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Botswana Film Triumphs at Durban FilmMart: Vote Now to Bring Home the Audience Choice Award!

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Local film “Zombie Date Night in Tlokweng” has achieved significant success at the Durban FilmMart. Now, it’s time for you to cast your vote and help it secure the Audience Choice Award! Watch “Zombie Date Night in Tlokweng” using the provided links and then vote for it to bring the prestigious award home.

The film has already received another win – the #NEFTIcompetition Audience Choice Award, in addition to being crowned the Best Film of the 2023 #NEFTIcompetition. Congratulations to everyone who voted, shared the posts, and to the talented cast and crew of #ZDNIT. Le kamoso bagaetsho! (Congratulations, everyone!)

The cast of the film includes notable actors like Marcus Mabusela, Gofaone Nkwane, and William Last KRM. It also features well-known names from the local comedy scene, such as Jethro ‘Umaga’ Ndebele, Bambino Ndiwenyu, Triccs, Jonny Pula, Precious Olerile, Lebone Mokone, Mamelang Lefitlhile, and the young talent Olerato Kgalemang.

Behind the scenes, the film boasts a talented crew of accomplished Batswana professionals, including First Director Ellen Phooko, Director of Photography Vaima Kario, Gaffer Thebe Radiakwana, and assistants Karabo Mogorosi and Lebone Mokone, First AC/Focus Puller Mana Seboni, Production Designer Tshepiso Mothaba, assisted by Tony Serero, Costume Designer Gertrude, and Kutlwano Mogojwe of Black Thrash Designers, Sound Recordist MacDonald Garekwe, Make-up & Special Effects Make-up Artist Matthew Emmanuel Charlie, with seasoned music producer Kabelo “K-Bos” Motlhatlhedi serving as the Sound Mixer and Colourist, and Development Executive Tricia L. Sello.

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“NEFTI” (NEFT Emerging Film Talent International) is an innovative annual competition created by NEFT Vodka™ and the International Emerging Film Talent Association (“IEFTA”). The competition aims to discover, develop, and showcase up-and-coming filmmakers from emerging economies worldwide. It provides opportunities to film talent from culturally diverse and economically challenged regions, ensuring their voices are heard despite geographical, financial, and logistical limitations.

The competition is entirely funded by NEFT Vodka, and contestants compete for the chance to be one of three finalists who get to produce a short film within thirty days and a budget of $3000. The ultimate winner among the finalists receives the grand prize of $5,000. All three films produced by the finalists are then submitted to various international film festivals and showcased by IEFTA and NEFT Vodka across different platforms.

The judging panel for the competition consists of three esteemed film-industry veterans: award-winning actress, producer, and Host, Vivica A. Fox; Academy Award and Tony-winning film, television, and theater producer Bruce Cohen; and producer and current President of Feature Post-Production at Disney/20th Century Fox, Ted Gagliano. For the inaugural competition, independent filmmaker and NEFT’s Chief Creative Officer Paul Robinson acted as the fourth and final judge. For future competitions, the previous year’s winner will take on the role of the fourth judge, replacing Robinson.

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Phala: A Botswana film showcase bound for Berlinale and Cannes 2024

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In the emerging world of film in Botswana, emerges the narrative of “Phala.” This abstract short film, born from a serendipitous conversation between filmmaker Mooretsi Gabang and a long-lost schoolmate, is poised for acclaim at the esteemed Berlinale and Cannes film festivals in 2024, alongside Gabang’s feature “Zombie Date Night in Tlokweng.”, Bone Chone of OniroHouse.

The chance reunion of these two collaborators, separated since their school days in 2008, became the catalyst for an extraordinary cinematic voyage. Gabang’s simple directive to “make it stand out” ignited a creative flame in his partner, giving rise to “Phala.” Fueled by a mutual drive to push boundaries, the team embarked on a quest to craft a visually arresting piece destined to leave an indelible mark on audiences.

With a background in music, the filmmaker drew inspiration from sonic landscapes, setting the stage for a mesmerizing audiovisual experience. Teaming up with Azizi as Cinematographer, Goaba as assistant Cinematographer, and Ipelo as Art Director, the vision began to take shape. But it was the contribution of praise poet Jabu, who delivered a stirring Setswana piece, that breathed life into the project, challenging the team to translate its essence into captivating visuals.

“Phala” transcends conventional storytelling, weaving together the rich tapestry of Setswana culture with dreamlike imagery to invite viewers into a realm of personal interpretation. Trippy Boy’s evocative musical score serves as the perfect companion, enhancing the film’s ethereal atmosphere and drawing audiences deeper into its hypnotic embrace.

