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Issue no. 2022 - 25 September 2015

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  • At a press conference held in Paris in early September 2015, Olivier Laouchez, CEO and co-founder of the TRACE group, unveiled the group's strategy and announced the launch of new products, content and services.

    TRACE is an entertainment brand that’s now present in 160 countries and specializes in what it calls “urban entertainment”. It’s taken its traditional media channels in pay TV and FM radio and added mobile services and VoD, making it a multi-platform operator.

    Born in the streets and ghettos, urban culture has become mainstream and dominates many parts of the the global entertainment industry. Launched in 2003, TRACE was positioned from its launch as an urban media brand and has both followed and helped speed up this profound evolution of cultural attitudes of young people in the world.

    TRACE wants to become the urban media brand reference for multicultural entertainment for young, Afro-descendants, within its priority markets: France, the French Overseas Departments and sub-Saharan Africa. TRACE is also launching several initiatives to expand in the US, Brazil and the UK.

    In France, 10 million households receive at least one of TRACE channels and nearly 3 million viewers watch TRACE Urban each month. According to Médiamat'Thématik , TRACE Urban is the second music channel for youth and first affinity in 15-24 years

    On digital side, the site attracted 1.4 million visitors and had 4.3 million page views in August 2015. Localised versions are being launched, including for Cote d’Ivoire. Social networks attracted 3.4 million fans, followers, subscribers. Just on Facebook, TRACE pages have over 3 million people going to them a week.

    Closer to the continent, inn Francophone Africa, Africa TRACE and TRACE Urban are (according to Mediamétrie Africa 2014/2015) the first two music channels. In many African countries, TRACE Africa is in the top 10 most watched channels.

    In Anglophone Africa, TRACE Urban is available from almost 6 million households, 43% watch the channel every week. In Angola, TRACE Toca is in the top 10 most watched channels by subscribers.

    With these results and its physical presence in 15 African countries, TRACE is particularly well positioned to seize the opportunities offered by the continent, including the growing, very young population of the continent and as a place where TV penetration, smartphones and Mobile Internet is exploding.

    What are the new products? It has launched a music offer with South African operator Cell C who it has partnered with before on its music talent show TRACE Music Star. The offer provides free data for Facebook and WhatsApp; a music streaming service developed with Universal Music; a dating service; and exclusive benefits like concert tickets and meetings with artists)

    TRACE Music Star is the largest music talent competition. For the first two editions of this competition in Africa, which was to sponsor Wyclef Jean and Akon, more than 2.6 million calls were recorded! TRACE Music Star will be launched in November in France, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean in partnership with CANALSAT.

    To see Olivier Laouchez talking about the competition, click on the link here:

    In Q1 2016 TRACE will launch its VoD service TRACE Play dedicated to urban entertainment. For less than € 5 per month, subscribers will have access to 5000 hours of films, series, documentaries, magazines, reality TV shows. TRACE is committed in an original production development policy. The first investment is the film "The Gang of West Indians," directed by Jean-Claude Flamand-Barny, which will hit cinemas in the fall of 2016. TRACE Play will be launched in English, French and Brazilian, initially in France and throughout sub-Saharan Africa and in Brazil, the USA and the UK.

    In terms of radio, TRACE has obtained a licence to set up a national radio station in Cote d’Ivoire.

    Its new channels include:

    TRACE Toca is the showcase of music and Afro-Portuguese culture. Launched in July 2015 in France on SFR and Numericable, TRACE Toca is the first music channel dedicated exclusively to Lusophone, highlighting artists Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Brazil . It broadcasts the best hits of the moment in different musical styles: Kuduro, Kizomba, Cabo Love, Semba, Marrabenta, Pandza and more. More broadly, TRACE Toca highlights all loved styles and requested by the Portuguese public such as Zouk, Afro House or Afro Pop.

