By CityLIfe Arts Writer
Film producers in gaining skills in impact filmmaking have an opportunity to apply for bursaries that will see them develop their skills at the University of Cape Town next year.
“If committed filmmakers want to reach and influence more people, and counter fake news, impact producing may help get us there.” These are the words of Dr Liani Maasdorp, a senior lecturer in the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Film and Media Studies one of the course convenors of the Film Impact Screening Facilitation programme being offered by Sunshine Cinema and UCT in 2023.
And, to help support the need for more impact producers in the global South, ten bursaries are being offered to filmmakers for this Film Impact Screening Facilitation professional development programme which begins in June 2023.
The programme is aimed at communicators, creatives, aspiring impact producers, and purpose-driven “Gen Z’s” eager to ignite change through the screening of mostly documentary, but also fiction feature films to targeted and relevant audiences.
In response to a developing demand by audiences and filmmakers to provide content that can impact myriad current crises and challenges the world is facing, there is also a growing call from audiences to be able to unpack, engage and work with this film content to benefit their spheres of influence and interest. The course provides tangible and workable methodologies for people to develop skills as facilitators to work with film screenings that can help guide audiences and impact this change or stimulate meaningful activism.
Key to filmmaking is distribution, and Sunshine Cinema is best placed to offer practical insights for “impact facilitators” as they have taken films to communities in Southern Africa for years, supporting producers, organisations, and creatives who have the content but lack experience in making an impact with audiences.
Evident in the growing interest in issue-driven documentaries on global streaming services, filmmakers now have many more opportunities to create an impact through their films, but often don’t know how to build strategies to mobilise these stories to do this. This becomes the impact facilitator role to help the film to reach the right audience and inspire them to take action.
The six-month, online, professional development course comprises weekly self-paced lessons on the UCT online learning platform, most of which culminate in a virtual class that “allows students to engage with influential movement builders, impact producers, and filmmakers from South Africa, Africa and beyond”.
Course convenors and lecturers are Sydelle Willow Smith, Sunshine Cinema co-founder, Miki Redelinghuys, well-known impact producer and Dr Liani Maasdorp senior lecturer in the UCT’s Centre for Film and Media Studies with guest lecturers including notable creatives, activists, and impact producers including globally renowned and award-winning story-teller Gcina Mhlophe (SA), film director and activist Zackie Achmat (SA), impact campaign specialist Rowan Pybus (SA), producer and cultural activist Sir Vince Manzini (SA), writer, producer, impact producer Anita Khanna (SA) and filmmaker and writer, and producer Judy Kibinge (Kenya).
The course is open globally to anyone interested in using film to affect change. Ten bursaries are available to participants who merit the opportunity. All applicants (including bursary applicants must complete the online application: https://sunshinecinema.org/2023-uct-impact-course-application/
.The closing date for applications is 31 March 2023.