice Kenya Mr. Eric Odipo said:
“The Multichoice Talent Factory focuses on making sure that the young filmmakers are nurtured and their talents developed in order to contribute meaningfully to the creative industry.”
This programme is aligned with the big four agenda of the Kenyan government of manufacturing with a focus on local content production. This will raise the threshold of competition in creative sector spurring more growth in skill-set among the filmmakers.