    TRACE Gospel is the first channel dedicated to gospel music in all its diversity: Contemporary Christian, Gospel Worship, Urban Gospel, African Gospel, Gospel Pop, Traditional Gospel ... Gospel TRACE celebrates a return to the roots of black music! The channel will be broadcast in French and English from November 2015, in France, Africa, Europe and North America.

    The channel will have a website and a dedicated mobile application. In two months, even before its launch, the channel has already attracted nearly 50,000 fans on Facebook.



    So far 1012 people have subscribed to Smart Monkey TV’s web TV channel which uploads 10-15 video clip interviews a month, covering African TV, Film, VoD, social media  and media.
    Should you be one of those subscribers?  Find out on this Link.

    Recent video interviews:
    Doreen Kessey, Ubongo on making edutainment content for phones, TV and web

    Obi Emelonye on his forthcoming film Safari scripted by Tunde Babalola (Critical Assignment)

    Tanzanian VoD start-up Tango TV founder Victor Joseph on streaming local movies to your TV's Ryan Dingley on his online audio radio start-up and its pan-African expansion plans

    Eric Kabera on his new documentary Intore about Rwanda 20 years after the Genocide

    Abel Kouame, Afrika Toon on its forthcoming animation feature Poku - Ashante Princess

    African comedian Mamane on his TV political satire, the Very, Very Democratic Republic of Gondwana

    Stanlee Ohikhuare on his new Nigerian comedy film Stupid Movie

    The Scoop: Talk show host Salim Amin gets famous Africans to reveal themselves

    Adamu Waziri on Bino and Fino, an educational childrens' animation series with its own dolls


  • MultiChoice Africa regrets to announce that from Wednesday, 30 September 2015 at 10:59pm, One Gospel on DStv channel 331 and GOtv channel 71 will no longer be available on the DStv and GOtv platforms.

    MultiChoice regularly assesses the performance and viability of channels on its platform, and in order achieve a diverse variety of programming, the decision was made to remove this channel.

    In reviewing the offering, which is done on a continuous basis, MultiChoice ensures that subscribers continue to get a balanced variety of programming.

    MultiChoice apologises for any inconvenience caused but assures subscribers that they can still catch other religious programming such as Faith (DStv channel 341 and GOtv channel 80), Daystar (DStv channel 344), Kingdom Africa (DStv channel 345), Islam Channel (DStv channel 347 and GOtv channel 81) and many more.
    Source: Talk Media Africa 22 September 2015

  • Launching this Saturday, Women Make Change is a new series on Al Jazeera showcasing women who have started impactful local projects in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Papua New Guinea. Focusing on areas as diverse as water, agriculture, family planning and sport, their work shows that investing in women is indeed smart economic sense. Former Nigerian media personality of the year Femi Oke hosts the new series.

    When the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit meets from 25 – 27 September, they’ll be discussing the progress made in the 20 years since the Beijing Declaration of women’s rights. This series shows the human story behind those debates and profiles some of the work being done to reduce poverty.

    “At a time when the world is debating gender equality and sustainable development goals, we wanted to hear first-hand from women who are already making significant changes in their communities,” saysIngrid Falck, Al Jazeera English’s head of documentaries. “We interrogated the latest research findings to see how the ripple of impact can work. The combination of impressive, authoritative women who live with these issues in the real world, together with integrated graphics, paints a thought-provoking picture.”

    The first film, The Water Women, travels to Kenya to talk to Rose Atieno and Catherine Ondele. These women have been instrumental in training local women to build rainwater harvesting tanks to villages which had been without clean water. 43% of rural Kenyans are without clean water, essential to combat preventable diseases. Since they built the tank in one village, they have not had a single case of cholera. It’s also been transformative for a nearby health centre, which can now offer a range of new services.

    The benefits go even deeper though. There are reduced attacks on women, who no longer have to travel long distances to the communal well. Each woman saves almost six hours a week, which is now time she can spend working or studying. And there’s a direct financial benefit to the community, which sells the water on to the water company and invests the money in starting new businesses.

