Issue No 97 3 February 2011

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  • Sylvain Beletre interviewed South African Kevin Kriedemann, Editor at Film & Event Publishing (The Call Sheet) about how African cinema – in particular South African cinema - is doing and how it can overcome the challenges it faces.

    Q: How can African film producers survive today, and who should fund the industry?

    Ultimately, the goal is to create a self-sustaining film industry, where we make films for less money than we receive back from their audiences. This is starting to happen in South Africa. Last year, 23 local films were released.
    One positive sign was better box office returns. Of these, Shucks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to 2010 set a new box office record for South African films, raking in R37.5 million (US$5.2 m), while Spud topped R16 million (US$2.2m), Liefling is over R10 million (US$1.4 m), Bakgat topped R5 million (US$700,000) and Jakhalsdans earned over R2 million (US$280,000).

    The other positive sign was lower production budgets, as South Africans showed they are learning how to make films for around R1 million (US$140,000), which is starting to seem recoupable while still able to create acceptable production budgets. Of course, Spud cost substantially more than that.

    Those figures are for South Africa, which has a population of 50 million. Add in the one billion people in Africa and everyone in the diaspora, and there should be a profitable market on the continent, without us having to rely on foreign audiences.

    Sadly, this isn’t the case at the moment, due to a number of factors, from the lack of distribution structures to the diversity of the continent, especially in terms of language, to the challenge of piracy.

    But it was good to see the emergence of African co-productions like the Kenyan-SA co-pros The First Grader and Pumzi and the Rwandan-South Africa coproduction Africa United. It was also good to see Durban FilmMart attract strong projects from across Africa.

    There are also positive signs in terms of foreign audiences. There’s been a sense that foreign audiences don’t always understand South Africans, especially their humour, but 2010 saw South Africa’s culture (and the continent’s) exposed massively through the 2010 FIFA World Cup and through District 9, among other things, and there’s a sense that they’re starting to “get us”. The fact that the new Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds film, Safe House, was rewritten to be set in Cape Town is a sign that the studios think there’s genuine global interest in stories set in Africa.

    South Africa’s recent inclusion in BRICS will also help to keep us top of mind, as will the fact that Africa is increasingly being talked about as the final untapped investment market.

    While a profitable, self-sustaining film industry is the goal, film can make a strong case that it deserves support and soft funding from government, the tourism industry and cultural institutions.

    In 2010 South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (dti) doubled the cap on its two rebates to R20 million (US$2.8 m), as the research showed that their rebate scheme, which has committed R1 billion (US$139m) to 188 approved projects since 2004, attracted a positive cash flow to South Africa and was self-sustaining.

    This is based on research that in 2006-2007 year, the industry was worth R2.65 billion in The Western Cape,  R1.1 billion in Gauteng, and R236 million in KZN, with a multiplier effect on the broader economy of R2.5 for every rand spent.

    Apart from the dti, the other main source of financing is The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a self-financing, state-owned national development finance institution, which caps its investment at 49% of the overall budget.

    The National Film and Video Foundation is another source of funding. On documentaries, they fund development up to R50 000 and production up to R100 000. On feature films, they fund development up to R150 000 and production up to R1 million. There are a lot of European funds that African cinema can apply for. These include The Goethe Institute, The World Cinema Fund, The Hubert Bals Fund, The Jan Vrijman Fund and ‘Fonds Images Afrique’. I’d love to see more specific African funds though, like the one FEPACI is busy launching.

    We keep tabs of the various application deadlines click here:  and of the various funds click here:

    South African Tourism’s research this year found that one of the top reasons people came to South Africa was because they had seen it on television. New Zealand, as another example, saw tourism spike after the success of The Lord of the Rings. And since trade follows film and tourism, film’s potential impact is immense, so it makes sense for government to do everything possible to promote it.

    Film can also play a key role in nation-building (Invictus is a good example of a film that helped build community) and can be used to spark dialogue around morality, like Hopeville, which won the Rose d’Or last year for Best Drama, after being funded by an NGO to start a discussion around the impact of doing good on an entire community.

    Q: Some African governments do not see local film production as a priority. Which African states support their national film makers?

    Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Morocco all have film commissions, which is a good start as it gives people wanting to work there a central conduit to connect with. Morocco has the most successful studios on the continent, with South Africa having just launched Cape Town Film Studios and Namibia possibly also launching another soon. I understand Rwanda government helped support ‘Africa United’ too.

    Government involvement can lead to increased funding for both films and infrastructure developments like studios, but there’s often a cost involved: government bureaucracy doesn’t always mix well with film industry creativity and immediacy, while there’s always a risk that government will start to pay attention to how labour law would apply to the film industry, which has stayed remarkably unregulated.

    Q: African TV stations have had the reputation of not being able to fund local productions. Is this changing?

    I can only really speak for South Africa. The public broadcaster, SABC, has been in a state of paralysis for the last two years, funding very little local content, but the more promising development has been the increase in both channels and demand for local content. South African content regularly tops the TAMS (survey) in South Africa and DStv has been launching a lot more African content on its satellite channels as a result, like the Mzansi Magic channel. Similarly, TopTV, their new competitor, is starting to license content, even if the actual commissions have been slower than hoped. But there’s still a feeling that local content quotas aren’t monitored or enforced effectively, We expect more and more diversification of platforms, but the problem is in figuring out how to monetize this, as it’s not easy to make money online, especially given Africa’s bandwidth challenges, and if the new broadcasters aren’t making money they’re not going to be spending it either.

    Q: African film makers and TV stations often have difficulty accessing African audiences. Have there been any measures put in place recently to solve this issue? 

    It’s still a massive challenge. DStv has certainly started paying attention to Africa as a market, buying up African content for the African Film Library, etc, and seems to be making some headway.

    I think DISCOP Africa has been a positive development in this regard, as a sales platform for African content.

    Q: With the arrival of internet, reduced budgets from global broadcasters/TV stations, channel multiplication and limited government funding, the global film industry is at a turning point. Will it affect African productions?
     
    Absolutely. One of my sadnesses is that when the web arrived, we thought it would level the playing field between Africa and the rest of the world. But the bandwidth, cost and access problems means that once again we have a situation where we are playing catch up and relying on foreign distribution platforms like iTunes and YouTube and Amazon. It’s very sad for me that iTunes doesn’t sell content to Africa – if they don’t think there’s a viable market in the 1 billion people here, that’s either a scary indictment of Africa or of them. I think these sorts of brands – iTunes, YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple – will be far more important to our industry’s future than the traditional broadcasters that currently exist.

    It’s easier than ever to make, broadcast and distribute your content, but the challenge is in making it stand out amongst more competition than ever, and then monetize that. But it’s also easier to target a niche than ever before, so I’m both excited and daunted by the possibilities involved.

    I think we’re far behind the curve here, so there’s a lot to learn from overseas. I attended Entertainment Master Class in Cape Town, where all the talk was about two-screen TV and interactivity, and incorporating social media into programming. I haven’t heard as much of that from local content, apart from maybe a show like Hectic Nine-9 in South Africa, which is the third biggest local brand on Facebook, with over 1,650,148 post views. .

    What’s exciting for me is that there’s less difference between sectors than ever before. In the past, feature films were shot on film and corporate videos on home video, but now everyone’s shooting on 5D. That creates more opportunities for the different sectors to work together more fluidly.

