USIU student wins cash prize, mentorship opportunity at international film workshop
Collins Akunga, a BA Film Production and Directing Major is the prize winner of a grant at the just concluded 2nd edition of the Great Lakes Creative Producers Film Lab. The cash prize comes with production mentorship at the studios. Collins’ film project entitled ‘Pwagu’ was selected by Federation Studios, a multinational film firm with headquarters in Paris, France and heavy presence in USA, UK, Spain, Italy, Israel among others.
Two USIU-Africa students took part in the workshop; Collins Akunga and Sofia Namuye (also a BA Film Production and Directing) made it to the list this year. Pwagu is about a young lady who poses as a call girl to rob her clients but one day gets an agoraphobic client who takes her hostage. Sofia’s project at the workshop began as an animated tale about the legendary Lwanda Magere but later turned into a live action drama.
The annual five-day workshop brings together film producers and directors from the Great Lakes region for a hands-on mentorship and training workshop on creative producing. Creative producers are scarce and far between, and the gap between the creative team and the production departments can be uncomfortable, even counterproductive for a film project. This annual workshop was initiated to fill this gap. This year’s workshop brought together 10 participants from Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
While accepting the award, Collins was grateful to receive this once in a lifetime opportunity saying, “I want to thank you for the opportunity to attend the workshop. I feel that I’m now a better filmmaker and I learnt so much.” About winning the award, he said: “I am really excited for what the future holds due to this award.” Sofia, on her part said: “attending this workshop has left me a totally different person and put me on another level in my film career.”
Collins directed his first film in 2018 titled ‘Mad Love’ which won best Cinematography, and Best Students’ short Film in the Eldoret Film Festival and the 72 Hrs Film Series respectively.
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