    Scorecard Rwanda highlights the benefits of sport for Rwandan women, whose families and communities were in desperate need of healing post-genocide.  The women initially faced resistance from the men in their community when Felicite Rwemalika came to enlist them in a local football team, but there have been clear and long-lasting advantages from involving women in team sports. In addition to the health benefits, sport has given the women a space to meet and talk. For many, they’ve expanded their ideas into new businesses, resulting in farming cooperatives and community restaurants. The project has also helped girls stay in school and built confidence and aspirations. “You can be future leaders,” Grace Nyinawumuntu says. “Don’t just think of being a coach like me or Felicite. You can be Minister of Sport and help your country.”

    Education is taken for granted by many of us, but having access to this basic right is still a challenge for many. Going Places focuses on Zainab Andan and Dolores Dickson, two women in Ghana who are working hard to make sure that girls, in particular, are given the opportunity to go to school. Zainab benefited from a bursary awarded by an international charity, Camfed, and now she is part of an alumni group that works in communities to help girls in her former school. Her community work also takes her to neighbouring villages, where she can share her skills by holding financial literacy workshops. Dolores, director of the charity, oversees training workshops for local projects. One of those which started out small is a Shea butter processing project that now supplies a range of outlets, including The Body Shop.

    The Water Women premieres on Saturday 26 September at 11:30am WAT.

    Scorecard Rwanda premieres on 10 October at 11:30am WAT.

    Going Places premieres on 31 October at 11:30am WAT.

    For more information, visit the Al Jazeera Website

  • The Cambridge African Film Festival (CAFF) is proud to be celebrating its 14th edition from 16 to 24 October 2015. The longest running annual African film festival in the UK, CAFF is an important date in Cambridge’s cultural calendar. Since 2002, CAFF has been screening some of the best contemporary and classic African films; increasing knowledge and awareness of African and black culture in the East of England; and providing African filmmakers with large and engaged audiences. The festival has always been completely voluntarily run by a group of people who are passionate about African film.
    CAFF 2015’s themes are love, music and resistance and the programme will showcase nine fiction films, two short films and two documentary films from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa and Sudan. It will also feature Q&As with filmmakers and experts, workshops, a book launch, live music events, and a tribute to Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène.
    This 14th edition is supported by prestigious institutions such as the Smuts Memorial Fund, Trinity College, the Centre of African Studies (University of Cambridge), the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse and the Cambridge Film Trust. CAFF 2015 is also part of a film series called ‘From Africa, With Love’, in collaboration with the four other African film festivals in the UK: Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival in Scotland, Film Africa in London, Afrika Eye in Bristol, and Watch-Africa in Wales, in association with the BFI UK Audience Network’s LOVE Blockbuster Season.
    CAFF 2015 has also partnered up with many more Cambridge-based institutions and organisations, such as the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Menelik Education, the African Society of Cambridge University, the Eastern African Society of Cambridge University, the French Studies Society of Trinity College, the Festival of Ideas, as well as Passion for Motherland, a platform founded by Congolese model Lisette Mibo, empowering RD Congo based projects.
    The festival will take place in different venues across Cambridge, including the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, the Winstanley Lecture Theatre at Trinity College, and the Riley Auditorium at Clare College.
    Last year CAFF was part of the wonderful ‘South Africa at 20: The Freedom Tour’ in partnership with all UK-based African film festivals. This we have once again joined forces to put together a focus on love-themed films. With films to fall in love with, and films to break your heart, this eclectic programme of African Love films will be presented in three strands across five UK African film festivals: Firstly, as part of the Romantic views, showing different cultural interpretations of love across Africa, CAFF will open with South African fiction film Love the One you Love (2014, Jenna Cato Bass), and enjoy the classic Egyptian film Cairo Station (1958, Youssef Chahine) on Thursday. Secondly, Love Brewed in the African Pot rekindles date night with a taste of love by marrying a passion for food with a passion for film in a romantic dine-and-view setting. Enjoy a hearty serving of fine fare and love affairs while watching  the award-winning Ethiopian film Price of Love (2014, Hermon Hailay). This event is organised in partnership with Menelik Education. Finally, as part of the Love in conflict strand, focusing on how love can overcome adversity in conflict situations, CAFF will host the screening of Kenyan film Stories of Our Lives (2014, Jim Chuchu) alongside a series of short films dealing with different aspects of love among the LGBT community. The film will be preceded by experimental animated short Yellow Fever (2012, Kenya, Ngendo Mukii), which explores the effects of Eurocentric beauty ideals disseminated by mainstream media. The other title in this strand is The Great Kilapy (2012, Angola-Portugal, Zézé Gamboa), a rarely shown Lusophone film which does not just revolve around love, but also music and resistance. 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of post-colonisation in the five African Portuguese-speaking countries. The evening will be followed by live music and a fashion show hosted by Congolese model Lisette Mibo’s charity Passion for Motherland.
    CAFF 2015 coincides with Cambridge’s well-established Festival of Ideas which this year focuses on the theme of ‘Power and Resistance’. CAFF has therefore chosen to screen the award-winning Sudanese documentary Beats of the Antonov (2014, Hajooj Kuka), about how people of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains in Sudan resist the situation created by the civil war through music. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Hajooj Kuka, in conversation with Dr Sharath Srinivasan, director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights and lecturer at King’s College, University of Cambridge.
    CAFF will also host a screening of the historical fiction film The Man from Oran about the first euphoric years following Algerian independence, followed by a discussion with Dr Jean Khalfa, of Trinity College, University of Cambridge. 

