AFDA’s efforts towards internationalisation are visible through its extensive network of global partners and through its international student and staff body locally.
As a full member of CILECT (the International Association of Film and Television Schools) since 2004, AFDA has built up considerable relationships with a number of international and continental institutions. Various collaborative projects and exchanges have taken place over the years and AFDA was fortunate enough to host the CILECT Conference in 2012, in which over 140 film schools from 45 countries visited AFDA Cape Town.
Through CARA (Cilect Africa Region Association), AFDA maintains several formal and informal relationships with its African member schools. CARA annually hosts a conference where its member schools and other schools from the region present papers on teaching methodologies and various projects and films. The conference is a valuable platform to meet other African schools and share ideas and create partnerships. Come 2015, the conference will be held in Marrakesh at the ESAVM Department of Film and Audio Visual Studies. Staff and students from all the CARA member schools will present their films and methodologies as well as be part of a debate that questions the use of culture in teaching in film schools.
The benefits of these programs is that it allows South African but also international students to gain a truer perspective of the opportunities and challenges that the world offers them, as well as to improve their understanding of their own culture through the lens of different and other cultures. Furthermore these relationships create both local and international pathways to one another’s markets and resources. Africa is a vast continent and funding limitations and distance are serious challenges that need to be overcome in order for us to meet and share ideas and resources. The CARA relationship is a vital platform to make this a reality for all its members.
Added to this, is the fact that Africa purchases more content than China, and that this purchase is set to grow to 6 billion dollars by 2016. It is interesting to note, that Naspers, along with Canal Plus (France) and Star (Nigeria) plays a key role in the ownership and distribution of this current content requirement and its projected value. By logical extension, one would assume that it is important for African film schools to contribute to the creation of the intellectual capital that will grow the industry in a sustainable fashion.
Through exchange and industry partners, AFDA students have the opportunity to travel to locations like China and Finland. AFDA alumni (Tristan Holmes and Sashica Archery) and one staff member (Luscious Dosi) recently participated in the Looking China initiative during which ten minute documentaries were produced and evaluated by a panel of industry and institutional experts in Gansu Province. AFDA was fortunate to have received one nomination for the 2016 Beijing Film Festival from this initiative and the opportunity to learn more about Chinese minority cultures and working withinternational film students from other continents.
AFDA has formal relationships with Botswana and the high number of African students studying at AFDA allows for the development of partnerships and relationships between graduating students. AFDA alumni work extensively in Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Namibia. For this year alone AFDA has enrolled over 130 international students on five campuses in South Africa and Botswana.
AFDA is the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012.