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South African Innovation company Matla is launching the country’s first 3-D film lab at the Durban University of Technology on 26 May. State of the art equipment and expertise from the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Taiwan will be introduced to South Africa and a 3-D training centre and production lab established. This centre at the DUT will provide production facilities for the creation of 3-D feature films and advertisements. It will also provide training to the university’s video technology students.

Local and international studios, production companies and TV stations will have access to the lab without having to purchase expensive equipment. As a first of its kind in the developing world the use of the lab will be more cost-effective than counterparts in the US and Europe. In addition to its already solid global reputation as a film and advertising hub, South Africa is now set to become an attractive 3-D film and advertising destination.

The 3-D lab will take place at DUT’s Department of Video Technology.

Matla was established in 2008 by Zwelakhe Sisulu and Chia-Chao Wu. The company’s primary focus is to set up niche black-owned South African manufacturers through the identification, commercialisation and transfer of technology and investment opportunities accessed via an extensive network in the Far East.

The idea for the 3-D lab project began when the partners were watching 3-D movies on the circuit and noticed a clear absence of 3-D commercial adverts.

They envisage that the new equipment and skills employed by the DUT will enable South Africa to master the creation of 3-D advertisements, 3-D effects and fully fledged 3-D feature films.

The project is a public-private venture involving the Department of Education, eThekwini municipality and ITRI as well as involving some top technical minds, Dr GZ Wu and Mr JD Chen from Taiwan. They will train lecturers and industry veterans on their expertise and local skills development within the film industry is set to flourish.

Article by Screen Africa

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