Great film schools in Africa


Anyone can make a film. It’s not that complicated at all, however making a good film... that's a whole new ball game altogether. We can all tell stories, but telling stories well... is something else completely! It's the reason why we have film schools, they are there to teach the basics on how to make a story work. There's no doubt that plenty of outstanding directors, producers, DOP's and editors have had no formal training but have still gone on and made their mark through the practical teaching and guidance of others as opposed to being in film school... kudo’s and power to that, but there are those who have been taught all the elements that go into designing a shot, setting up lighting, camera angles, plotting a story, writing a treatment, cutting a film and putting together a script. That basic learning makes for diversified storytellers. Film schools also teach on the most important factor of film making... knowing why you're telling the story and to whom it's being told!

Africa is a treasure chest filled with amazing stories and talent, so it's only natural that we have film schools to serve as a backbone towards forming the solid basis to which we train and raise up spectacular film makers. In South Africa, AFDA the school of film, TV and performance was founded in 1994 and has since become one of the leading institutions of its kind in the world today. AFDA has over 1200 students, a permanent staff of over 150 academics and administrators and 3 fully equipped campuses in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. It has produced some of the top film-makers and actors in Africa today and has made a significant contribution to developing a sustainable local entertainment industry.

Empire film academy- Nigeria. Through a carefully constructed cycle of reflection and access to appropriate resources, skills, and information, the Empire film academy helps in developing film makers and remarkable story tellers. While the programmes are intensely practical with a wide range of HD cameras and shooting equipment, creating more teaching rooms and shooting spaces it gives Nigerian students the chance to compete against international films through their academy. KM Professional Film Academy is the initiative of the promoters of KM Productions, a film production company and an advertising agency whose headquarters is in the USA and has been operating two multimedia studios in Cameroon for the past 10 years with the support of the Hollywood based Creative Artists Agency.

The National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) was established in 1978 by the Government of Ghana as a public Institution of Higher Education in Film and Television Production. NAFTI has a campus spread over three studios all within walking distance in a quiet residential vicinity of Accra. Since its inception in 1978, NAFTI has fostered professional and academic excellence in film and television education.

Del-York Academy in Nigeria- Del-York International is a media, marketing / broadcast communications and technology Services Company. They have a global personnel pool, strong international partnerships and immense local knowledge of the Nigerian/African market seeking to transform and create a lasting impact in Nigeria's Media ad motion picture Industry by building human and technical capacity, producing world-class content and delivering unparalleled and innovative solutions. Maisha FilmLab in Kampala, Uganda- The roots of the Maisha Foundation date back to 1991.. The first Maisha Screenwriting lab took place in Kampala in 2005. Since then, more than 400 participants have attended the Maisha labs on full scholarships, having produced over 30 short films that have been screened in multiple international film festivals. They say ”the most powerful Africans are educated Africans” so with proper training, sufficient resources and funds to back up films there is no reason why an African film can’t make it to the Cannes film festival and beyond.