    A highlight of CAFF 2015 will be the screening of Sembène! (2015, USA-Senegal, Samba Gadjigo & Jason Silverman), a biographical documentary by Samba Gadjigo. CAFF 2015 seeks to highlight the work of acclaimed African filmmakers who have been a source of inspiration in cinematic production in the continent. One such filmmaker is Ousmane Sembène (1923-2007) from Senegal.
    His biographer and friend Samba Gadjigo has recently made this biographical documentary, which we are delighted to screen. We are also showing Sembène’s Black Girl (1966), which features prominently in the documentary and is considered by many to be the first feature length fiction film to be made by a sub-Saharan African.
    This year we are excited to be offering a screening programme called ‘Experiments with love: young South African women filmmakers’ with films by Nobunye Levin, Nikki Comninos, and Jyoti Mistry, and with introductions by Lindiwe Dovey and reflections from Sara Blecher. These films complement others in the CAFF 2015 programme, such as Love the One You Love (Jenna Cato Bass) and Ayanda (Sara Blecher). What binds these films is their attachment to questions of intimacy, interiors, and love: familial love, fraternal love, romantic love.

    CAFF 2015 is thus screening a total of seven films directed by African women filmmakers, with Sara Blecher as our guest.
    Source: Press Release

  • The Wildlife Conservation Film Festival has announced in New York that the film Horn, directed by South African filmmaker Dr Reina-Marie Loader, has won the 2015 award for Best Conservation Film.

    The award will be made at a ceremony on Friday, 23 October. Dr Loader will also speak at the parallel Biodiversity Conference in New York.

    Horn is a film about the usually neglected social side of rhino poaching. It highlights the social causes that drive people to poaching and shows that the conservation of rhinos can be a problem solver for disadvantaged communities.

    A novel feature is that the film is a lived documentary, in which an actor is put into the real situation and required to take part in actual anti-poaching activities, so that a creative investigation can maintain authenticity.
    For more information, visit

  • These awards will be held during this year's Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) with the award ceremony being held on October 9, 2015.

    The Zimbabwe Film and Television Awards (ZFTA) is an affiliation of individuals involved in the Film and television industry of Zimbabwe. The main objective of a film organization is to foment the advance of filmmaking and television broadcasting.
    The ZFTAs are a yearly award ceremony with the inaugural event has been penned for the 9th of OCTOBER 2015. The ceremony will be part of the Zimbabwe International Festival Trust award ceremony to be held at the 7Arts in Avondale.

