In the second edition of its scholarship scheme, the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), in collaboration with Ford Foundation, is providing capacity development for another season 15 film students to the popular Montana State University, United States, for a summer course.
The beneficiaries who travelled to the US on Sunday were selected from the AFRIFF Talent Development Workshops sponsored by Access Bank and Africa Magic at the 2015 edition of the festival which held in Lagos. The initiative provides beginners and intermediate courses for young people in their choice areas of filmmaking.
The scholarship scheme which is meant to advance the aspirations of these burgeoning talents, is an intensive hands-on training camp on various aspects of filmmaking with emphasis on documentary filmmaking.
Although 20 students qualified for the scholarship, 15 have been granted visas by the American embassy so far. They include 13 Nigerians, one Ghanaian and one Rwandan.
They are: Morakinyo Fapohunda (Lagos), Leke Oyeyinka (Ogun), Kalu Nnamdi Anaga (Enugu), Damian Ashinjo (Benue), Richard Odilu (Delta), Tunray Femi (Delta), Kelechi Nduka (Anambra), Dan Ikpoyi (Delta), Adebusola Adeboyejo (Ondo), Kenechukwu Nwatu from Enugu; Alero Okorodus (Lagos), Joy Igbe (Benue), Susan Akalazu (Imo), Osei Owusu Banahene (Ghana) and Vanessa Uwase (Rwanda).
Also in the partnership is Arik Air, Montana State University and Africa Magic.
Last year, the scheme had a total of 35 participants; 15 young film students, selected by AFRIFF for the Ford Foundation scholarship, and 20 upcoming filmmakers, who attended first-hand training at Relativity School, Los Angeles.
Mr. Paul Nwulu, Programmes Officer for Ford Foundation, said they already had proposals for 10 of the 15 guys who made the training last year. According to Nwulu, the choice of Montana State University was strategy owing to the quality of training they offer.
For Founder/CEO of AFRIFF, Ms Chioma Ude, the scholarship is one in a series of other talent development initiatives of the six-year-old festival. According to her, the skill acquisition and youth development initiative was designed to use filmmaking as an authentic vehicle for youth empowerment.
AFRIFF’s vision, according to Ude, is to raise awareness about African cinema, its vast potential and the tremendous socio-economic impact of creative professionals in Africa. She noted that the first four years of the festival were strategically intended to build the AFRIFF brand and gain the brand notoriety that will allow partnership of global brands like Ford Foundation and Relativity Media.
AFRIFF has since its first edition in 2010, provided free training and talent development opportunities for young people and aspiring filmmakers. The festival has provided cutting edge education in Sound for Film, Cinematography and Screen Writing for over 500 students, in partnership with Sound & Motion Technical College and City Varsity, Cape Town, South Africa. AFRIFF has also worked directly with students of the National Film Institute, Jos; PEFTI Film Institute, Lagos; the Creative Arts Department at The University of Port-Harcourt; Department of Media & Theatre Arts at The University of Calabar and The Theatre Arts Department of The University of Uyo. The Desicon Group was the 2014 sponsor of the AFRIFF Talent Development Workshops.