Made in Limpopo Filmmakers Project (MLFP) has initiated a groundbreaking three-month developmental program, funded by the National Film and Video Foundation.
The MLFP is set to elevate the skills of young filmmakers within the Limpopo film industry as ten ambitious entry-level filmmakers undergo an intensive workshop focused on developing their short fiction film concepts, centered around the theme ‘Memory and Time’.
Throughout the practical, on-the-job process, the filmmakers will benefit from the guidance, mentorship, and coaching of acclaimed award-winning Nigerian-born filmmaker and director, Adze Ugah.
Adze Ugah has served in various film training and skill transfer capacities such as The National Film and Video Foundation, Youth Film Makers project, as a Directing Mentor. As well as a mentor for the Durban International Film Festival talent campus.
His early work experiences in the SA film and Television industry include in the early seasons of the SABC 1 television drama series Home Affairs and the feature film series Heartlines, and City Sesla. He has since featured as one of several directors on other television drama series such as Society, Zone 14 and Jacob’s Cross.
Adze has one documentary to his credit, the multiple award-winning Burning Man. He was the writer and director of the acclaimed local feature, Gog’ Helen which and served as Lead Director on Mzansi Magic’s massively popular telenovela, Isibaya.
Adze says that being part of the Made in Limpopo Filmmakers Project is a rewarding experience as it empowers and equips young filmakers to tell their stories.
“Everybody has a story to tell, but the major frustration for most people is not having the tools, skills, and equipment to properly convey those stories. When one engages with aspiring filmmakers and equips them with the necessary tools and know-how, they begin to find joy, and their creative vision comes to life. The satisfaction derived from knowing how to articulate one’s thoughts is profoundly rewarding, as it signifies an expanded knowledge base and a heightened confidence derived from an increased understanding.”
He emphasised that to be a great filmmaker one needs to be focused and dedicated, possessing the ability to channel their energies and attention with commitment.
“Key qualities for success in this field include passion, dedication, commitment, a keen hunger for learning, and a readiness to make sacrifices—be it time, energy, or personal pleasures. Being teachable, curious, and having the ability to absorb vast amounts of information and apply it independently are also crucial. Watching films and understanding the craft is an integral part of honing one’s skills.”
Adze said there is a need for increased film production and platforms in Limpopo, highlighting that the province is abundant with content and local stories.
“There is a growing need for more platforms where young individuals are given the opportunity to learn and apply what they’ve learned. Film festivals, local cinemas, and social media provide avenues for young filmmakers to showcase their work within their communities. Utilizing conventional broadcast platforms like television, where segments for community films exist, can further amplify the reach of these stories.”
Adze encouraged young aspiring filmakers to continue to strive to tell their stories and share thier stories at every opportunity.
“The journey of filmmaking is a lengthy road. Tenacity is essential, and tying your story to your life means that if your story fails, your life fails. Even against the odds, persist in telling your story. It’s a challenging, arduous road that may feel solitary at times. Fight to bring your story to light and never give up.”