     The idea to hold this event came about after realizing the need to recognize and award the men and women who have worked in the ZIMBABWEAN film industry in all capacities of production. These are the people that work behind the scenes and are hardly recognized and appreciated for their work. The award ceremony will award quality production and skill with the aim of setting a standard for Zimbabwean Film and Television productions.

    The Zimbabwe Film and Television Awards is a brand that is being spearheaded by a passionate Zimbabwean team whose intention is to build the Zimbabwe Film and Television industry. The initial team has taken the initiative to build a brand that will last beyond their years.  The initial team is made up of the following:

    Rufaro Kaseke - Ceremony Director
    Rufaro is a storyteller by nature, he has more than 10years in the Film industry. Over the years he has worked with various projects which include the Harare International Festival Of the Arts as the video creative director for three years.

    Patience Gombe - Production Director
    Patience Gombe is a visually alert and creative artist who graduated with a BA in Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She went on to work in a technical environment overseas where she honed different skills that include photography, graphic design, interactive system design, videography, shooting and broadcasting in live pre-recorded settings. She has a working knowledge of the entire production process including story creation, scriptwriting, pre-production, production, finishing the film and broadcasting or distributing. She founded Resoluto Films which is aimed at improving the foundational skills of young and upcoming film makers, and improving the learning process in all things film, television and video, from language to skills.

    Stuart Moyo - Media Liaison
    Stuart has been in the arts industry for the past 8 years. Currently he is the General Manager of the Zimbo Jam, a 3 time NAMA awarding online online arts and culture magazine. A keen follower of Zimbabwean film, Stuart has grown to appreciate the need for growth in the Zimbabwean film and television industry

    Munyaradzi Dodo - Online Technical Director
    Munya has spent the last nine years working as a television director and producer in the broadcasting industry. In 2013 he started, Zimbabwe’s award-winning video-on-demand and content aggregator, which is telling some of Africa’s best untold narratives using video. Munya is a graduate of the University of Zimbabwe Arts Department and a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow.

    ZFTA 2015 is the inaugural award ceremony. As such it has been set up to honor and acknowledge the film-makers that brought the Zimbabwe Film and Television industry to where it is to date. The pioneers of the Zimbabwean Film making industry gave direction to the industry. It is only right that we honor and celebrate our forerunners before we honor current productions.

    As such, no public call for nominations was made. The nominations list was made through consultation with players  in the film industry. We consulted with organisation like ZIFF, MFD, Nyerai films and   individuals film makers. Nomination for the films came therefore from players that are established in the Film and Television industry and were split into the follow categories:
    These were slipt into the following categories for consideration:
    We are honored to have the full support of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival Trust (ZIFFT). It has enabled us to host these awards under their banner, and has indicate its support to the ZFTAs and the film industry at large.
    Our Media partner, Zimbo Jam( has been in the Arts Industry for 7 years, and has intergral in promoting some of Zimbabwean productions online. With 3 NAMAs, Zimbo Jam has proved itself in promoting Zimbabwean Arts and culture including Film.
    The Judging panel is made up of people who have worked at different stages of the Zimbabwean film and television industry from the beginning of the 20th Century (1990) to date. We also took non filmmakers but people who have been following and supporting the industry for years. Below is a list if judges for the ZFTAs 2015.
    •    Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
    •    Elizabeth Dziva
    •    Tsitsi Dangarembebwa
    •    Lenard Matsa
    •    Angeline Dimingo
    •    Musekiwa Samuriwo
    •    Joshua Changa
    •    Nyaradzo Muchena
    Source: Press Release

  • Hot 91.9 FM is launching on the DStv audio package (channel 922) on Thursday, 1 October 2015.

    Hot 91.9 FM, launched in November 2014, is a Johannesburg-based community radio station which has re-united radio favourites such as Sasha Martinengo, Ian F, Kevin Savage, Darren Scott, Jeremy Mansfield, Treasure Tshabalala, Mark Pilgrim and Gavin Singh.

