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School, firm partner to equip young creatives

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Despite the teething problems of the late 1980s and 1990s, which confronted the industry, the Nigerian movie industry has metamorphosed into a leading film producer in the world. However, what is not in doubt is the seemingly lack of technical depth, which a lot of capacity utilisation workshops are trying to find solutions to.

Recently, September 12, to be precise, the inaugural class of MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) West Africa Academy graduated after a full-year of training in television and film production.

The students — 20 in number — from both Nigeria and Ghana, rounded off a fully funded training programme aimed at producing high-quality movies as well as create wealth through entrepreneurial partnerships.

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This, however, could not have been possible without the institutional support provided by the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU), Lagos. They were instrumental in the facilitation of core areas such as ethics; financial management, critical thinking and other intellectual and entrepreneurial value as well certification for the programme.

Speaking on curriculum specifics, Dr. Ikechukwu Obiaya, Dean, School of Media and Communication, PAU, said the training would have an enduring influence on the graduates as it strengthened their fundamentals of the film and television industry.

He said: “The Nigerian film industry has captured the imagination and attention of the world but now, it must strengthen its hold by perfecting its craft and focusing on greater acquisition of skills. That is the role of training and the role of the Multichoice Talent Factory. The MTF will have a long-lasting impact precisely because it is contributing to strengthening the foundations of the industry by facilitating skills acquisition.”

Mr. John Ugbe, chief executive officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, lauded the institution for imparting the principle of ethical entrepreneurship — particularly in money management. He said today’s practitioners must be able to balance their creativity with business acumen in order to remain stable and avoid going bankrupt.

As part of his efforts to encourage entrepreneurship, Ugbe awarded the sum of $1,000 each to 24-year-olds Kemi Adeyemi and Salma Saliu as the CEO Award for Entrepreneurship, for exhibiting great entrepreneurial skills during the year.

Ugbe said skills acquired alongside the passion and dedication exhibited during the programme would help them overcome any obstacle they encounter in the industry.

“Some of you are probably wondering, and perhaps, worried, about what life outside the safety net of the academy will be like. I say to you today – ‘press delete’ on that worry right now because You are ready. Yes, Africa’s creative industry is constantly changing but I believe you have the right mindset, skill, passion and commitment to take on this challenge and get ahead of the change because You are the Future. You are the generation that has the great opportunity to impact this industry,” he said.

On his part, Mr. Femi Odugbemi – MTF West Africa Academy Director, described the training as a landmark programme, noting that the curriculum enabled the students to demonstrate their skills as filmmakers.

“In the course of the programme, the students expertly honed their raw talent into professional skill. This is the essence of the MTF Academy – giving upcoming talent the chance to hone their abilities thereby increasing the pool of available talent and world class professionals in the industry. This graduation is therefore a landmark moment both for the students and the programme,” he said.

Also speaking, Mrs Shulamite Olufunke Adebolu, Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, called on private sector and key industry stakeholders to establish world-class training institutions such as, the MTF to expand the divergent creative sector.

The commissioner also enjoined local and foreign experts to collaborate with the state government to build capacity in the creative sector.The movies produced by the MTF graduates — Life of Bim and Dreamchaser — aired on Africa Magic Showcase.

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