    I also think there’ll be a lot closer links with video games in the future – their graphics are catching up with film all the time and film is looking for ways to become interactive, so video games and film have a lot to talk to each other about.

    Q: How is the South African film industry evolving today?

    Documentaries had a tough couple of years here because of the collapse of SABC. One of the positive moves is their negotiations with the Department of Trade and Industry to lower the threshold for the incentives so that documentaries will qualify. We’re also seeing a lot more documentaries made for theatrical release, although the box office numbers here are still dismal for those.

    The visual effects industry has largely collapsed, with the closure of both Condor and BlackGinger’s long form divisions. The cost of labour in South Africa seemingly meant we just couldn’t compete with China and India on VFX service work.

    We’ve got a big year ahead for animation, with three 3D features set to be released: Jock, Zambezia and Lion of Judah.

    I think TV globally is in its golden age, because the format has changed; So with PVR and VOD and DVD, people now watch series’ episodes back to back, which allows screenwriters to write much more complex story arcs. But this has largely passed SA by, as most people are still forced to watch on TV at a set time, once a week. We desperately need the SABC to start functioning again as a commissioning body, but with a revised IP strategy that allows filmmakers to maintain some rights and explore avenues like DVD sales that the SABC has never optimized.

    Q: Since independence, several African filmmakers (for example Ousmane Sembène) highlighted African history, focusing on colonialism, slavery and the resistance to European and Islamic domination. Since Obama’s election, do you think African films' mission is changing direction nowadays? and do African filmmakers feel more confident to express themselves?

    In South Africa, the early films we made at the start of the last decade predominantly explored Apartheid. There were some great films, but the audience figures were disappointing – the creatives wanted to explore and dissect the past; the general population, for better or worse, wanted to forget it and look to the future.

    We still have Apartheid-era films like Skin and Endgame being made, and rightly so, but there’s more variety than ever before in South Africa.
    We had every type of comedy: black comedy (Jozi), romantic comedies (I Now Pronounce You Black and White), Bollywood romantic comedies (For Better For Worse), standup comedy documentaries (Outrageous), Afrikaans teen comedies (Bakgat 2), and candid camera (Schucks Tshabalala’s Survival Guide to 2010). Comedy seems to be where the safe money is.

    We also had a run of Afrikaans musicals or musical-themed films (Liefling, Susanna van Biljon, and Jakhalsdans) and genre films like Eternity, a vampire thriller set in Jo’burg; The Unforgiving, South Africa’s first splatter film; and The Race-ist, a Fast and Furious-type racing movie.

    There have also been a number of TV spinoffs (Egoli: The Movie; Hopeville; and Stoute Boudjies). You can add in wildlife family films (White Lion), art-house drama (Shirley Adams and Long Street), soccer films (Themba), and coming of age book adaptations (Spud, Die Ongelooflike Avontuure van Hanna Hoekom).

    Q: Some recent African films were well received in the developed world. Some critics stated that certain filmmakers were adapting their film to suit the tastes of western audiences. What is your feeling?

    The South African films that have travelled the best in the developed world have tended to be genre films. Last year, the films that were released overseas were a romantic comedy (White Wedding), a crime drama (Jerusalema), and a science fiction film (District 9). Most South Africans grew up watching American and British TV, so it’s inevitable that we’ll be influenced by that. But I think even the films I mentioned above didn’t just meekly accept a Western genre: For instance, District 9 was such a success because it undermined the idea that aliens would automatically land above America, and because it’s picture of a science fictional universe was so aesthetically third world. I’m not a purist, so I think as long as there’s a dialogue between Western conventions and African stories, not just the West dictating, that’s a healthy place to be.

    In the past, there were limited venues where African audiences have had access to African films, e.g. at the Pan African film festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. There seems to be more African film festivals and trade markets around the world nowadays, which ones are not to be missed for African film makers?

    Our budget doesn’t allow us to attend nearly as many of these as I’d like. FESPACO, The AMAAs, The Pan African Film Festival in the US, DISCOP, and The Durban Film Festival are the ones we’re paying the most attention to. DIFF launched The Durban FilmMart this year, with projects from all over Africa and an impressive array of funders, so I’m really hoping that continues to grow as a Pan-African event, rather than just a South African one. I’d also love to see some African sales agents starting to emerge, who specialize in these sorts of festivals.

    Q: In 2010, which African films have been really successful in South Africa?

    None, other than the SA ones I mentioned. This is one of the biggest problems – we need the distributors to start building an audience for African films, not just South African ones, but that only seems to be happening on DVD. There’s a lot I’m dying to see, but just can’t get my hands on.

    Q: What can we (the media focused on African films) do to improve the industry?

    We need to create platforms for the industry across the continent to speak to each other. We’d love our website, www.thecallsheet.co.za, to become that sort of a platform. Any African filmmakers can load their own stories, with embedded videos and images, here:

    News announcement: This week on Balancing Act’s new Web TV Channel – Nollywood and FESPACO 2011

    Do not miss our Web TV Channel which highlights recent interviews with top African TV and Radio personalities. There are interviews in both English and French:

    Jessica Verrilli on broadcast media using Twitter in Africa:
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=BalancingActAfrica#p/u/8/jJXEDHREQFg

    Matthew Brown whose spent a year researching in Nigeria, talks about changing Nollywood business models:
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=BalancingActAfrica#p/u/18/g04yGua86F8

    John Kamau of Kenya’s Jamii Telecom on delivery broadcast content using its Fibre-To-The-Home network:
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=BalancingActAfrica#p/u/32/1ygqFP-VXJ0

    TV Afrique: les défis du marché selon CFI’s Laurent Allary:
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=BalancingActAfrica#p/u/36/PKfnfs_4Tn0

    Fespaco 2011 : vente et piratage des films:
    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=BalancingActAfrica#p/u/74/lVf8FjeXhaQ

    Workshop at DISCOP

    Differentiate your TV channel – Standing out from the competition. The TV stations that will make their mark in 2011 and succeed in gaining market share will be those that build loyalty through the people, programmes and feel of their TV channel. The workshop will focus on all aspects of differentiating your TV channel, primarily addressing: Channel attitude and personality, Content (local and exclusive); Programming (overall structure and pieces); and brand (content, personalities and marketing). Led by Russell Southwood, CEO, Balancing Act with panel speakers including Cathy Fogler, Managing Director, CAfrica and Yaa Newman of TV Africa. Date, time and Place: 6.00 pm, Wednesday 9 February, La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra.
    Top story Extract:

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  • The most coveted prizes in African cinema are up for grabs every two years, and will be awarded again at the end of Feb 2011. Fespaco, the biennial pan-African festival of film and television, will get under way from 26 February to 5 March 2011 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It says it has a new formula this time so Sylvain Béletre interviewed its organisers on what’s really different this year.

    You can watch video extracts from the press conference which took place in Paris ahead of the event here (all in French)

    It is quite a paradox that Ouagadougou, the “African Cannes”, is also the capital of one of the poorest countries in the world. But Burkina Faso – the land of honest people – is also one of the few African countries that support African film makers and audiovisual content diversity. FESPACO is important for African film professionals because it is the biggest and oldest cultural event on the African continent, and it is focused on African films and filmmakers. The event attracts visitors from across the globe. Launched in 1969 under the name "African Cinema Week" in Ouagadougou, Fespaco aims in particular to promote the distribution of film.