    The heat spread through Johannesburg fast as the station quickly became a firm favourite to its national audience, thanks to internet streaming. These listeners around South Africa spread the word, quickly growing Hot 91.9 FM’s Facebook page to over 13 000 fans. The station was nominated for 15 MTN Radio Awards in 2015, of which it won five.

    Hot 91.9 FM station general manager, Lloyd Madurai comments, “We’re thrilled to put our station on the DStv audio package – this means we’ll have a much wider reach and a chance to grow our listenership.”

    Hot 91.9 FM will be available in South Africa to DStv Premium, Extra, Compact, Family, Access and EasyView customers, as well as DStv customers on the Indian and Portuguese packages.
    Source: Screen Africa 22 September 2015

  • The last time R saw his friend Peter Moi alive, they talked about how he could no longer cover politics as a journalist. It was too risky. I’m only reporting on business from now on, Moi told him.

    Three days before, the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir had uttered his now infamous statement on his way to peace talks in Addis Ababa: “If anybody among [journalists] does not know that this country has killed people, we will demonstrate it one day, one time. … Freedom of the press does not mean you work against the country.”

    For five years, R and Moi worked beside each other covering the birth of their country, South Sudan. Moi had agreed to stop by R’s work that night to pick up audio recorded at that evening’s meeting of South Sudan’s parliament. But Moi told R he wouldn’t be using the recording. Too political.

    Moi would be killed soon after exiting the radio station’s guarded compound.

    Between 2009-2011, South Sudan experienced a press freedom renaissance. The breakaway region was transitioning to full nationhood, and according to journalists practicing at the time, it was easy to talk to the powerful and regular people alike. None of the South Sudanese journalists contacted for this story would allow their names to be printed for fear of reprisals.

    “Now if you want to get the views of citizens,” says W*, a veteran South Sudanese journalist reached in Juba, “they fear the media.” And for good reason. For regular people, speaking to the press now means risking one’s life. This has made it all but impossible, says W, to interview communities impacted by the current civil conflict.

    The powerful in South Sudan, adds W, have become more adept at bullying reporters into getting their faces on the front page when announcing new policies, and restricting information when it serves their purpose. The recent threats by Kiir come at a tense times as the government attempts to craft a peace deal to stop the violence that has consumed the country for the last 20 months.

    R believes that Moi was followed after leaving the radio station that night. It was little more than a mile down the road, in an open field on the outskirts of town that Moi was shot twice in the back. His body was found the next morning. His wallet still on him.

    That morning, R received a phone call and rushed to the crime scene where his friend’s body still lay. He followed the ambulance to the hospital in the center of Juba, where a crowd of around two dozen people, mainly representatives from the media and relatives of the deceased, gathered around the entrance of the mortuary. Moi’s body was wheeled out covered in purple fabric. The following day it was taken to his home village for burial. He was 27 years old, not yet married, survived by his girlfriend.

    “When we arrived, every media outlet was there, including the head of the journalists’ union,” says Grant McDonald, a Canadian journalist who through his work with journalists for Human Rights has trained more than 200 South Sudanese journalists in the last two years. “Journalists were talking fearfully,” he says, even as they interviewed family members and each other.

    It was outside the morgue that the reporters decided to stage a media blackout. McDonald says the sentiment was “make sure this is reported everywhere and make sure they know how we feel.” For the next 24 hours, publishing was shut down in the country as the journalists demanded the government move quickly to find the killer. The government-run media outlets kept operating as if nothing had happened.

    For McDonald, Moi seems an odd target. His recent work at The Corporate, a weekly business newspaper, was “nothing too controversial,” mostly stories about new businesses coming to town and local entrepreneurs. According to The Corporate’s publisher, the newspaper was not the target of threats.

