The ForwardFund Academy has given disadvantaged people the opportunity to pursue a career in film and television production, which may not have been possible for them otherwise.
The academy which was established just last year saw its first anniversary in April, which bid farewell to 20 film and television students from Masiphumelele and ushered in 14 new and eager faces looking to delve into the digital scene.
“Digital media is so important. Businesses make presentations and need digital visual representation,” says Tina Thiart, director of HGG NPO Sustainability Solutions, a non-profit organisation (NPO) that facilitates the development of other NPOs.
The academy is situated at Solaris Office Park on Lekkerwater Road in Sunnydale and offers training to equip learners with a SAQA-accredited national certificate in film and television production, as well as a national certificate in new venture creation.
The certifications allow the recipients to learn the ropes of film and television, as well as acquire skills and necessary knowledge to work in the industry on a freelance basis.
Thiart says three of last year’s students formed a company called Sisonke Film and Video Productions after graduation, and the academy has given them the opportunity to plough their learnings back into the academy and earn an income by providing their services.
Thiart adds: “We’ve started a number of short courses which have been very popular. Our computer programme for women had 41 students, and on Saturday we had one for 15 teenage girls who have just become mothers.”
In the first week of October, the academy will also host emergency fire training to equip Masiphumelele residents with the knowledge of what actions to take should a shack fire start in the densely populated area.