Whenever I hear the word transformation I become suspicious. I immediately see paint jobs and cover-ups. So it was with trepidation that I attended The Association for Transformation in Film and Television.The ATFT as they would like to be known was conducting a workshop called MIPCOM 2013. This is a television market festival that happens at Cannes in France every year. It is a market where independent writers and producers get to sell their shows and concepts to television stations.
An organisation for transformation?
The purpose of the workshop was to empower the delegates who are going to MIPCOM for the first time to know what to expect when they get there. To my dismay none of the people going to the MIPCOM attended the workshop.
You would think it would be the pre-requisite for acceptance to be part of the delegation. It really did not make sense to me, the DTI is spending millions of rands to send this delegation, the least the delegates should do is to get themselves armed with information.
ATFT is a new organisation and should have done a little bit of marketing itself before calling for delegates. There are a lot of platforms where filmmakers can instantly access such information.
They only posted about the organisation after the closing dates for delegates. So who is part of the delegation? Someone who knows someone in the organisation? Does that really sound like an organisation for transformation?
Creating a real change
Another born of contention among the delegates was a group of people going to MIPCOM to be mentors. It would be much cheaper to mentor people at home than to travel all the way to France to mentor each other.
In order for real transformation to happen, it should start at the bottom. The organisation can start with subsidizing equipment for all the upcoming filmmakers.
It should also offer sponsorship from grass roots level. The ATFT should be very transparent and be approachable to people they are meant to transform, otherwise it is just as impenetrable and unapproachable like other government institutions that should remain unnamed.
For now the jury is out, but I intend to use their facilities, I wouldn't mind an all-paid-for trip to France.
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