    The festival is a public event held under the patronage of the Burkina Faso Minister of Culture, Tourism and Communication, Filippe Savadogo. Its main prize is "Étalon de Yennenga" (Stallion of Yennenga), named with reference to the legendary founder of the Mossi empire, the largest ethnic group in Burkina Faso. It is awarded to the African film that best shows "Africa's realities". Since ever 1972 when the competition was launched at FESPACO, the Yennenga Stallion worth 10,000,000 F CFA or approximatively 15,251 Euros was awarded to 17 films.

    Other special awards include the Oumarou Ganda Prize, given for the best first film, and the Paul Robeson Prize for the best film by a director of the African diaspora.

    In the fringes of the Festival, the African International Film and TV Market (MICA) has grown today into one of the largest pan-African Film trade markets, offering numerous meeting opportunities both with professional buyers and distributors. The market is a platform for African films as well as programmes about Africa. MICA has about 2,000 video cassettes in store, most of which are VHS. Films entered into the market are archived and presented in a catalogue in English and French, the festival's working languages.

    As the festival became more prominent, its budget and sponsors increased; current  donor countries include Burkina Faso, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Republic of China, and the donor organizations include AIF(ACCT), UNDP, OIF, Stichting Doen, Prince Claus fund, UNESCO, UNICEF, European Union and Africalia.

    “Burkina Faso has contributed to the event through a 500,000 FCFA investment, completed with security, location, logistic, ceremony and staff availability during the event. In overall, the Burkina Faso government provides 65-70% of the festival organisation.” said the managing director of Fespaco, Michel Ouédraogo.
     
    So what’s really new this year? Michel Ouédraogo, outlined that this festival will consolidate what has been launched at the previous edition. Productions from twenty eight countries will be included in the selection. But several innovations will mark this edition:

    - Associated with the official selections, four African film schools will discuss film production issues in Africa.

    - The previous edition included 324 films; this year will refocused the event to 195 films only, in order to drive more quality. 475 films were originally received and viewed, but only 111 were retained in seven official sections, and 84 were selected for parallel sections. Ouédraogo noted the emergence of productions from Central and East Africa.

    - Additionally, the organiser will host a special homage to great African film personalities that have recently passed away. Ten related films will be shown during the festival.

    Dr. Stanislas Meda, member of the Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Culture  also said that there will be a special international jury to enlarge the event’s visibility and film qualification inputs and that the organisers have hired an artistic director to shape the programme content.

    FESPACO is indirectly associated with the new African film fund which is currently being put in place. FESPACO’s team is still working on African film heritage through the “cinémathèque” it has set up in Ouagadougou.
    Ouédraogo also mentioned that the organisers are “considering a stronger partnership with the first film industry in Africa, Nollywood; however, “Nollywood is still considered as quite controversial when it comes to quality and piracy” he noted.  Professor Elikia M'Bokolo, Congolese writer and historian will sponsor this 22nd Edition of the Festival.

    FESPACO provides three main “accreditation” forms: one for cinema professionals (anyone specialized or involved in the movie-making industry), one for the press and one for festival-goers. Sadly, it will be radio silence from Ivory Coast: FESPACO will not present Ivorian films at the official selection this year.

  • Fully operational since October 2010, the recently completed Cape Town Film Studios (CTFS), headed by Nico Dekker will be making Eldorado as its next film production.

    R430-million was injected into CTFS, the biggest facility investment in South Africa’s film history. Over 90 film service companies already committed to move permanently to the site. Research carried out by the site’s leaders found that it was 35% more affordable than Los Angeles (in 2010).

    The studios are also conveniently located 25 minutes from Cape Town City Centre and only 10 minutes away from Cape Town International Airport. It is also central to a variety of landscapes and locations including beaches, mountain ranges, country, urban and industrial settings.

    Largely supported by the government and the City of Cape Town, its majority shareholding come form Sabido Investments (ETV) and Videovision Entertainment, media, film and entertainment leaders in their respective fields.

    The studios have the following facilities: 64,500 sq ft workshops including store rooms and mini-factories, 18,300 sq ft fully furnished production offices, art department facilities, wardrobe & make-up facilities, green rooms, star rooms, dimmer rooms, backlot facilities for outdoor set-building, high-speed broadband connections to all major international cities, blue screen on request, and water paddock on request.

    CTFS
  • Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi in French) is a drama film which came out with much publicity in France last year. The film will represent Algeria at the 83rd Academy Awards, where it is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

    Directed by Rachid Bouchareb, starring Jamel Debbouze, Roschdy Zem and Sami Bouajila, the plot focuses on the Algerian crisis with colonial power France. The film was met by political controversy much before it was released. Some said it was one-sided, whilst others said it reflected the reality of what had happened,

    The story is about the lives of three Algerian brothers in France between 1945 and 1962. It is a follow-up to Bouchareb's 2006 film ‘Days of Glory’. Outside the Law was a French majority production with co-producers in Algeria, Tunisia and Belgium. A historically unorthodox portrayal of the 1945 Sétif massacre made the film particularly controversial in France.

    Many said that Outside the Law was written as a direct sequel to Rachid Bouchareb's 2006 film Days of Glory, about Africans who fought for France in World War II. The film shares many of the main actors, and starts at the place in history where Days of Glory- his previous film - ended.

    The 19.5 million euro production was led by France's Tessalit Productions in co-production with France 2, France 3 and companies in Algeria, Tunisia and Belgium. Funding was granted by the National Center of Cinematography (commonly known as CNC in France) and via pre-sales to Canal+ TV channel in France. Out of the total investment, 59% came from France, 21% Algeria, 10% Tunisia and 10% Belgium.

    Over screening, 393,335 tickets were sold which was considerably less than the 3,227,502 that Days of Glory had attained four years earlier.
    As of 27 January 2011, Box Office Mojo reported that the worldwide revenues of Outside the Law were 3,292,518 US dollars.

    Bouchareb explained that his team researched the subject for nine months including through interviews, and it took him two years to finish the script. Filming started at the end of July 2009 and lasted five months. The filming locations took place in Paris, Algeria, Tunisia, Belgian cities Charleroi and Brussels, Germany and the United States, with scenes set at the United Nations Headquarters. Approximately 90% of the scenes were shot in studio.

    The other African film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (US) is Life, Above All from South Africa (Oliver Schmitz). But the South African Academy Awards Selection Committee and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) learned with disappointment that Life Above All has not made the final cut for the 83rd Oscars awards by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Foreign Language Film category. In the same category, Danish director Susanne Bier's upcoming drama, In a Better World, partly shot in Kenya, got the nod and was nominated.

  • Balancing Act’s Sylvain Béletre met up with Hermann Djoumessi, a 35 year old French film maker and writer of Cameroonian origin. Watch the full interviews on Balancing Act's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Hermann+Djoumessi&aq=f

    Q:What work experience do you have so far?
    A: I have gained experience as a producer, assistant film maker, film maker and film production trainer. I worked in London on such things as ‘Midsummer murders’, BBC 2 ‘Newsnight’, SWAT TV, …

    Q:What are your current projects?
    A: I am currently working on four projects where I need further support. These all have an African element.

