MultiChoice Talent Factory partners CBS Justice on true crime masterclass series

MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) and thematic TV channel CBS Justice, owned by AMC Networks International-UK and ViacomCBS, have announced a partnership in which it will be providing four true crime masterclasses to MTF students and industry professionals across Africa through the MTF online portal.

Yolisa Phahle, MTF’s CEO of General Entertainment

The true crime genre is hugely popular and the masterclasses will cover aspects of developing series with critically acclaimed facilitators.

The four one-hour masterclasses will be offered live online on Tuesday, 17th and 24th November as well as Tuesday, 1st and 8th December at 13:00 CAT/11:00 GMT and will subsequently be made available via the MTF portal.

Facilitated by David Howard and Rik Hall of UK-based production company Monster Films, participants will gain first-hand insights across a range of topics, from developing and pitching ideas, to filming, working with talent, on-set best practices, approaches to post-production, sales and marketing.

“A key focus for us is to ensure that MTF offers a diverse set of masterclasses covering the depth and breadth of filmmaking,” said Yolisa Phahle, CEO General Entertainment: MultiChoice Group.

“This means finding partners who are specialists in genre filmmaking and have in-depth knowledge of the nuances that come with producing different genres.

“True crime stories make for gripping entertainment and we are very excited to be partnering with CBS Justice to offer this series of masterclasses to industry creatives across Africa.”

The true crime masterclasses are the latest in a diverse range of masterclasses and workshops offered by the MTF Academy and tie in with its philosophy of upskilling and training industry professionals in the telling of authentic African stories.

“True crime is an extremely popular and expanding genre,” said Louise Cottrell, Senior Vice President, Affiliate Partnerships at AMC Networks International-UK.

“We’re delighted that David and Rik from Monster Films, who produced a number of our original productions, have agreed to share their first-hand expertise and industry knowledge in these four masterclasses, tailor-made for both students and those already working in the creative industries who have an authentic, fresh idea for developing a gripping true crime series.”

After spending 20 years producing and directing factual programmes for a variety of broadcasters, David Howard and Rik Hall formed Monster Films in 2015 with one goal in mind — to combine their wealth of industry experience with the collaborative, inclusive ethos of a television start-up.

The result is an independent production company that fosters creativity, thrives on originality, and builds on pre-existing relationships with some of the world’s largest broadcast and media groups to bring the most diverse stories to the widest possible audience.

As one of the UK’s leading producers of serial and feature documentaries, Monster Films boasts an extensive catalogue of multi-award-winning programmes such as ‘Making a Monster’, ‘Dark Son’, ‘Interview with a Murderer’ and ‘Kidnapped by My Father’ for various broadcasters in the UK.

Their series ‘The Real Prime Suspect’ and ‘Voice of a Serial Killer’, commissioned by CBS Reality UK, aired on CBS Justice (DStv 170) across Africa in 2020 and one of their latest productions, season 2 of ‘Coastal Killers’ (‘Murder by the Sea’ in the UK), will air on the channel in early 2021.

CBS Justice is currently available to DStv Premium and Compact Plus customers on channel 170. It investigates some of the world’s most compelling true crime cases and features a curated selection of original and acquired content.

This includes expert-led original productions including “New Scotland Yard Files’, ‘Donal MacIntyre’s Murder Files’, ‘Secrets of a Psychopath’ and ‘Evidence of Evil’ as well as acquisitions ‘Cold Justice’, ‘Murder for My Man’ and ‘Homicide’s Elite’.

The MTF, is a multi-tiered training programme (Academies, Masterclasses & Portal) designed by MultiChoice Africa to focus on positively impacting the technical and professional value chain in the film and television industry across the continent.

As a business born and bred in Africa, MuktiChoice has a long-term commitment to making a socioeconomic difference in the countries in which it operates.

It takes cognizance that the African continent is steeped in a rich and diverse history of living passionately through language, art, music, and colourful storytelling.

As the continent continues to change rapidly, the entertainment industry has become ever more relevant. MultiChoice Africa has identified an opportunity in this fast-changing environment — one that will have a lasting impact on the industry as a whole.

MTF helps to play a positive role in growing Africa’s creative industries and is a shared-value initiative that provides a platform for the creative industries to develop their talent and engage with one another through their shared passions.

Through the MTF Academies (every year, the academies select 60 talented individuals from across 13 countries to participate in a 12-month academic and practical immersion programme.

These include both theory and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling.

“We are building a pipeline of good local content for our channels whilst the Masterclasses focus on developing technical skills of established creatives in cinematography, audio and storytelling to improve the quality of local productions and are conducted by leading African and international industry experts,” Phahle

“The MTF Portal is the golden thread that brings talent and opportunities together on one platform. It is a Pan-African, film and television digital marketplace that offers open, cost-free access to film creatives across the continent to showcase their talent, access opportunities, stay up to date with industry news and expand their industry network.

“Through this initiative, MultiChoice Africa’s demonstrates its commitment to enriching lives by developing the art of inspired local storytelling and story making, while simultaneously growing a legacy of local content on our DStv, GOtv and Showmax platforms and ultimately continue showcasing Africa’s rich cultural heritage and diversity.”

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