    It’s possible that Moi’s murder and the timing of the President’s threats could be a coincidence. But few of South Sudan’s embattled journalists are taking it that way. Moi’s death brings the number of journalists killed this year to seven, most of whom died in a single rebel attack on a convoy earlier that year. A couple more are missing.

    Local journalist Clement Lichio has been missing for two weeks. He was, according to a colleague who was detained with him before being released, arrested by state security agents. The driver of the car he was in was later found dead. Lichio’s family is so sure of his death that they have performed his funeral rights in absentia.

    This fear has greatly impacted how journalists do their work. R says his radio station used to have broadcasts at 7 and 9 at night but now they pre-record the segments and leave the office by 4 to get home before dark. He no longer wears anything that could identify him as a journalist, removing the station’s logo from everywhere, including his equipment. In fact, he has ditched his professional microphone to record interviews on a recorder small enough to disappear up a sleeve. “The audio quality is fine,” he says defensively.

    But even appearing in public is too much for some journalists. For W, a South Sudanese stringer for a foreign press agency, the recent events have made him afraid to show his face outside his house or car.

    “My day to day work is now mostly on the internet,” he says. “Instead of going into the field I do what I can using my phone. It’s now a struggle to get information, to find the truth.” W scrupulously records every phone conversation he has in order to cover his tracks. He suspects that his phone is now bugged, possibly taking away his last opportunity to report.

    “If I had the capability, I would try and leave the country, sincerely. Maybe my plan is today maybe tomorrow. I am worried, this could be my time. It is very difficult. My wife is expecting and I don’t know where I can run.”

    Aaron is a freelance journalist based in New York covering cities, culture and African politics. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronleaf.

    Source: Okayafrica


  • Ernest Nkosi's award-winning drama, "Thina Sobabili: The Two of Us," has been selected as the South African entry for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar consideration at the 88th Academy Awards next year.

    The 2015 film, produced, written and directed by Ernest Nkosi, is set in Johannesburg, and tells a story of older brother Thulas, who will do anything to protect his younger sister, Zanele, after witnessing her abuse as a child. As a result, the two share a very strained relationship and when Zanele finally falls for the charms of an older man, Thulas is determined, at all costs, to protect his sister by putting an end to their relationship.

    Independently funded by The Monarchy Group over a four year period and filmed in a week, "Thina Sobabili: The Two of Us" made its world premiere at the Durban International Film Festival last year.

    Starring Richard Lukunku, Thato Dhladla, and Busisiwe Mtshali, the film won the Audience Award at the 2015 Pan African Film Festival, and the same award at the Jozi Film Festival this year.

    South Africa has submitted films for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration since 1989. Since then, 2 South African films have gone on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film: Darrell Roodt's "Yesterday" (2004) and Gavin Hood's "Tsotsi" (2005), which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film that year, at the 78th Academy Awards, still the only South African film to do so.

    Could this year make it number 2? We'll find out more when the Academy announces the eventual 5 films that will contend for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2016.

    Trailer for "The Two of Us" here:
    Source: Indiewire  22 September 2015

  • Critically-Acclaimed, Award-Winning Documentary ‘The Supreme Price’ About Women And The Pro-Democracy Movement In Nigeria To Air On 1st October – The Anniversary Of Nigeria’s Independence.

    The timely and powerful, critically-acclaimed, award-winning documentary film THE SUPREME PRICE, about women and the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria, will be broadcast on AfriDocs in 49 Countries across sub-Saharan Africa on October 1st, 2015, the Anniversary of Nigeria's Independence.

    Produced and Directed by filmmaker Joanna Lipper, the film won the Gucci Tribeca Spotlighting Women Documentary Award, was named Best Documentary at the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF), and is currently nominated for an African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) - Best Documentary, and nominated for the Grierson Awards - Best Historical Documentary. 

