MultiChoice Talent Factory and CBS Justice partner to offer true crime masterclass series




The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) and thematic TV channel CBS Justice, owned by AMC Networks International – UK and ViacomCBS, have announced their first partnership, offering four true crime masterclasses to MTF students and industry professionals across Africa through the MTF online portal. The true crime genre is hugely popular and the masterclasses will cover aspects of developing series with critically acclaimed facilitators.

The four one-hour masterclasses will be offered live online on Tuesday, November 17 and 24, 2020 as well as Tuesday, December 1 and 8, 2020 at 13:00 CAT / 11:00 GMT and will subsequently be made available via the MTF portal. 

Facilitated by David Howard and Rik Hall of UK-based production company Monster Films, participants will gain first-hand insights across a range of topics, from developing and pitching ideas, to filming, working with talent, on-set best practices, approaches to post-production, sales and marketing.

“A key focus for us is to ensure that MTF offers a diverse set of masterclasses covering the depth and breadth of filmmaking. This means finding partners who are specialists in genre filmmaking and have in-depth knowledge of the nuances that come with producing different genres. True crime stories make for gripping entertainment and we are very excited to be partnering with CBS Justice to offer this series of masterclasses to industry creatives across Africa,” said Yolisa Phahle, the CEO for General Entertainment, MultiChoice Group.

The true crime masterclasses are the latest in a diverse range of masterclasses and workshops offered by the MTF Academy and tie in with its philosophy of upskilling and training industry professionals in the telling of authentic African stories.

“True crime is an extremely popular and expanding genre,” said Louise Cottrell, Senior Vice President, Affiliate Partnerships at AMC Networks International – UK. “We’re delighted that David and Rik from Monster Films, who produced a number of our original productions, have agreed to share their first-hand expertise and industry knowledge in these four masterclasses, tailor-made for both students and those already working in the creative industries who have an authentic, fresh idea for developing a gripping true crime series.”

After spending twenty years producing and directing factual programmes for a variety of broadcasters, David Howard and Rik Hall formed Monster Films in 2015 with one goal in mind: to combine their wealth of industry experience with the collaborative, inclusive ethos of a television start-up. The result is an independent production company that fosters creativity, thrives on originality, and builds on pre-existing relationships with some of the world’s largest broadcast and media groups to bring the most diverse stories to the widest possible audience.

As one of the UK’s leading producers of serial and feature documentaries, Monster Films boasts an extensive catalogue of multi-award-winning programmes such as “Making a Monster”, Dark SonInterview with a Murderer and Kidnapped by My Father for various broadcasters in the UK.

Their series “The Real Prime Suspect” and “Voice of a Serial Killer,” commissioned by CBS Reality UK, aired on CBS Justice (DStv 170) across Africa in 2020 and one of their latest productions, season 2 of “Coastal Killers” (“Murder by the Sea” in the UK), will air on the channel in early 2021.

CBS Justice is currently available to DStv Premium and Compact Plus customers on channel 170. It investigates some of the world’s most compelling true crime cases and features a curated selection of original and acquired content. This includes expert-led original productions including “New Scotland Yard Files,” “Donal MacIntyre’s Murder Files,” “Secrets of a Psychopath” and “Evidence of Evil,” and acquisitions “Cold Justice,” “Murder for My Man” and “Homicide’s Elite.”

Interested participants can click here to register for all the masterclasses.

Or alternatively, follow the sessions via the various social media platforms using the #MultiChoiceTalentFactory and #CBSJusticeAfrica hashtags and and follow (or join):

  • Twitter: @MCTalentFactory @MonsterFilmsUK
  • Facebook: @multichoiceafricatalentfactory @MonsterFilmsUK
  • Instagram: @multichoicetalentfactory

David Howard: Began his career as a documentary filmmaker at BBC Wales, where he directed several critically acclaimed programmes. He went on to work as a freelance director, with Sea Patrol (Five), Chris Ryan’s Elite Police (Sky), Neighbourhood Blues (BBC), World’s Craziest Police Pursuits (Five), STOP! Roadworks Ahead (Five) and Measuring Evil (AETN) among his credits. In 2015, David founded Monster Films with his producing partner Rik Hall. Since then, David and Rik have made over 100 hours of television and have received several awards, from the Royal Television Society, Realscreen and Broadcast Magazine. Ultimately, it’s David’s passion for storytelling that keeps him motivated, as he continues to develop his distinctive visual style, from one project to the next.

Rik Hall: Before founding Monster Films, Rik worked for fifteen years as a freelance producer. His credits include: Ten Ways to Kill bin Laden (HISTORY), Samurai Back from the Dead (C4), Kennedy’s Suicide Bomber (Smithsonian), The Unseen Fred West Confessions (Five), Nepal Quake: Terror on Everest (Smithsonian) and Measuring Evil (AETN).

Over the course of his career, Rik has cultivated trusting relationships with some of the country’s most sensitive institutions, enabling Monster Films to continue to bring insightful, boundary-pushing content to a global audience.

CBS Justice in Africa is the TV destination for compelling and heartfelt true crime documentaries and series, delving deep into the facts to uncover the truth. Featuring a curated selection of original and acquired programming, the channel brings authentic cases to the viewers, presented and investigated by genuine experts. Titles include original productions The Real Prime SuspectDonal MacIntyre’s Murder FilesSecrets of a PsychopathEvidence of Evil; and acquisitions Cold Justice, Murder for My Man and Homicide’s Elite. CBS Justice is available exclusively on DStv channel 170. Launched in November 2019, CBS Justice is part of the CBS AMC Networks EMEA Channels in Africa.

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