    'Coupe' is my latest production. Directed by Osita Aneke, I produced it. It is a heartfelt documentary charting the rise of 'Coupé', a cultural movement - electronic music, dance and more now - that sprang out of Ivory Coast during the 2003-5 civil war and spread all over the world. The film should come out in 2011.

    The production has attracted interests and finances from the European Union (Media - Babylon program) and won the Cine-Euro Co-Prod panel & pitching competition. It also has support from the UK Film Center and was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010. We made a basic trailer on this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/aspectratio

    Right now, the film is almost complete and we need the following to be able to complete it: footage of the 2003-5 civil war in Ivory Coast. These are historical archives showing what happened on the field and what was broadcast on TV at the time. We need global rights for these archives. We also need: additional finances to complete the film;
    large global distributors (TV and DVD); private sponsorship which would allow the distribution of the film at a very low price in Africa.

    Q:How did you finance the film?
     
    A: The European Union came to our help via MEDIA and the Babylon project, as well as Screen South, a UK screen agency, the British Film Council, Relocations, my own production outfit came up with 20% of the budget…F3K another production outfit set-up by Osita Aneke the director also chipped in…All in all, the total film budget is in the region of £200 000.

    Q Why did you make this film?

    A: We made the film in order to showcase a vibrant and modern Africa in tune with the 21st century and the digital age - Most of the music from ‘Coupé’ was made digitally- It has a positive message beamed to the Ivorian, African and world youth: You can do it, if you want it badly enough…. despite the war…despite the struggle that plagues the development of any African country. Of course, the movement veers towards a ‘bling’ culture and carries a materialist message with it, as well as creating deep barriers between generations opposing old vs. modern, acoustic vs. digital, war vs. peace. In the end, what came out of it, from a lot of people’s viewpoint was that ‘Coupé’ was the party music that silenced the guns

    We’ve approached the top peoples in that field…the list reads like a who’s who of the players, movers, shakers, and true ‘Boucantiers’ from IVC and Europe: Magic System (57 million hits. Source: Google), Molare (425.000 hits. Source, Google), Lino Versace (108. 000 hit), DJ Caloudji (300.000 hits. Source: Youtube),Mariam Coulibaly (70 000 hits. Source: Youtube), Sagacite, (700.000 hits. Source:Youtube), Ronaldo (120 000 hits. Source: Youtube) Ouattara Nielben, Muluku DJ, DJ Tevecinq, JJK, Marechal, Claude Thamo, David Tayroult, MelTheodore,Tati Kenny, Soum Bill, Isabelle Anoh and many more.

    To my knowledge, we are the first filmmakers to draw such a comprehensive picture of the movement and its influence, from all sides of the perspectives. It is a unique cinematic experience with stunning pictures and compelling storytelling. We were not afraid to draw on the civil war that blighted the country at the start of the 21st century, nor did we refrain from looking at the darkest aspect of the movement.

    Q: What are the other productions you are working on?

    Tokolosh, which is  made by “Barking Dogs productions”, it is directed by Marco Nicoletti and produced by Amos Rozenberg and co-produced by me, H. Djoumessi. The format is 16/9 HD and it is 52minutes long. We have a French broadcaster interested, ‘France O’. It should be financed by France O/CNC and the final budget is 200 000 Euros.

    Set out in South Africa, this film is about a mysterious sexual beast that jumps into people's bed at night. As a true legend, this film explores broader sexuality in South Africa. Desmond Tutu will have a guest-staring role. We have not started filming as yet and the project needs finances and wide distribution.

    The third project is Assange or Devil (Assange ou Demon). This is a book and script related to the Wikileaks covering Africa. This book will come out around May 2011. It will look at the people behind the website and the philosophy of its founder, Julian Assange, his team and contributors, as well as those who tried to prevent the site from succeeding. It is being written as a ‘docu-drama’ based on hard facts with fictional elements.

    TUNISBOOK is a documentary about the rise of social network in Africa and mostly in Tunisia. It will look at the people behind the ‘Social Revolution’ that took place in Tunisia in the shape of a ‘How to’ guide to modern revolution.

    Q: Did you study film production?

    A: I have obtained a Master’s degree in Audiovisual Production from London Metropolitan University and a “Maîtrise” from IHECS / Haute Ecole Galilée (Brussels, Belgium). I have also gained professional training from EU/Media programme and from the UK Film Council on the same topics.

    Q: What are your favourite African films?

    A: ‘Les indigènes’, ‘Hors la Loi’ (R Boutareb), ‘District 9’, ‘Sango Malo’ (Bassek Ba Kobio),  Lumumba (R. Peck), ‘Bamako’ ‘Mobutu Roi du Zaïre’, ‘Quartier Mozart’ (Bekolo), ‘Tsotsi’, ‘Yeleen’ and many more. 'Hors la loi' has been accepted as Algeria’s submission to the Oscars 2011. We are in Jan 2011 and I hope that they will win it in the foreign film category!

    Q: Where are you located?

    A: Nowadays I live between London and Paris and travel around the globe to undertake my projects.

    For more details, contact Hermann at:  djhermann@ hotmail.com

  • International success for movies post-produced by “Lumière d’Afrique”
    Films post-produced by Ardèche Images Production, with the support of the ACPFilms Programme have been selected and awarded in various festivals around the world: among them are Itchombi, by Gentille M. Assih, The necklace and the bead by Mamadou Sellou Diallo, and Reflected in the River by Pascale Kouassigan.

    In South Africa, nominees of the 5th SAFTAs were announced at an event graced by industry professionals, government officials, awards nominees and celebrities. The event was held at the Ster-Kinekor Theatres complex at The Zone in Rosebank.

broadcast

  • On 25 January 2010, one of the television industry’s leading content providers and distributors - Sony Pictures Television - and MultiChoice, the number 1 multi-channel digital satellite pay television operator across the African continent, announced the launch of a new channel, Sony Max, available to DStv Compact and Premium subscribers on MultiChoice’s network in Africa.

    Sylvain Béletre at Balancing Act interviewed Eddie Nelson, Senior Vice President, EMEA Networks, Sony Pictures Television.

    Discussing the new channel, Eddie Nelson said:  "We have had long talks with MultiChoice and we have done extensive market research to put together this new channel.  This 24-hour action and reality channel is aimed mostly at a male audience, providing high quality, compelling programming.”
     
    “Sony will launch on DStv channel 126 on 1 February 2011 at 21:00” mentioned Eddie, with the movie “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”.

    Eddie added: “Multichoice will be pushing the channel out to more than 40 African countries” including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania. Balancing Act’s recent “African pay TV” report counted 5 million pay TV subscribers across Africa, and MultiChoice has the most of them. It has grown its business across South Africa alone to over 3.2 million subscribers.  

    The new channel will focus on action-oriented movies, game shows, series and reality programmes. Hit films on the cards for the next few months run the gamut from comedy and martial arts to horror and adventure, and include Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Zoolander, Jackass, Shaolin Temple, Congo and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

    Sony Max’s menu will also include Mexican professional wrestling (known as Lucha Libre) in CMLL Presents: Arena Mexico as well as the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts in TKO Major League MMA.

