Media for Development Trust (MFD) is a registered, non-profit social welfare organization (w/o 21/89) seeking to promote development through communication, particularly through the production and distribution of high quality, socially conscious films and video that are relevant to an African audience.
MFD’s multiple award-winning film productions, including Consequences (1988), It’s Not Easy (1989), Neria (1990), More Time (1993), Everyone’s Child (1996) and Yellow Card (2000), are among the most widely seen and used films across the African continent. MFD productions focus on development themes and are designed specifically for distribution to audiences in Africa. Selected MFD productions have been dubbed into Swahili, Shona, Ndebele, Siswati, Setswana, Luganda, Runyankole, Zulu, Xhosa, French, Portuguese and Pidgin English.
Over the years, MFD has developed significant capacity in the application of digital technologies for film/video production. We now have one of the most sophisticated post-production facilities on the continent, which has been designed and developed specifically to suite our evolving requirements. For picture editing, MFD is equipped with the AVID Media/Film Composer, DVD Studio Pro and Final Cut Pro non-linear digital editing suites.
For sound recording and editing, MFD has ProTools technology and has just completed the construction of a 5.1 recording and mixing studio. Two large recording booths serve MFD’s requirements for language versioning (dubbing) of films and videos, as well as professional music recording capability.
One of MFD’s greatest contributions to Africa’s media industry has been practical achievement in the delivery of African programmes to African audiences. MFD’s distribution capabilities include launching African feature films through urban cinema hall networks, licensing programmes to national television broadcasters and working through commercial and grassroots video distribution networks in countries across the continent.
With a growing catalogue of more than two hundred and fifty African films and videos, representing over forty African Producers, MFD has become one of the continents leading distributors of African films to African audiences. Presently MFD is distributing an average of 1200 videos per month, while strengthening links with national television broadcasters across the continent. MFD has licensed independent African programming to broadcasters in South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and Ghana.
As our reputation of being a reliable and trustworthy distribution company grows, so does our catalogue of independent African programmes and our capacity to negotiate effectively with broadcasters across the continent.
As most of the films we distribute deal with subjects of development, MFD is challenged to find wider audiences and ways to enhance the effective use of video as a tool for learning and development, especially those living in disadvantaged communities. MFD specializes in developing support materials for video programmes and has implemented “grassroots distribution” programmes in several countries throughout the region.
Grassroots distribution involves identifying suitable organizations to assist in the delivery of video to hard-to-reach disadvantaged audiences, as well as provide training in the use of video for learning and development. Effective distribution strategies along with carefully designed accompanying support materials, result in videos being a more effective learning tool in formal and informal programs.