JUST ABOUT ready to launch its benchmark postgraduate programmes in 2003, UCT's proposed Institute for Film and New Media (IFNM) went public recently with a presentation to members of the Western Cape IT community.
Johann van der Schijff, a lecturer in New Media at the Michaelis School of Fine Art and a member of the new Institute's steering committee, gave the about 30 delegates that gathered at the UUNET Bandwidth Barn in Cape Town a "guided" tour to the IFNM and its plans for the next five years. He started by pointing out that while about 100 jobs are created with every director that comes down to Cape Town for a film/commercial shoot, most post-production takes place abroad.
With such opportunities beckoning, UCT has proposed to establish the IFNM, which would equip students with the necessary film and information technology skills that are required in the industry, he explained. As such, the Institute will as of 2003 begin to phase in its two Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) courses in Film and TV Production and New Media. The IFNM will also embark on a research and development programme that will focus on new product development, as well as set up a production studio that will market products created by staff and students (and will generate income for the Institute).
The IFNM could serve as a catalyst for the film and new media industry in Cape Town, producing graduates that would play leading roles as producers, directors, screenwriters, creative innovators and software designers, van der Schijff said. Its programmes would also be a first in the country.
For more information on the IFNM, go to www.film.uct.ac.za