    In addition, aficionados of quality television series can look forward to the South African premiere of the quirky Canadian comedy Call Me Fitz, starring Jason Priestley as a charismatic but slightly bent used-car salesman. Another choice addition to the schedule is the gritty police drama The Shield, which has won both Emmy and Golden Globe awards for lead actor Michael Chiklis.

    A number of cult Japanese game shows and sports reality contests such as Unbeatable Banzuke, Ninja Warrior and Takeshi’s Castle also make a welcome return to our screens on Sony Max in February. Also look out for the futuristic-styled reality show Solitary, in which contestants have to test their physical and mental endurance while in solitary confinement.

    Aletta Alberts, MultiChoice General Manager of Content, says: “We are excited about the launch of another Sony-branded channel on the DStv platform. Sony Max will provide more adrenaline-filled, action programming which our viewers love; with the welcome return of several viewer favourites such as Ninja Warriors and Takeshi’s Castle.” 

  • The BBC World Service Trust presented broadcast equipment to four of its partner stations in Abuja under its media support for strengthening advocacy, good governance and empowerment project. The equipments were presented to the benefiting stations at the conference room of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

    The country director of BBCWST, Ms. Linda Nwoke, represented by Tom Odemwingie, said the BBC World Service Trust decided to help the partner stations with the equipments because their assessment shown that they were lagging behind. "We discovered that most of our partners in Nigeria are battling with dilapidated equipments and that is why we decided to help them with some broadcast equipments," he said.

    He urged the benefitting stations to ensure that the equipments are used for what they are meant for, adding that the equipments will enhance their production. Earlier, FRCN's Director General, Barrister Yusuf Nuhu, thanked BBC for its continuous assistance to the broadcasting industry in Nigeria, adding that FRCN has been a complimentary partner with the BBC. FRCN, Hot FM, Vision FM and Love FM benefitted from the assistance.

    Daily Trust
  • For FESPACO 2011 French TV channel TV5Monde will celebrate the event by broadcasting a special “African Film Cycle” in February and March 2011. The cycle will be offering five of the best films from the greatest directors of the continent. All films are award-winning, rare or unreleased on television. This includes: Moolaade, Ousmane Sembene, 2004;Tableau feraille (Table metal), Moussa Sene Absa,1995; Finyé (Wind) Souleymane Cissé, 1982;
    L’Absence  (The Absence) Mama Keita, 2009; and Le Fleuve (River), Mama Keita, 2002.

    TV5Monde
  • The Star channels were encrypted earlier in Jan 2011, making Star the first Indian television network to launch four channels in South Africa. It has joined hands with South African DStv competitor Top TV.

    The Top Star pack consists of four brand new channels in the South African market. Star Plus (a Hindi general entertainment channel), Star Gold (the best Bollywood movies), Vijay (a Tamil general entertainment channel) as well as Channel V (a music channel).

    Talking about the successful launch, Rajan Singh - Executive Vice President, Star International says, "Viewers are responding to the increased choice now available in the market with the launch of Star channels on Top TV. The Top Star pack offers affordable and innovative content for both the Tamil and Hindi viewers in South Africa. This makes us the first Indian television network to launch four channels on pay television in South Africa."

    The entire Top Star bouquet is available at a competitive price point of R60 per month.

    media247.co.uk
  • MTV has launched its first ever pro-democracy campaign in Africa ahead of the upcoming Nigerian elections. Starting this month, the network's global "Choose or Lose" voter mobilisation campaign will be encouraging and empowering young Nigerians to exercise their right to vote.

    In Sudan on 26 Jan. 2011, “Good News Radio”, based in the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek, Lakes state, marked its one year since it started transmission - it has been twelve months of morning (06h30 - 10h00) and evening (17h30 - 22h30) daily broadcasting.

distribution

  • The next three FIFA World Cup tournaments will be televised by Al Jazeera Sports across the Middle East and North Africa after football’s world governing body struck a new deal with the satellite broadcaster to air the competitions in 2018 and 2022.

    The move represents the first transmission rights package be settled by FIFA for the two events – to be hosted in Russia and Qatar respectively. Al Jazeera will also transmit live matches from the next World Cup finals, to be held in 2014 in Brazil, through an existing agreement.

    Certain matches from these prestigious football competitions will be made available free-to-air, in line with FIFA policy – although a fee is expected to be levied by the Qatar-based broadcaster for complete live coverage of all the matches.

    “FIFA’s aim is to make the World Cup as accessible to as many people around the world as possible – and for this we thankfully have an immensely strong partner in Al Jazeera Sport for the Middle East and North Africa,” said Jerome Volcker, FIFA secretary general.

    Nasser Al Khelaifi, general manager, Al Jazeera Sport said the latest agreement with FIFA covers cable, satellite, mobile TV and broadband internet transmission across 23 countries in the region. Furthermore, that the channel will “continue its policy to maintain qualitative coverage of the FIFA World Cup and to invest in production to bring the very best programming of the world’s most watched event in the region.”

    The final of last summer’s World Cup between Spain and Holland was watched by 162 million viewers across the Middle East and North Africa – representing the single largest TV audience ever recorded in the region, according to the broadcaster.

    Financial details have not been disclosed for the latest deal, which also bestows exclusive rights on Al Jazeera Sport to broadcast the FIFA Confederation Cup, FIFA Under-20 World Cup, FIFA Women’s World Cup and FIFA Beach Soccer in the region.

    Al Jazeera Sport nets FIFA World Cup TV rights Read more: 

  • With the transition from analogue to digital, Senegalese audiovisual media should be prepared to make more local content, the Senegalese Minister of Communication and Telecommunication, Moustapha Guirassy said in Daka.

    With the digital transition deadline set for June 2015 for the whole of Africa, "we must prepare for a content battle" he said. Guirassy was speaking during a meeting between the president and members of the Council of broadcasters and newspaper editors in Senegal (CDEP).

    Guirassy invited concerned media to develop new programs in perspective, to allow expression of "cultural ethos" of Senegal, from new opportunities, including technology, created by the digital switchover.  The Ministry of Communication has to work together in the short and medium term on other topics including television rights, the digitization of archival sound and cable, he added.

    Among other projects already undertaken by his department, he cited the new "consensual» press code, the Public Information Act and the construction of the Press House, which should be approved soon.

  • There have been talks in Chad that cinema theatres will soon be renovated in Senegal (two in Dakar and Saint-Louis), in Mali (Bamako) and in Cameroun.

    There are only 8 days left before DISCOP Africa which takes place in Accra, Ghana from 9 to 11 February. With conference tracks focused on Sub-Saharan Africa, a large trade floor allows buying and selling audiovisual content from Africa and other continent. So far, 153 buyers and 137 sellers are registered. Latest registrations include: Optimum Media Pime / Metro TV, Suaz Communications LTD, Creative Storm, Multichoice Ghana, NTA, and many more.

investment

  • On 26 January 2011, it was announced that 5FM and SABC 3 have joined forces to bring an innovative entertainment show to South African audiences. Marking the start of a new chapter in local television programming, 5FM and SABC3 will launch (TV)5 on Friday, 4 February at 19:30.
     
