Johannesburg– The Film and television space is one that increasingly grows with time. It  carries legendary creatives and produces state-of-the-art filmmakers who are dedicated to  conceptualizing the filmmaking process. The fast-paced and innovative industry also calls for  an opportunity to bring in new talent and perspective. Integrated marketing and  communications company, Gateway Media; creative film hub, Leaders in Motion Academy (LIMA) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) have partnered to host a 4-day  production master class, in both Rustenburg and Mafikeng respectively.  

The exclusive workshops, led by Thato Molamu, Neo Ntlatleng, Ayanda Sithebe among  other industry leaders, will introduce a theoretical and practical curriculum for those that  have an interest in creative storytelling. Scriptwriting, directing and film production, will be  some of the modules that are explored ahead of completing the end-to-end process of the  filmmaking class. 

We had a chat with Thato about the arts and his involvement with LIMA and this is what he had to say

When did you discover your love for the Arts?

I discovered a love for theater in 1996 at a place called North West Arts Counsel at the time now Mmabana  Arts Culture & Sports Foundation. The government at the time really embraced Arts Culture and Sports and we were given a voice.

How important is it for people to still study the arts be it dramatic artist or the technicalities of it when we currently see more influencers being hired versus trained professionals?

I think it is important for to understand that education for has always been seen as information that is well packaged so we live in a digital era where information is readily available on digital platforms. The key focus for LIMA was for digital content creators – we need to understand that we are not only relying on broadcasters but now “TV’ is now available on your phone at a touch of a button. We live in a era of digital where we can download films, we can put stuff on YouTube and other various platforms, we are now able to speak to people across the world through the digital platforms. In school we were taught how to become employees and we were not taught how to be employers, we were also not taught how an employer can sell their company and how am employer as a leader can motivate their team to be productive. We were never taught the principals of collaborations, yes we do all these theatre shows and we base all these things on followers. What we are saying in LIMA is that we have an audience we can speak to and we just have to help guide people and inform them that the market and trends have changed and we need to keep with the times.

At the time I only had my matric certificate but the free training I had received opened up more doors and when i talk about free “freedom’ its not the free that we don’t pay but the time i researched and read scripts and understood overtime that this is a business so it’s a business then i need to grow and that’s why LIMA is important in the access point of view because in the township everyone wants t migrate to the big city to become and actress or producer or film maker but we are saying you need adapt to your environment and collaborate with those we went to school.

Would you say LIMA is there to highlight the importance of monetizing ones brand as we have seen young content creators like Lasizwe who have made it big on social platforms as he didn’t wait to be scooped up by big screens?

Absolutely – our core ethos is teaching creatives to think more like business people. Your art can make you money, you just need to know where to find those opportunities and where to plug in your content as much as it is not going to be an overnight thing like Instagram where you post a picture and people can see it instantly but your success is not going to be instant. Creative like Moshe didn’t blow up overnight by one post but he made it eventually and there is clear case studies that show that you can make money on these platforms. You need to know how to sell your personality and content. Gateway Media is celebrating 9 years this year and it is a great thing for us to branch out and teach people about all these things and all the opportunities which can come out of content creation including the monetization behind it. We need to learn from your Moshes and Lasizwes, if you are a creative who isn’t willing to learn then you will never grow.

“There exists a great number of untold stories that deserve to be told. Filmmaking is one of  the most powerful forms in which rich content can be created and moulded to entertain,  inform and have your story heard,” says Nolo Phiri, Project Manager of the initiative.  

“The upcoming master classes are designed to educate, empower and challenge those who  want to grow in the field of Film and Television,” she adds. 

The master classes aim to connect and give access to creatives by upskilling and providing  relevant and comprehensive training.  

Entries are now open from the 23rd to the 26th of March for aspiring TV and film producers  in Rustenburg and from the 5th to the 9th of April for those in Rustenburg.