By Mahzouba Maya Faal
In a bid to promote filmmaking and self-employment, , the University of The Gambia’s School of Journalism and Digital Media, in partnership with Weltfilme Germany have on Thursday begun training 16 students on filmmaking.
The training is part of a bigger project called Make A Difference, which brought together 12 filmmakers (trainers) and 24 aspirants (trainees) from Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and for the first time, The Gambia, on a month-long, intensive program in Ghana focused on how to develop and produce films..This time, 16 students from different faculties at the UTG, and workers from different media houses have been selected to participate in the five days workshop at the football hotel, Yundum.
Demba Kandeh, a lecturer at University of The Gambia, SJDM, emphasised the significance and timeliness of the training.“What we look forward to is to learn from all of these experiences, to develop a curriculum and say, in a year or two, we will be able to deliver a bachelors degree in broadcasting,” he said.
As part of their visit, facilitators from Weltfilme, Germany; Frank Dohman (Founding Director) and Rogier Hardeman (Project Manager) respectively, have met with stakeholders from different media houses. According to Mr Dohman, it is very important to meet all of these people, to gather their help and possibly, ‘something could come out of it’.Frank Dohman further expatiated the purpose of their stay, saying, ‘we are here to help trainees and trainers to do more films together’ and possibly, ‘train others as well’; thus, highlighting the essence of sustainability.
He explained how Africans could find their own unique and creative ways of telling their stories, that it may not necessarily have to be like how it’s done in the US or Germany.
“We’re only here to support you to find your way, give you what you need to make it happen because you know what you want to tell,” he said.
For Alpha Anne, a final-semester economics student, his passion for filmmaking started since he was little. He said though he studies economics, the field itself teaches him business strategies and how to lead a business, thus underlining its link to filmmaking.