    Billed as ‘The television face of 5FM’, (TV)5 will bring much-loved 5FM radio personalities to television screens across the country, to present a new magazine, lifestyle and music show.

    Offering world class entertainment, (TV)5 will be driven by 5FM DJs and will cover the latest music, news, gossip, hot events, tours, best parties, latest fashions and gigs both in South Africa and abroad. On a more personal note, the show will also give its viewers a sneak peek into the lives of some of the biggest radio DJs and presenters in the country. Many of the features that 5FM listeners have come to know and love will be brought to life visually on (TV)5, including Gareth Cliff’s News to Use or Lose; and 5FM’s Power Nite DJs will present their relevant music genre’s top five tracks each week. (TV)5 will also bring the character of Tyren to life, a popular on-air feature on The Fresh Drive who delivers Tyren’s Top Five on a daily basis.

    5FM Station Manager, Aisha Mohamed, says: “5FM has always taken a unique approach to radio, viewing it as a brand rather than just a radio platform. 5FM aims to be a multi-platform youth offering which is accessible on many levels; (TV)5 is a part of this 360 degree approach to radio, adding an exciting new dimension to 5FM’s brand offering.”

    SABC3 Marketing Manager, Risuna Mayimele, says that (TV)5 is an exciting new addition to the channel’s Friday night entertainment line-up. “SABC3 is excited to be launching a local entertainment programme powered by an innovative and edgy brand like 5FM. This is a powerful media platform that brings the power of radio to TV, and we believe that the fusion of these two brands will enable SABC3 to connect with the younger market in a fresh manner.”

    With 5FM’s Grant Nash and Anele Mdoda as anchors, features will also include Thomas Msengana on sports, Sureshnie’s Top 3 of the Top 40 and Power Nites presenters (DJ Fresh, Euphonik, Bongi Mbelu, C-Live and Jon Savage) with the best of their weekly shows, as well as a number of packaged inserts lead by 5FM DJs as they gig, party, travel, promote and grab headlines around the country.
    For more information, visit www.5fm.co.za or www.sabc3.co.za.

  • The legendary ‘Normandy’ cinema theatre has been renovated and was inaugurated in the Chadian capital, N'Djamena on January 8,  2011, after thirty years of closure. This event could be one of several events signalling the return of large cinema theatres in several African capitals.

    President Idriss Deby cut the ribbon himself to mark the event, after a top to bottom renovation of the Normandy. The new cinema director is director Issa Serge Coelo (Tartina City, 2006). A man who cries from Mahamat-Saleh Haroun – a Chadian film awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and screened for the first time in Chad -  is the first film that got projected in the brand new room.

    The renovation cost 1.2 bn F CFA (1.8 million Euros) and was financed by the Chadian Government. The theatre was presented over the 50th anniversary of the country’s Independence. It is « the gift » that the Chadian government chose to finance with on the occasion. The new Normandie has 470 comfortable seats, a 12 metre large screen, and Dolby Stereo sound. Two top of the range projectors allow it to show either 35 mm or digital films.

    The Ultramodern complex will present 6 new films per month; the latest US and European productions, at least one African film, an animation, a Bollywood or another Asian film. The distributor behind it is Jean-Pierre Lemoine. The government plans to invest in renovating three other film theatres in the country.

  • In Uganda on 26 Jan. 2011, the Vision Group has cut staff from its English radio station 94.8 FM for Kampala (Vision Voice) to make it more profitable.

    In Nigeria, Spectrum Broadcasting Company Nigeria Limited, owners of Hot 98.3 FM radio station Abuja announced on 25 Jan 2011 that it is celebrating its six years anniversary by opening a similar station in Owerri, Imo State.

regulation & policy

  • A consumer has filed a complaint against Next Generation Broadcasting (branded Smart TV) for selling obsolete television signals and exposing Kenyans to financial losses. The company has vigorously denied the charge, saying consumers will still be able to access a digital signal once the transition to DVB-T2 is complete.

    In a letter to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), Florence Wangeci said the anti-graft body should investigate the pay television firm for selling banned television signals that will be obsolete once Kenya shifts from analogue to digital broadcasting. Ms Wangeci says KACC should probe the digital migration process and seek answers why the government has not taken action against the company.

    Early this month, the Ministry of Information banned the importation and sale of television set top boxes based on the Digital Video Broadcasting –Terrestrial (DVBT1) due to technology shift and encouraged the next version, DVBT-2. “Vendors of equipment should cease with immediate effect any further importation and sale of the DVBT1 set top boxes hence forth, must comply with DVB-2 system specification now available from the Digital Kenya Secretariat,” said government when it announced the ban.

    However, Smart TV continues to sell the receivers.  “The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission should protect the public from the said traders,” Ms Wangeci said in correspondence seen by the Business Daily.

    However, Kenya Digital secretariat which is in charge of the implementation of the switch from analogue to digital said there is nothing wrong with Smart TV continuing to sell its set top boxes it brought in the country before the ban.

    “There is nothing wrong with Smart TV selling its set to boxes as the country has not fully switched to the advanced technology which will happen on June 2012, ” said a source at the digital secretariat who declined to be named as he is not the official spokesperson.

    The government has warned consumers against buying devices that are not compatible with the new digital platform. “Those who have already purchased are advised to continue using them until June 2012 when the country shall exclusively switch over to the DVBT2 platform in 2012, ” read the statement from the government.

    However, Dan Kagwe, the Chief Executive of Next Generation Broadcasting, has dismissed Ms Wangeci’s allegations that consumers will lose their money by investing in the set top boxes.

    “At a consumer level they can still be able to access the digital signals using our set top boxes and there is nothing wrong with that,” said Mr Kagwe. “Come 2012, what will happen is that set top boxes on the lower version will be able to read the channels on the superior platform,” he said.

  • Sanogo Aboubakar and Kangbe Yayoro Charles Lopez, pro-Ouattara of the Television Notre Patrie (TVN) in Bouake, the second largest city in Cote d’Ivoire, have been detained by security forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo since their arrest on January 28, 2011.

    The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that the two journalists were picked up at the airbase of the Liaison Transport Air Group in Abidjan where they were to board a flight belonging to the United Nations Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (ONUCI) to cover story at the Golf hotel, the seat of government of the internationally recogined president, Alhassane Ouattara in Abidjan.

    The correspondent said the two Abubakar and Lopez who are yet to be released were accused described in the pro-Gbagbo media as being rebels Forces Nouvelles who are controlling the northern part of the country.

    In a statement issued on January 29, the Ivorian Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CIPJ) condemned the arrest and subsequent detention of the two journalists and called for their unconditional release. CIPJ also appealed to the international media to help secure the release of the two journalists.

  • In South Africa, judge found SABC guilty of distorting news. Widespread manipulation took place under Zikalala, court rules. Judge Neels Claassen ruled in the South Gauteng High Court that there had been widespread manipulation of news in 2005 and 2006 under the SABC’s former head of news, Snuki Zikalala, and that Zikalala had "dishonestly tried to cover up this manipulation".

    In Gabon, at the end of January 2011, the « Conseil de la Communication » (CNC) cancelled authorisation for “TV+”, a private local TV channel due to broadcast in the next three months.

