Malawi youth flock to register for African Film training organised by AMAA

Hundreds of young and old Malawians on Thursday  thronged Crossroads Hotel in the capital city, Lilongwe, where they were egistering for training in various film disciplines.

The African Film Academy, which is organising the two-week long training termed the ‘Film in a Box Training Courses’, runs training programs in Banjul in Gambia, Johannesburg in South Africa, Lilongwe in Malawi, and Lagos in Nigeria.

The courses kicks off in Lilongwe and in Blantyre at the Blantyre Cultural Centre, and with core modules in screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, acting, sound, and production management.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday in the capital Lilongwe, AMAA Chief Executive Officer Peace Osigwe said the training which is called “Film in a Box” is free of charge.

Chikuni: President Joyce Banda endorsed AMAA's Film in a Box project  to offer training programme to the locals,
Chikuni: President Joyce Banda endorsed AMAA’s Film in a Box project to offer training programme to the locals,

“Our Module takes the shape of Team Building and Team Work over a period of 14 days of intensive training,” Osingwe said,  adding that they recognised a number of these specialised expertise is not available in Malawi.

During the training students, who are all considered as ‘beginners’, are required to go from basics to some form of knowledge base on the area of the course they decide to follow at the end of the three week training courses.

“The students are divided into two team that build on a production which is basically a film not exceeding 90 minutes in parallel and intersecting with the courses,” adds the organisers.

Acting will include, which is for those with no formal training in acting but wishing to be seen on screen, prepares actors to be technically skilled, versatile and marketable in the film industry. Coursework emphasizes training for the naturalistic portrayal of Character, the most frequent style used in film as there are many valid approaches to Character Portrayal.

Editing focuses on building the art and skills required for editing films and mastering post-production techniques, which is an Art of Storytelling.

“Students learn the standards software used by professional post production houses around the globe: After Effects, Maya and Light Wave. Topics covered include: Basic Visual Effects, Storyboarding, Layout, Basic Modeling, Surfacing, Text Design, Lighting, Advance Visual Effects, Motion Tracking, Matting, Animation, Using Particles, Chromakeying and more,” says African Film, adding normally classes are aimed at addressing the specific needs of the film.

“Students complete the programme in 21 days, knowing all the aspects of film industry, from pre-production to distribution, and, most importantly, each team leaves with a film that exhibits the talents and professions learnt during the course”.

She said after the training her academy will establish a film making studio and provide equipment to enable those that will be trained to make use of it for film making activities.

Special Assistant to President Joyce  Banda, Martha Chikuni said the Malawi leader is impressed with the project which will accord an opportunity to young Malawians to become vibrant film makers.

Chikuni said the President will provide full support to the project to ensure that a lot of Malawians benefit from the academy.

“Let me tell you that the President is in full support of this initiative which will only not benefit young Malawians but also boost economic growth of the country,” Chikuni said.

Malawi’s film industry is budding, with a few productions making it to regional and international limelight. As in internationally acclaimed actors, Malawi has had its own son, Eugine Khumbanyiuwa, who has acted in blockbuster movies including District 9 and in several television shows in South Africa.

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