Filmmakers in Tanzania now have something to smile about after an online portal was unveiled where they will be able to interact with other players in the film industry from all over Africa.
Under the flagship of Multichoice Talent Factory (MTF), the online portal was unveiled by the Executive Secretary of Tanzania Film Board, Ms Joyce Fissoo in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
In her remarks, the head of the film board applauded Multichoice for their continuous efforts in uplifting local talent in the film industry. She referenced to the first MTF programme which saw four Tanzanians enroll at a film school in Nairobi for a one year programme.
"I was at the launch of the first MTF programme in Tanzania when four young men and women were given a rare opportunity to pursue their passions in the film industry in Nairobi. Such programmes will help our film industry grow beyond the African continent," Joyce said.
The Executive Secretary of the Film Board believes that the networking portal will be yet another important tool that will play a key role in strengthening the credibility of Africa's creative film and television industry.
"For a long time, Africans within our industry have gone to great lengths to prove that what we do is credible enough to be treated as an important economic player in our respective economies. The MTF portal will prove that not only is our industry just as structured and plausible, and most importantly, that it can compete on a global scale," she said.
In September 2018, a group of four young Tanzanians were chosen as part of the MTF maiden program targeting the African film industry. The success of the program has inspired follow-up initiatives all aimed at scaling the local film industry, the portal being one of the follow-up services.
Johnson Mshana, Head of Corporate Affairs from MultiChoice Tanzania said, "This interactive online portal is aimed at profiling and connecting Africa's industry creatives and bringing pan-African talent and opportunities together in one place. It will allow filmmakers across the continent to network, find talent and showcase their work."
He also acknowledged the success that has so far been witnessed in the MTF programme. "Our first cohorts are doing exceptionally well in Nairobi," he noted, further highlighting the merits of the MTF portal, which he said will help filmmakers in the country network with like-minds in the industry.
The MTF portal is an online networking site that allows producers, editors, script writers, actors, among others to set up profiles filled with their work-related details that can be viewed by other players in the film industry who are also signed on to the portal.
It is an avenue that enhances connectivity and interaction amongst African filmmakers. It provides room for sharing of ideas and doing collaborative work. "Let us show the world that Tanzania is capable of doing great things," Joyce said during the launch of the portal.
She encouraged the use of Swahili on the portal, noting the significance of spreading the language beyond our borders.
"Through film, we can make Swahili gain more popularity across the continent and beyond," she said.
Users of social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook will be in familiar territory when they sign in to the portal. "The portal is similar to other social networking sites such as Instagram and Facebook," said Grace Mgaya, Public Relations Specialist from Multichoice.
"One can create a free account in order to gain access to the services offered by the site," she added.
The portal aims at improving the quality and supporting the production of local content and storytelling across the continent. It will serve both seasoned professionals and aspiring talent in Africa's film and TV
The online portal is the third industry touchpoint of the shared-value initiative following the launch of three regional MTF Academies (in West, East and Southern Africa), a 12-month film training programme aimed at upskilling the next generation of passionate young film creatives launched in 2018 and the MTF Masterclasses launched in January this year to upskill industry professionals.
Access to the portal is through registration on www.multichoicetalentfactory.com which will serve as an authoritative source of industry news.