Wednesday, 29th November 2023

Kunle Afolayan’s vision to create a future for moviedom yields fruit

By Shaibu Husseini
28 May 2022   |   2:48 am
His vision of creating a future for moviedom has yielded its first fruits, Ten young motion picture practitioners—- Emeka Egbelu, Adesuwa Omon, Ifeanyi Passion, Ugbede Atabo Peter

Head of School, Prof Tunji Azeez, Programme Manager, Anto Lecky; Founder, Mr. Kunle Afolayan and Academy Director, Mr. Seun Soyinka

He was all smiles all through the graduation ceremony and understandably so.

His vision of creating a future for moviedom has yielded its first fruits, Ten young motion picture practitioners—- Emeka Egbelu, Adesuwa Omon, Ifeanyi Passion, Ugbede Atabo Peter, Unyime Patrick, Candace John-Jumbo, Toye Peters Ogunjomo, Oyinbra Fegha, Temitope Folarin and Todimu Adegoke who participated in the post-production (Editing) programme of the Kunle Afolayan Productions (KAP) Film & Television Academy, USC School Of Cinematic Arts and Netflix have been found worthy in character and learning and are ready to join the larger industry.

Kunle Afolayan

For Kunle Afolayan, the graduation ceremony which was held on May 23 at the KAP Hub attracted quality guests including Prof Duro Oni, Prof Ahmed Yerima, Mahmood Alli-Balogun, Femi Odugbemi, Otunba Bolaji Amusan, Victor Okai, Tunde Kelani, Tade Ogidan and Prof Sola Fosudo was a fulfilment of a vision of creating a thriving environment for the next generation to pursue their career goals in filmmaking and equipping them with the knowledge to better their art of filmmaking.

The journey to the graduation ceremony started when KAP Film & Television Academy in association with the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts and Netflix, launched the 10 Weeks Post-Production Workshop in January.

The aim of the workshop according to Afolayan was to improve the post-production skills of practitioners in the industry and to start off the Academy began with Advanced Cinema Editing where 10 applicants were shortlisted and awarded scholarship by Netflix.

To train them, the academy raised a faculty that was led by Douglas Blush, an award-winning director, producer, editor, writer and cinematographer whose work includes over 150 feature and television projects. Blush is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) as well as the American Cinema Editors (ACE). Afolayan hinted that he took the students through a series of learning that has helped sharpen their skills and prepare their minds for the world ahead.

The 10-Week course came to an end on Monday and for founder of KAP Film and Television Academy pulling out ten professionally trained film editors is not just a great feat for the students but also for the academy. ‘’This is our first set of students ever and an actualization of the vision of bringing filmmaking literacy closer to the grassroots’’ Afolayan said shortly after the graduation ceremony that featured a keynote address by the accomplished filmmaker Femi Odugbemi.

Adding Afolayan said ‘’having established that Africa is home to untold stories, armed with eyes for details and creativity for storytelling, African stories would find more expressions through these 10 cinematic editors that have been added to the film industry. May I should just say that we at KAP are celebrating the dawn of a new era’’.

For Allison Triegaardt, Netflix’s Grow Creative Manager for Africa, the successful completion of the programme marks the dawn of a new era for filmmaking not just in Nigeria but the continent of Africa. “Africa is a hugely important region for Netflix and as we grow the number of productions is important for African stories to be able to meet the growing demand for quality storytelling. Our Grow Creative partnerships like the one with USC and KAP in Nigeria will help bridge the skills gap and up-skill experienced crew. This will also ensure an even stronger diversity of voices, stories and points of view for our global audience’’ Triegaardt said.

One of the graduating students Ugbede Atabo told Moviedom that through the programme, they were able to polish their skills and broaden the horizon of their knowledge. ‘’It was an immersive, intense and exciting hands-on training which focused on modern concepts of storytelling through the power of editing’’ Atabo said.

Clearly a new height for Afolayan’s career as a filmmaker, the producer and director of critically acclaimed movies such as Irapada, Figurine, Phone Swap and October 1 is confident that these crop of trained editors will go on to craft Nigerian stories on a world-class level. ‘’That is the goal really. We don’t intend for this to just be about coming here to get a certificate. It is about going out there to make a difference. Our academy as the students have attested is beyond tutorial. We provide hands-on training. Some of them are even going to work on some of our projects now and in the future’’.

Now that the academy has a structure that can run other programmes with a programme on production commencing soon, what next is on the plate for Afolayan? ‘’We continue work on delivering the KAP Film Village and also we make more films and more films and more films’’ he enthused.