African filmmakers lend talents to UN

Seven short films aimed at combating COVID-19 misinformation have been produced by the 2020 cohort of the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy, putting the talents of young African filmmakers to work on one of the biggest challenges of the time.

According to MultiChoice Group Executive Corporate Affairs, Jabavu Heshu, the films are part of the United Nations’ Pause campaign, a wider behaviour change campaign that aims at creating a new social media norm to help combat the rising impact of viral misinformation.

Heshu said that the short films will air on MultiChoice channels between 9 December and 31 December 2020 and the MultiChoice Group is providing the airtime as part of its ongoing support of the campaign.

He added that filmmakers from Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe tackled the subject through a variety of approaches, often using humour and slang to deliver vital and punchy lifesaving messages that appeal to local viewers.

“We recognise the transformative power of media and the critical role we play to educate audiences about the dangers of misinformation through these short films, which have enabled us to share hyperlocal information with our audiences.” said Heshu

The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) is MultiChoice’s flagship shared-value initiative launched in 2018 to ignite Africa’s creative film and TV industries through training and skills development.

On the other hand, the Pause campaign is part of Verified, an initiative launched in May by the United Nations to communicate accessible science-backed health information in compelling formats and sharing stories of global solidarity around COVID-19.

Pause is the first global behaviour change campaign on misinformation to mobilise experts and researchers, governments, influencers, civil society, businesses, regulators and the media under a single message.

It is aimed at increasing media literacy to enable social media users to spot misinformation and stop themselves from passing it on.