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This past September and early October we partnered with Mediavision Academy in Kampala, Uganda to offer one of our most successful workshop series to date. Mediavision Academy is a tertiary training institute that offers professional courses and diplomas in television, film, and radio production. It is also impressively the fastest growing film school in Uganda.
I had actually met Mediavision’s Director, Robert Nkambo, last year while visiting the set of a public service announcement being shot in Kampala. We immediately hit it off, and Robert showed strong interest in bringing Bent Marble’s workshops to his institution in the future. And thanks largely to his vision and persistence, a year later we have completed an amazing documentary filmmaking training program at his school.
One of the things that stood out most about Bent Marble to Mr. Nkambo, and indeed to many of the workshop participants, was how our teaching methods are highly hands-on and practical, allowing students of various experience levels to both learn faster and also share what they know. Perhaps no one has ever made this point as eloquently as Robert, himself. So let’s have a listen now to his wise words:
And perhaps no one could put a more highly-energized “exclamation point” on this theme, of the benefits of hands-on education, than workshop participant, and actor, Mulangira Chapman:
As alluded to earlier, the experience levels of the participants ranged from total novice to professional filmmaker. We even had an international award-winning journalist in our roster! But across the board, the more experienced did a highly commendable job helping their less-experienced classmates, both in explaining theories and techniques, as well as in teaming up together to make the actual films. In particular, Ugandan filmmaker and workshop co-facilitator, Raymond Kaddu, made strong teaching contributions during our unit on editing with Adobe Premiere. While most of the class was discovering the magic and potential of video editing, Raymond was more discovering the magic and potential of teaching! Let’s hear from him now as he discusses what it was like to be thrown “in the thick” of teaching this rather complex skill, to a group with vastly varying experience levels:
Now the documentaries produced by these diverse individuals were on an equally diverse array of topics, including entrepreneurship, youth mentorship through the creative arts, environmentalism, and even motor sports! In the end this cohort produced more films in a single workshop than any group to date. And their works are among the highest in caliber as well. So let’s have a look now at the fine films they produced:
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Due to Mediavision having its own staff of talented photographers, we also have a real wealth of photos to share with you this time, that truly capture the energy, focus, teamwork, and joy that characterized our workshop series and graduation ceremony:
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In conclusion, I’d like to say that it was a really wonderful experience for me, personally, facilitating these workshops and, even more so, being welcomed into the Mediavision family. All the people who work at Mediavision, as faculty, administrators, and support staff, are truly kind, talented, and dedicated individuals. And the workshop participants were so incredibly enthusiastic, both about learning new professional skills, as well as crafting their own creative works. Having had such a positive experience, I know that Bent Marble will return to Uganda in the future, and I know that we will work with Mediavision again and continue this fruitful partnership.
Interestingly, this also marks the very first time that Bent Marble has ever returned to teach in a country. And one hundred percent of the credit for making this return voyage happen goes to Robert Nkambo, for keeping in touch with us on social media over the last year, and truly being persistent in pursuing this amazing collaboration.
What can I say, the man’s got vision. Mediavision!