MTF Academy Director Femi Odugbemi selected to be a part of the Joburg Film Festival (JFF) jury


MTF Academy Director Femi Odugbemi selected to be a part of the Joburg Film Festival (JFF) jury

“Festivals like the Joburg Film Festival are so critical to our future. It’s much more than entertainment – it’s also a lot about edutainment.”

20 November 2019 - The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) is thrilled to announce that MTF Director for West Africa Academy Femi Odugbemi is part of the 3rd annual Joburg Film Festival (JFF) jury!

Odugbemi’s decades-long career as a film and TV industry veteran in both Nigeria and continentally bring a unique offering to the festival, which kicked off yesterday and ends on 24 November 2019.


“I feel very honoured to be invited to join an esteemed jury but more so to come here and celebrate our storytellers. I’ve said it many times recently [that] the future is storytelling, and the future is not just storytelling from our past. It’s also about storytelling that foreshadows our future. Africa’s vision of where it’s going and its place in the world needs to be championed by our storytellers,” says Odugbemi.

The jury also includes renowned South African author Zakes Mda, award-winning Guyanese American actress CCH Pounder, South African film and TV veteran Florence Masebe, and Canadian film programmer, curator and researcher Nataleah Hunter-Young.

This year’s JFF, brought to you by the MultiChoice Group, will present 60 curated films from the African continent and beyond, is in its third year of running and boasts 6 special film screening venues hosted in and around Johannesburg.

African cinema is critical to how young Africans will take ownership of the vision they have for the continent’s future, says Odugbemi.

“What’s driving [young Africans] is the stories they’ve been told, and the stories that they embrace, which is that prosperity is only possible outside the continent. We need to tell a different story, and our cinema is going to be a very important tool in creating the vision for Africa that our young people can believe in,” he explains.

At the heart of storytelling is also the ability to equip emerging and seasoned African creatives with the skills and business acumen needed to bolster the continent’s creative film industry. Programmes such as the MTF Academy, which is now in its second year, seamlessly marries these two needs perfectly through its 12-month regional film training programme aimed at upskilling the next generation of passionate young film and TV creatives.

Apart from the storytelling factor, a key judging criterion for Odugbemi that will set one film apart from another is its ability to have an emotional impact through the various foundational pillars of film, from its musical score to its characters.

DISCOP Johannesburg, which will run from 20 to 22 November at the Sandton Convention Centre, is an additional JFF partner. Alongside the MultiChoice Group, DISCOP Johannesburg will foster an important space to showcase the commercial aspect of film and television in Africa.

“It’s so important to understand how our storytelling links into our economics, politics and our nation building, and it’s so critical that we get to that foundation where we empower the storytellers to be bold, courageous, and innovative in the stories that they wish to tell. That’s why festivals like the Joburg Film Festival are so critical to our future. It’s much more than entertainment – it’s also a lot about edutainment. Our stories are our gold,” adds Odugbemi.


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If you have any questions about the MultiChoice Talent Factory, please contact us on [email protected]

About the MultiChoice Talent Factory:

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. The MultiChoice Talent Factory (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, we have a long-term commitment to making a socioeconomic difference in the countries in which we operate. As such, this initiative helps to play a positive role in growing Africa’s creative industries. MTF 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 including 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. 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. More information available on

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