For Gabang and his team, the opportunity to showcase “Phala” at Berlinale and Cannes represents not only a professional milestone but also a celebration of Botswana’s burgeoning creative landscape. While their expertise lies predominantly in corporate content, the allure of these renowned festivals beckons them to explore new horizons and assert their place on the global stage.

However, the journey doesn’t end there. A chance encounter with a South African producer during a trip to America paved the way for another exciting project. Collaborating on a demo for a film in late 2023, the team now finds themselves on the brink of pitching to Netflix as part of its development program. It’s a testament to their resilience and determination to push boundaries, proving that creativity knows no limits.

As they stand on the precipice of possibility, Gabang and his team are poised to make their mark on the international stage, armed with talent, vision, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. With “Phala” leading the charge, the world eagerly awaits the next chapter in their cinematic journey.

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The Genesis of GARDEN: A Short Film by Moonga K.

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A mini-documentary on the second studio album, GARDEN, by MOONGA K.

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The MultiChoice Talent Factory Alumni are Multiplying and Growing the Regions Film Industry

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From aspiring filmmakers to production company owners – the sky is the limit for two Botswana TV and film producers.  

01 September 2023. Gaborone, Botswana. The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) is significantly growing its impact in the African continent through the pool of well-trained filmmakers, that have established production companies, producing ground-breaking films and internationally competitive production projects.  

Through MTF, MultiChoice creates direct and indirect jobs, trains, harnesses and sharpens storytelling and production skills of young African filmmakers to contribute positively to the economy and the TV and film industry in the region.

The alumni are now occupying significant industry roles on major productions across the African continent, while some have established their own production companies collaborating with industry expects and masters.

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Nikita Neo Mokgware and Serena Serene Mmifinyana, are MTF alumni that are actively creating opportunities in the industry through their production house, N & M Productions based in Gaborone, Botswana. N & M Productions is a scriptwriting and film administration company that specialises in concept development and production management in all the production stages of a film or series.

These young film trailblazers are now utilising skills and insights on the business of film and the pre-production processes acquired during their one-year programme at the MTF Academy.  At the time as MTF students, the landscape of the film and TV industry in Botswana was still growing, and a most production houses in the country didn’t focus on the pre-production business of filmmaking. Upon returning to Botswana from MTF, Nikita and Serena both agreed to collaborate and partner together, and N & M Productions was established.

“Today, we are not just two MTF alumni, we are two warriors of the screen, two storytellers of the heart, two ambassadors of Africa” articulated Serena.

Their production company is the official writer for Botswana’s UpicTV’s “The Star”, with two seasons under its belt. The company has also worked closely with MultiChoice for the past two years, producing original shows such as MTF’s “This is Africa” Podcast as well as Dintshang?! With DStv. They have also secured the screen rights for works by Barolong Seboni, a renowned poet and playwright in Botswana, and are currently working on various projects with local and international producers and content creators.

Additionally, N & M Productions have also collaborated in making a second feature film with Angolan filmmaker Levis Albano titled “Muti Mbi Ma Pessoa” which screened in Angola, Brazil, Portugal and even France! They were also invited by Pavillion Afriques to speak about the film industry in Botswana at the most prestigious film festivals in the world, the 2023 Cannes Festival.

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Serena and Nikita have also founded a film civil society association called Women in Film Guild Botswana, where they educate, assist, and empower women in film in and around Botswana.

Serena and Nikita’s production house employs a full crew in every project through other production houses and freelancers to spread revenue across the industry. “Together, we created a production company that is more than just a business, it is a movement” exclaimed Nikita.

“MTF is continuously making a powerful impact on the next generation of storytellers, these pioneers are unearthing their power of creativity giving others an opportunity to multiply their magic in the TV industry. We are thrilled to witness the success of our alumni and their ability to set up their own production companies that contributes to not only the creative space but also to the local economy.” stated Christopher Puta, MTF Southern Africa Academy Director

It is evident that Africa is a continent full of potential; a place where creativity and innovation are waiting to be unleashed and these young emerging industry entrepreneurs are on the right track, producing great content on global platforms across the world while meeting specific local industry needs.

To find out more about how MTF visit:

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Facebook: MultiChoice Talent Factory

Instagram: @multichoicetalentfactory

Twitter: MC Talent Factory

YouTube: www.multichoicegroup.com

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