Hollywood pro filmmaker to hold mentorship programme

Hollywood professional Jonathan Samukange

Africa Film Academy (AFA), a film production school based in Harare, is this month set to hold its latest project, an intensive 12-week hands-on Hollywood mentorship for aspiring filmmakers and actors.

AFA offers a variety of programmes to impart practical skills and prepare participants for a successful career in the industry focusing on scriptwriting, film production, directing, cinematography, digital editing and acting.

Aspiring students can choose from a list of six classes that match their interests and passions, including screenwriting to help aspiring writers develop their storytelling skills for film.

Producing 101 offers a comprehensive education on the intricacies of successful film production. It challenges aspiring producers to oversee every aspect of the filmmaking process: from development and production to post-production. Participants gain valuable experience in team leadership, contract drafting, licencing agreements, budgeting, pitching and festival submissions.

The film directing 101 course allows students to take the director’s seat and direct five film projects, including short films, music videos and documentaries.

Cinematography covers all the basics of cinematography, including advanced lighting setup, operating a Netflix-certified cinema camera, production sound techniques and working collaboratively to create engaging compositions that advance the story.

Throughout the training period, students are expected to work on 30 film projects, gaining experience in shooting and editing films, music videos, commercials and documentaries.

According to AFA, this skill is highly sought in the global industry as it goes beyond simple videography.

The selected class of filmmakers and actors will be led by Hollywood professional, Jonathan Samukange, the director at AFA and a graduate of the New York Film Academy in Hollywood.

Samukange, also known as Dyrektao, is an international multi-award-winning filmmaker and founder of DreamHous Pictures, a film production studio that scooped a National Arts Merit Award (Nama) 2024 in the Outstanding Music Video category for the video to Tahle WeDzinza’s song titled Damage.

In May this year, AFA students took part in an 11-minute collaborative film featuring award-winning actor Munya Chidzonga.

“I need film students to know there is a place for them to learn practical filmmaking techniques, I invite any aspiring filmmaker who wants to turn their talent into a sustainable career, by sharing my vast knowledge and expertise in film production from my career,” Samukange told IndependentXtra.

The mentorship programme has established the Africa Film Academy Golden Reel Awards to recognise and commemorate the efforts of students who would have foregone the 12-week programme. The awards give students a chance to participate in a festival and be given media attention, accolades and a red-carpet affair.

In May this year, the first cohort of graduates was part of a glitzy awards ceremony hosted at Ster Kinekor Joina City. The next awards show is slated for October 12 at Ster Kinekor Theatres.

To participate, aspiring students can register via the AFA website: https://www.afaeducation.net/discover-afa with the closing deadline set for July 12.

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