Despite the many obstacles of the past year, the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy's Class of 2020 has graduated at last, bringing 60 trained new professionals into the African pool of film-making talent.
Liz Dziva, publicity and public relations manager of MultiChoice Zimbabwe, said the global Covid-19 crisis had impacted on the training of the students recruited for the 2019-2020 MTF Academy year, but with a range of innovations and a good deal of positivity, the training had been completed and the students graduated last Tuesday.
A total of 60 students were involved in the MTF Academy initiative in its second year of operation, with 20 students each at academy sites in Lusaka (for students from Southern Africa), Nairobi (East Africa) and Lagos (West Africa).
"The crisis resulted in the need to adapt from physical to virtual learning, and this brought about ongoing and continued exposure of these students to the world-class MTF Academy's 2019-2020 course," Dziva said.
"The students' academic course had to be extended from 12 months to 18 months, and the students now have not one, but two qualifications, making them even more sought-after as they enter the continental film and TV world as qualified industry professionals."
Two Zimbabweans -- Nelson Madzima and Nkosilesisa Ncube -- were among the students at the Lusaka-based academy for Southern Africa.
Additional to their MTF qualification, the students also obtained a qualification from the prestigious New York Film Academy of Visual and Performing Arts.
"We believe that Africa's creative industries are custodians of the continent's cultural heritage and as one of Africa's most important storytellers, MultiChoice has helped develop and invest in African talent through initiatives such as MTF," said Dziva.
"Like the previous academy Class of 2019, the Class of 2020 did well throughout their course and give us reason to be pleased and impressed."
The students completed an intensive three-week online NYFA course on the production of micro-documentaries, public service advertisements and music videos. They also worked with the United Nations on the global #PledgeToPause campaign, which exposing the young creatives to global networks.
The MTF graduates are now part of the MTF alumni network.