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Mzansi Magic calls out for authentic local Botswana productions

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21 August 2023. Gaborone, Botswana. Today MultiChoice Botswana announced that local content creators can take part in a truly African production opportunity. Mzansi Magic on DStv Botswana channel 161 has issued a call for submissions for made-for-tv movies made specifically for Batswana audiences, as well as for a Local Motswana Production Supervisor to work on content for Mzansi Magic channels.

2023 has seen great local Botswana content  championing the essence of MultiChoice in Botswana – being  Africa’s leading storytelling platform.  DStv Botswana to date has delivered riveting content to its viewers from shows like My Botswana Plate and Bots Top 5, in under a year! Alongside delivering homegrown content, the pay-TV service provider has also engaged in numerous skills transfer activities with local content creators in partnership with the Department of Broadcasting Services under the MultiChoice Talent Factory umbrella. With this, Botswana will soon find a sizeable seat at the table on Mzansi Magic, the time for Botswana to shine is now, it’s your moment to shine!

“Mzansi Magic’s call-for-submissions has come at an incredible time where the Botswana’s creative industry is being seen and felt by both the consumers and our policy makers,” said Thembile Legwaila, MultiChoice Botswana’s Head of Marketing. “The potential of our creative industry is telling of the  socioeconomic and local content needs. We as MultiChoice Botswana  are  proud to be a part of helping shape the way we Botswana’s tell our story.”

Speaking on what this call-for-submission means to the industry, Executive Producer at New Look Studios, Johnson Otlaadisa, had this to say, “This call comes at a time when the industry in Botswana is yearning for more opportunities to tell our stories to the world beyond our borders. It is an answer to prayer for our industry and a critical opportunity for growth; working with Mzansi Magic, who are some of the very best storytellers in Africa.”

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Through this call-for-submission, Mzansi Magic is set to engage a local production company to supervise and oversee the development, production and post-production phases of filmmaking on content made for Mzansi Magic channels. These channels include DStv’s Mzansi Magic, Mzansi Wethu, Mzansi Bioskop and Mzansi Magic music channels. An engagement of this nature for a local production company would not only provide it with incomparable exposure but with immeasurable upskilling opportunities as well.

Mzansi Magic has simultaneously made a call for the next fresh made-for-TV movie produced locally for Batswana audiences, with an opportunity available to showcase three movies coming out of this call-for submission.

MultiChoice Botswana urges interested applicants to remember the importance of staying true to the authenticity of our own local stories and to keep in mind the audiences that the content is being made for, “Although the stories being submitted should be geared towards Batswana audiences it’s always important to bear in mind that we live in a world without borders. Content should be unique to Botswana but should also be able to resonate with the rest of Africa as all eyes will be on these films,” adds Legwaila. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the M-Net Corporate Submissions website to apply for the Local Production Supervisor opportunity by visiting the Local Botswana Supervising Producer – Mzansi Magic – M-Net Submissions (mnetcorporate.co.za) website. Those interested in submitting made-for-TV movies are encouraged to visit the Authentically Batswana made for TV movie – Mzansi Magic – M-Net Submissions (mnetcorporate.co.za) website. Call-for-submissions closes on 15th September 2023 at 0:00

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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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