    Reporters Without Borders wrote to São Tomé and Príncipe’s Prime minister, Patrice Emery Trovoada, and to the Head of the national television station TVS, Oscar Medeiros, to condemn journalist Maria da Conceição de Deus Lima’s sudden dismissal by TVS and to request an explanation.

    Somalia: The transitional federal parliament of Somalia accused Shabelle Media Network, a local radio station based in Mogadishu and Universal Television that is based in London of covering parliament related news stories in an invalid and wrong way.

technology & convergence

  • Digital Broadcasting is upon us and with a vengeance. High Definition, Broadband, Digital terrestrial Broadcasting, IPTV and Mobile. BOBTV 2011 will mark the eighth edition of the African Film and Television Programmes Expo and Market. The theme Chosen for 2011 is 'New Media'. This reflects the realities of the convergence enabled by digital delivery channel that have redefined the media content industry.

    Each year, BobTV welcomes visitors and delegates from all over the world, to a five-day fiesta, of premieres, workshops, conferences, markets and shows. We are happy with the attendance figures at the 7th market. BobTV 2010 attracted a total of 3,704 delegates, a seven per cent increase in comparison to 2009. This figure was surpassed only once before in the history of the market, when 4,786 participants attended in 2007. Participating companies were at a record of 58, from 13 different countries - an 11 per cent increase when compared to 45 companies from the previous year. Also, the good news for producers was that there were 350 acquisition heads in comparison to 2009 and the number of buyers present in Abuja posted a rise of seven per cent.

  • Balancing Act’s new report Data Centres in Africa reveals that the continent now has 108 shared commercial data centre in various locations. The report indicates that the facilities are already running or set to open for business in the next few months.

    Local telecoms service providers, content aggregators and media owners will soon be able to start offering new video solutions: VOD, IPTV, webTV, video e-commerce portals, and video sharing and uploading - where telecoms networks allow it.

    Local hosting solutions that data centres enable also introduce the concept of better film preservation to private and public institutions such as African TV stations that have large collections of current affairs videos and motion picture films but lack information about how to take care of them. Films preserved are digitized and can then be re-used in education, or sold to be inserted in new film production. Old films can then be seen widely through screenings, exhibits, DVDs, televisions broadcasts, and the Internet. Governments, public or private TV stations and national history foundations should be the primary clients for those audiovisual archiving services.

    This comes at the time when the need to keep filmed reports archived for future generations becomes urgent. In several African countries, national TV stations often can’t provide their archives because these were either destroyed or damaged.

    If these video solutions take place across the continent, the outcome will be a much greater strain on local data centre servers, thus creating demand for added space. It should also translate into more clients and revenues for media companies to support their business cases.

    But data centres can also enable several other applications in most sectors such as IT hosting, agriculture, health, entertainment and game, social networking and more…

    The arrival of several international cables on both sides of the continent was what set the stage for growth in Africa's data centre market. Several new undersea cables will land at points along the continent in the next few years, in addition to current cables Seacom and the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System. These include the West Africa Cable System, Main One and the Africa Coast to Europe cable.

    Balancing-Act says data centres are a key ingredient of the nascent telecoms, IT and media infrastructure in Africa. “In 2011, the outlook for the growing data centre market in Africa is very promising” wrote Pablo Diantina, data centre expert and co-author of the report.

    According to the research, some parts of Africa, such as SA, are seeing a “booming” data centre market in anticipation of cables that will land shortly. However, says Balancing-Act, several regions on the continent are still untapped, despite growth in demand for data centre services. Balancing Act says Africa can benefit from a growing demand, as Internet traffic from Africa grows due to lower connectivity costs, thanks to the new cables.

    More Internet traffic will drive Internet companies to localise some of their operations in Africa instead of using facilities in Europe or in North America. Balancing-Act says a move to cloud computing and the need to trim costs through outsourcing will also drive demand for data centres. Regulatory changes that will require data to be stored in-country are another growth driver, the report cites.

    Researchers spent seven months closing the report because it was really hard to identify where these data centres were. It took three researchers going through Balancing Act’s network and engaging on social networks such as LinkedIn to identify the shared facilities. Only a few data centres – especially in South Africa and in Egypt – are visible on the net.

    More information on the report's content are available on the following link

    To purchase the report online click here

  • The first 3D feature African film – Judge Dredd - is being shot in Cape Town, South Africa and involving the brand new Cape Town Film Studios. With a budget of US$35-million and a staff of 400, the film will only cost a third of what it would have cost if it was filmed in the USA. Source: capetownfilmstudios.co.za

    As from 26 Jan’2011, Facebook and Twitter are available on Xbox LIVE. This comes just months after the Xbox LIVE service was announced in South Africa. One feature example is the ability to connect you with your friends as you interact with the largest entertainment and gaming network on TV. Share real-time status updates and photos with your friends, check out photo galleries on the big screen or share your favourite gaming moments on Facebook right from your television…

more

  • 21-29 January 2011
    12th. “Festival national du film (FNF) Marocain” in Tangier

    Venue: Tangier - city in northern Morocco
    Long and short film competition hosted by Ahmed Ghazali, « président de la Haute Autorité de la Communication audiovisuelle » (HACA) in Morocco. There are 19 long films in competition.
    http://www.ccm.ma/fnf12/index.html

    9-11 February 2011
    Discop Africa

    Venue: Lapalm Royal Beach hotel, Accra, Ghana.
    Since 2009, DISCOP markets targeting Sub-Saharan African television marketplaces have brought together over 400 companies selling and buying television content in this part of the world.
    http://www.discop.com/ci/pages/show/da5_index#

    10-20 February 2011
    “Berlinale” – Berlin International Film Festival (Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin)

    Venue: Berlin
    One of the most important dates on the international film industry’s calendar: About 400 films are shown every year, more than 19,000 film professionals from 128 countries, including about 4,000 journalists, almost 300,000 tickets sold.
    http://www.berlinale.de

    16-21 February 2011
    2011 Pan African Film Festival (PAFF)

    Venue: Los Angeles, CA, USA
    Completed U.S. and international feature-length and short films festival. The PAFF presents and showcases a broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images and help to destroy negative stereotypes of Africans and African-Americans.  In addition to the film festival, the PAFF presents a world renowned Art Show featuring over 100 fine artists and craftspeople from around the world showcasing the best in Black fine art, sculpture, photography, unique handmade crafts, home furnishings, designer jewelry, designer fashions and accessories that highlight the artistry and beauty of the African aesthetic. 
    http://www.paff.org

    23 - 26 February 2011
    Aluta film festival 2011

    Venue: Kimberley – South Africa.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=23000307873

    26 February - 5 March 2011
    2011 FESPACO – 22nd edition

    Venue: Ouagadougou – Burkina Fasso
    Set up every two years, the well-known FESPACO festival is a week of celebration for Cinema for Africans and for the African Diaspora. Fespaco is considered as one of the biggest film events on the African continent. In 2011, it will be held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Communication of Burkina Faso
    http://www.fespaco.bf/

    22 - 27 March 2011
    Festival Cinema Africano Asia e America Latina 21° edizione

    Venue: Milano, Italy
    http://www.festivalcinemaafricano.org/

    22 - 24 March 2011
    IPTV World Forum 2011

    Venue: Olympia, London UK
    click for details

    23 - 25 March 2011
    AdExpo

    Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
    Mega Media AdExpo is a platform where the advertising industry, marketers, advertisers and media buyers gather and meet to discuss and plan advertising for the year ahead. Apart from the exhibits, the event also aims to educate with its offering of short 30 min workshops on interesting topics from Mobile marketing to internet advertising.

