Entertainment - Featured - December 18, 2020

MultiChoice Talent Factory tackles COVID-19 misinformation through short films

By Amanda Jojo

SEVEN short films have been produced aiming at combating COVID-19 misinformation by the 2020 cohort of the MultiChoice Talent Factory Academy (MTF), putting the talents of young African filmmakers to work on one of the biggest challenges of our times.

The films are part of the United Nations’ Pause campaign and it is a wider behavior change campaign that aims to create a new social media norm to help combat the rising impact of viral misinformation.

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

Robert Skinner Senior Adviser for Global Communications at the United Nations said that they cannot tackle the pandemic without addressing online misinformation.

“We cannot successfully tackle the pandemic without also addressing online misinformation and we are thrilled to be working with the talented young African filmmakers at the MultiChoice Talent Factory, who have brought such creativity and passion to this project.”

“We hope young people across Africa will see themselves in these films and take action to help break the chain of misinformation by pausing before they share,” Skinner said.

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.

Jabavu Heshu, Group Executive Corporate Affairs of MultiChoice Group said that they have recognise the transformative power of media.

“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.”

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

The campaign aims at reaching a global audience of 1 billion, online and through partnerships, by the end of December.

The short films will air on MultiChoice channels between 9 December and 31 December 2020.

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