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Academy for African Filmmakers to mentor young African talent

The Academy for African Filmmakers (AAF) is a new initiative by Unilever and MOFILM to help young African talent develop their storytelling and pitching skills while working on real live Unilever briefs with the possibility of having their work broadcast.
Directors Femi Odugbemi, Akin Omotoso and Jahmil X. T. Qubeka are among the experienced African filmmakers joining lead tutors Beathur Mgoza Baker, a dynamic South African filmmaker, visual artist and media entrepreneur, and Neville Josie, executive producer, director, writer and trainer at Jungle Works, announced Unilever earlier this week.

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Marc Matthieu, SVP Global Marketing, launched AAF during the Durban Film Festival in August this year.

The Academy will take the form of three workshops, each lasting three days and taking place in Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town in early December. Applications for the 90 available spaces closed at the end of October.

The two lead tutors of AAF are both highly experienced in delivering educational programmes for filmmakers and very passionate about promoting young African creative talent.

The lead team will be supported by a group of guest tutors who will bring their experience from each country's film industry.

The support tutor team will include enterprising and award-winning Nigerian filmmaker, writer and photographer - Femi Odugbemi; an award winning director and writer from South Africa - Jahmil X. T. Qubeka; director of Kenya's most successful film, Nairobi Half Life - David 'Tosh" Gitonga; and an award-winning South African actor, writer and director - Akin Omotoso, as well as other luminaries from film and TV industries of each country.

Chairman of Unilever South Africa, Peter Cowan, said: "Our vision is to create a Brighter Future for all South Africans through developing livelihoods in communities where we operate. We are proud to have such experienced filmmakers on board to nurture and develop the upcoming talent at the academy."

Cowan added that the candidates will also have access to Unilever's marketing, branding and creative expertise to further hone their filmmaking skills.

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