PE now a film hub

Brad Oppelt, left, Jessica Hogg and Sipho Bosa are among the interns at the media workshop this year

Bay filmmaker Denise Roodt returns to the Media Workshop this year to “develop the Eastern Cape into a formidable film hub” on national screens, both behind and in front of the camera.

The Media Workshop, in Bird Street, Central, is a film and television production company and training provider and this year it has employed 10 film graduates as interns as part of a broader industry development initiative. Over the year, the interns will work on productions commissioned by the SABC and develop original content for distribution on a variety of platforms.

“The Media Workshop has given us the opportunity to still grow our skills as film and media producers, but also show the media world what we can do,” intern team leader: technical Brad Oppelt said.

Media Workshop owner Roodt previously was instrumental in bringing Afda Film School to the city in 2015.

“I feel I have come full circle. Having seen the genesis group of AFDA students through their three-year degree programme, I have returned to running the Media Workshop on a full-time basis, where I shall focus on creating employment and self-employment opportunities for emerging filmmakers,” Roodt said.

She now rejoins her long-term colleague Hubert Ngqawana, who managed the Media Workshop while she was dean of Afda. Ngqawana is now head of academic programmes.

“Our training programmes have over the years produced successful screen content practitioners like Nolitha Xozwa and Siyanda Manzini, recently featured in Weekend Post for their TV series, Ubudoda on DStv ’s channel 161,” Roodt said.

Other filmmakers who learnt their skills here include former SABC 1’s Uzalo and M-Net’s Isibaya story liner Zolisa Sigwanda; Gqabi Njokweni, Sicelo Mkhize and Bulelani Scott of SABC News; Lizo Tolom of Urban Brew Studios; comedian Siya Seya, Busisiwe Nako of Voo C Media Group “and many more”. The Media Workshop has also secured funding for 20 disadvantaged students to complete its one-year National Certificate in Film and Television Production. This course and the 10 interns are supported by the MICT Seta.

The Media Workshop still has limited spaces available for its National Certificate in Film and Television Production programme, which starts in mid-February.

A six-day film production workshop will also be held early next month.

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