Film & Theatre

Ugandan Filmmaker Wins Scholarship At Prestigious New York Film Academy

A Ugandan filmmaker has won a prestigious scholarship at the New York Film Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) with another film editor securing a training opportunity with Jasco Broadcast Solutions, in what will be a major skills boost for the country’s entertainment field, particularly film.

The two Ugandans were among a fresh cohort of filmmakers that graduated from the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy Class of 2020.

Uganda’s Daisy Masembe won an 8-week scholarship from the prestigious New York Film Academy of visual and Performing Arts (NYFA) while Isiko Abubaker will get an AVID media composer license from asco Broadcast Solutions, a video and audio tech company.

A total of 60 students graduated from the Lusaka, Nairobi and Lagos academy hubs. The NYFA 8-week Scholarship goes to the top-performing graduate per region. For the scholarship, Daisy will be joined by Bisola Aboaba (Nigeria) and Maira Tauacale (Mozambique).

Jasco Broadcast awarded the AVID media composer license to the most promising film video editor per region. Besides Abubaker, the other two recipients are from Nigeria and Zambia.

Commenting on the graduation, Hassan Saleh, the Managing Director of MultiChoice Uganda, said; “We are elated by how well our Ugandan filmmakers did. We at MultiChoice are confident that the skills they have gained from this training will transform our local filmmaking process. This is yet another testament that MultiChoice is committed to support local content.”

Uganda’s film industry has made gradual progress in the recent past albeit with some challenges such as financing, expertise, piracy, policies and infrastructure. In addition, local demand for Ugandan-made film remains subdued due to the quality of the output since many directors still work with very low budgets.

Daisy Masembe (2nd Left) with Isiko Abubaker (2nd Right) got mega deals.

Availability of good quality work – compelling scripts, good editing, good casting, and modern equipment expected to create more consumption and subsequently attract investment in the film industry.

Saleh added: “Taking into account the multiplier effect, opportunities such as training from New York Film Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA), and Jasco  roadcast, will go a long way in enhancing the expertise of Ugandan film makers.”

The MTF students’ academic course was extended from 12 months to 18 months due to the pandemic. This additional time translated to the students today walking away with not one but two qualifications, making them even more sought-after as they re-enter their respective local film and TV sectors as highly qualified industry professionals. Alongside their MTF qualification, the students also walk away with an equally illustrious qualification from the prestigious New York Film Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (NYFA).

The students completed an intensive 3-week online NYFA course on the production of micro-documentaries, PSAs and music videos and also worked with the United Nations on the global #PledgeToPause campaign, exposing the young creatives to global networks. In addition, MTF graduates are now part of the MTF alumni network and connected to industry professionals from across the continent through the MTF Portal – www.multichoicetalentfactory.com

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