    25 March - 9 April 2011
    Afrika Filmfestival

    Leuven, 3220 Holsbeek - Belgium
    The Afrika Filmfestival in Leuven is the most important annual showcase for African films in the Benelux. The festival promotes African cinema.
    http://www.afrikafilmfestival.be

    4 - 7 April 2011
    MIPTV

    Venue: Cannes, France
    MIPTV is the world's leading content market. It provides a unique opportunity to meet the key decision makers in the TV/Film, Digital media and Cinema industry. 21,000 m2 exhibition floor.
    http://www.mipworld.com/en/miptv/ -


    13 - 17 April 2011
    International Pan-African Film Festival of Cannes

    Venue: Cannes
    Submission of films and application for accreditation for the International Pan-African Film Festival of Cannes are now open.
    Closing date for film entries: February 20, 2011
    Film Genres Sought: Fiction/ Narrative, Documentary, Animation...
    Category: Long, Medium, Short film.
    More info here

    April May 2011 (final dates tba)
    African film festival (AFF) in NYC

    NYC, USA
    Film Festival. AFF organisers accept submissions on an ongoing basis.
    http://www.africanfilmny.org/index.html

    May 2010
    The Helsinki African Film Festival

    Venue: Andorra, Eerikinkatu 11, 00100 Helsinki
    Call for short film submissions - Deadline 31 December 2010
    Helsinki African Film Festival brings an entertaining and thought-provoking selection of contemporary African cinema to Finland. The festival aims to foster communication across cultures and support dialogue on wide-ranging issues related to Africa
    http://haff.fi/

    2 - 5 June 2011
    Africa Festival

    Venue: Wurzburg, Germany
    http://www.africafestival.org

    11 - 19 June, 2011
    The 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa, Spain

    Venue: Tarifa, Spain
    http://www.fcat.es


    2 - 10 July, 2011
    Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF)

    East Africa's largest film and arts festival, showcasing a broad spectrum of African films.
    http://www.ziff.or.tz/

    20-22 July 2011
    Mediatech Africa 2011 Exhibition

    The Coca-Cola Dome
    Northgate - Johannesburg (South Africa)
    Mediatech Africa SA's only all-inclusive broadcast, media, entertainment and AV trade. It showcases cutting edge technologies and services from industry leaders in television and broadcast, sound and audio, lighting and staging, animation, communication and related fields.
    http://www.mediatech.co.za/

    22-25 July 2011
    The 2nd Durban FilmMart over the 32nd Durban International Film Festival (21-31 July).

    Venue: Durban
    Contact: Durban Film Office –
    http://www.durbanfilmoffice.com

    July - Sept. 2011 (final dates tba)
    African film festival (AFF) in NYC

    NYC, USA
    Outdoor Summer Screenings in NYC Parks. Featuring dance, music, food and of course films. AFF programs year-round; therefore, AFF organisers accept submissions on an ongoing basis.
    http://www.africanfilmny.org/index.html

    3 - 8 Octobre 2011
    « Festival du Court Métrage Méditerranéen de Tanger »

    Venue: Tangier, Morocco
    A festival focused on short films.
    E-mail : ccm@menara.ma


    31 Oct 7 Nov 2011
    Out In Africa

    South African Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
    Venue: various, see website
    http://www.oia.co.za/

    Oct - Nov, final dates tba
    Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival

    Venue: Edinburgh's Filmhouse cinema
    The UK's largest African Film Festival
    http://www.africa-in-motion.org.uk/

    Dec 2011 (final date tba)
    Africa Int. Film Festival

    Venue : Port Harcourt, Nigeria
    http://www.africafilmfest.com/

    Dec 2011 (final date tba)
    Festival International du Film de Marrakech

    Venue : Marrakech, Morocco
    http://www.ccm.ma/inter/festival.html

    (final date tba)
    Festival du Monde Arabe du Court-métrage Azrou-Ifrane

    http://www.cineazrou.org

  • In Dakar, Senegal, President Abdoulaye Wade was present at a meeting with the “Conseil des diffuseurs et éditeurs de presse du Sénégal (CDEPS)”, mid-Jan 2011. He asked Senegalese televisions to "moderate the broadcast of some dances that border on obscenity" and to refocus on information, education and life’s realities.

    In Tunisia, Hannibal TV’s owner and his son have been released on Jan 25 2011. Larbi Nasra, who founded private television channel Hannibal TV wondered out loud why his TV channel had been shut down. He said the key objectives of his channel was to participate in the liberalization of information in Tunisia, to get closer to the average citizen and to address social issues. His channel has now resumed broadcasting.

    Management of Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) has directed its Director of News, Radio Services, Smollete Shittu-Alamu, to proceed on an indefinite suspension without pay for anchoring what was tagged “embarrassing news” to the state government.

  • Last call for entry – Apply by 25 February 2011-01-27
    The Tarifa African Film Festival.

    The 8th African Film Festival of Tarifa (www.fcat.es) will take place from June 11th to June 19th, 2011, in Tarifa-Cadix (Spain).

    The Festival will propose three competition sections, which includes “The African Dream” (feature films), “On the other side of the Strait” (documentaries), and “Africa in Short” (short films).

    “Open Screen”, a selection of the best and more diverse films; “Africa in Rhythm”, selection of films about African music and/or dance, “Animafrica”, a selection of full-length animation films, will be the sections out of competition sections.

    Finally and as usual, the festival will present several thematic and monographic retrospectives: “Monographic Abdellatif Ben Ammar” (complete filmography of the Tunisian filmmaker) ; “Cinema and the City” (The African city seen through cinema); the two “Special Nights”, devoted to Moroccan Documentary and Congolese cinema, and the traditional “African Diaspora in Latin America”.

    The festival is sponsored by the Spanish government.

    For more information: http://www.fcat.es
    Application form:
    Festival de Cine Africano
    Calle Montecarmelo, 5 bajo
    41011 Sevilla
    ESPAÑA
    T: +34 954 27 28 00

    Over the FESPACO brief held in Paris back in Jan. 2011, the « Union Internationale des Journalistes Africains » (UIJA) urged film makers to represent the reality of African government people, issues about the Diaspora over the recent years and further developments related to a better education for young African people. UIJA is based in Paris and its head, Lanciné Camara is also the director of a publication called “Le Devoir Africain”.

    In Tunisia, to set up effective communication with Tunisian journalists, from their different positions, and ease access for them to needed information, as quickly as possible, the Communication Ministry announces that a toll-free number /80 107 000/ has been made available for journalists seeking information or clarifications to help them discharge their mission under best conditions.

    In SA, the 4th Talent Campus Durban calls for filmmaker applications. The event will take place from 22-26 July 2011, during the 32nd Durban International Film Festival (21-31 July).

    The deadline for the submissions for the second annual Durban FilmMart is looming. Set to take place in Durban from 22-26 July 2011, during the 32nd edition of the Durban International Film Festival, the closing date for entries is 15 February 2011.

    The premier documentary Festival in the African region, Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is proud to announce its 13th edition.

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