New York Film Academy trained South African and casting director, Bubu Mazibuko, ran a one-week acting course at Atlas Studios recently and found attendees keen to learn what's required of them at castings.

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Bubu Mazibuko
Mazibuko said the course was quite popular for a new concept, with guest lecturers featuring seasoned professionals such as Akin Omotoso, Tumisho Masha, Vusi Kunene, and Manaka Ranaka.

Commenting on the rationale behind the course, which was advertised on radio stations and different websites including Hotshots and the NFVF, Mazibuko said: "I was inundated with requests specifically to run acting workshops. I think as a casting director people wanted to learn from me directly in order to know what's really expected of them at castings."

"This was our first trial. With more support in getting the word out there, advertising and funding, the next workshops will be bigger and even better," she said, adding that she was encouraged to see an even balance in gender representation at the course.

The workshop excluded participants under the age of 18 or learners still at school. "We didn't want them distracted from their schooling in any way. However, the workshop was open to people up to 70 years old."

She added: "The idea is to make the acting world accessible to all ages of people - the main requirement was an interest in and love for the craft."

Mazibuko's experience is with drama and filmmaking in the US and she has done a number of television dramas and films. A casting director, she has cast for shows such as Gaz'lam, Scandal, Rhythm City, Mzansi, the film Gugu and Andile and more.

"Following on from the success of this workshop, we intend to hold them about 2 or 3 times a year, with the next ones to be held in February 2010," she said.