Sequel to Relativity Education’s engagement with the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) to boost capacity for creative professionals in Africa, the executive team of the former, welcomed the CEO of AFRIFF, Ms. Chioma Ude, to their Los Angeles office to brief them on the success of the last edition of the festival, which took place in Calabar, Cross River State.
It would be recalled that Relativity Media, the third largest mini-major film studio in the world, participated actively at AFRIFF 2014; hence the move to formalise plans for further partnerships between both organizations.
Its subsidiary, Relativity School, is the first and only school of its kind created with a major Hollywood studio, and the relationship with AFRIFF, their first in Africa, represents an important element of the institution’s global education efforts in film media and performing arts.
Interestingly, beneficiaries of AFRIFF’s scholarship scheme will have first-hand training at Relativity School, this summer.
According to Glenn Kalison, President, Relativity School, the summer session will provide Executive training programs in Hollywood and Professional Development Certifications to these inaugural cohort of African creative professionals, and this will serve as Relativity School’s premier alumni class on the continent.
“We’re thrilled to bring best-in-class filmmaking education to Africa through AFRIFF and welcome our inaugural class and scholarship recipients. Hollywood carries the proud tradition of producing the highest quality products in the world and Relativity Education offers programs that teach the fundamental best practices behind sustained success in creating the highest quality films. We want Africa’s films to gain international appeal and global recognition. The rich culture of the African continent and the stories therein are ripe for the telling,” said Kalison.
Following the impressive turnout of media professionals at Relativity Education’s industry seminars at AFRIFF 2014, Stephen Ozoigbo, Relativity’s International Advisor, also expressed a firm commitment to maintaining the current momentum with the creative ecosystem and support the aspirations of local industries in Africa to attain global standards.
He said: “A strategic approach to capacity building by Relativity Education highlights Hollywood’s attraction to the African ecosystem and offers a unique opportunity for the stakeholders on the continent to internationalize their craft.”
As a trailblazer for the media and entertainment ecosystem on the continent, Ude, through AFFRIF, has continued to raise the bar on the creative economy and advanced the AFRIFF mission internationally. Now in its fifth year of operations, AFRIFF’s vision, she noted, is to raise awareness about African cinema, its vast potential and the tremendous socio-economic impact of creative professionals on the African continent.
“From inception, we have maintained a strong commitment to establishing bridges for partnership with international counterparts to raise standards of quality, expertise and compliance to globally attainable levels,” said Ude.
According to her, “The first four years were strategically intended to build the AFRIFF brand and gain the brand notoriety that will allow global brands like Relativity to partner with us and create sustainable pathways for exponential growth and development across Africa’s creative economies.”
The Los Angeles trip also provided Ude with opportunities to initiate other industry partnerships with value chain actors in Hollywood. It is expected that future editions of AFRIFF will include more international partners and deeper engagements with afro-centric stakeholders in Hollywood.
As a precursor to AFRIFF 2015, the Relativity scholarships to 20 creative professionals from Africa this summer will serve as a catalytic process for deepening the relationships between both ecosystems, by offering unique opportunities for selected professionals to hone their craft through training and development, create rich networks in the global market, and pursue interesting projects and initiatives through collaborative opportunities that will be presented at Relativity School.