    Synopsis of Film: In 1993 Nigeria elected M.K.O. Abiola as president in a historic democratic vote that promised to end years of military dictatorship. Shortly after the election, Abiola’s victory was annulled.  General Sani Abacha seized power in a military coup and arrested M.K.O Abiola.  During her husband’s incarceration, M.K.O Abiola’s wife, Kudirat, took over the leadership of the pro-democracy movement, organizing strikes and marches and winning international attention for the Nigerian struggle. Because of this work, she too became a target and was assassinated.  

    Director Joanna Lipper elegantly explores past and present as she tells this deeply moving and intriguing story through the eyes of M.K.O and Kudirat Abiola’s eldest daughter, Hafsat Abiola, who was about to graduate from Harvard when her mother was murdered. Her father died in prison two years later under mysterious circumstances. Determined not to let her parents’ democratic ideals die with them, Hafsat returns to Nigeria after years in exile and is at the forefront of a progressive movement to empower women and dismantle the patriarchal structure of Nigerian society.

    In this riveting political thriller, the Abiola family’s intimate story unfolds against the epic backdrop of Nigeria's evolution from independence in 1960 - through the Biafra War, subsequent military dictatorships and the tumultuous transition to civilian rule - through President Goodluck Jonathan’s victory in the 2011 elections as Hafsat continues to face the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria's most marginalized population: women

    Filmmaker Joanna Lipper combines daring reporting, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes access shot during numerous trips to the unstable country with incredible, heart-stopping archival footage from some of the nation's most politically tumultuous, violent and corrupt periods during the past fifty years.

    Filmmaker Joanna Lipper explains “I’m deeply honoured to be having our African Broadcast Premiere in 49 Countries on October 1st, a significant date which marks 55 years of Nigerian Independence.    Following the recent pivotal election of President Muhammadu Buhari in Spring 2015, this is an ideal moment in time for viewers across the continent to contemplate Nigeria’s complex, historic, political evolution as a nation as well as an opportunity for me as a filmmaker to raise awareness and spark provocative discussions about women’s rights and political participation in present-day Nigeria.”

    AfriDocs screens every THURSDAY at 19:55 Central African time (GMT + 2) on [ED] DStv Channel 190 & GOtv Channel 65 across sub-Saharan Africa. Repeats on Sundays – visit website for full schedule

    For the full programme schedule and synopses of the films, please go to or
    Source: ress Release

  • Almost two weeks after the documentary Luister exposed ongoing racism and discrimination at Stellenbosch University, students will march on Tuesday to submit a memorandum of demands while the university's management answers to Parliament. GREG NICOLSON asks how the documentary was made and what Open Stellenbosch members think.

    On a Wednesday night in July, Dan Corder sat in a Cape Town bar with a friend. They'd spent the day in Stellenbosch where a student movement had staged a flash protest at a careers fair. Corder's friend, a student at the university who had participated in the Open Stellenbosch protest, had just found out he would face disciplinary charges.

    They talked about how the charges could silence the movement and how their experiences were largely ignored by the community, civic organisations and media. They knew it was a crucial moment.

    “I just said, 'Mate we have gotta' make a movie',” recalls Corder.

    In 17 days, Contraband Cape Town, working with Open Stellenbosch, had made Luister (Listen). Since its release on 20 August, the 35-minute documentary has trended on social media nation-wide. It has elicited statements from the university, the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and the Freedom Front Plus. It has over 200,000 views on YouTube. Debate over the film even led to the suspension of Metro FM host Unathi Msengana. Today, Stellenbosch University management will appear in Parliament for an urgent meeting on transformation.

    “I feel like it's wrong to be black,” a student says as Luister begins. “I sometimes ask myself when I'm alone, why did God make me black when a lot can happen in a good way when you're otherwise?”

    The film includes interviews with 32 students and one lecturer at the university. They detail their experiences of racist abuse, in the community and at the university, and their struggles with learning under the language policy they say clearly favours Afrikaans speakers. Personal experiences of discrimination, racism and exclusion from learning are piled on top of each other, impossible to ignore. Conform to the culture or fokof. Even if you confirm, you can still fokof because you're black.

    That night Corder left the bar and went straight back to Stellenbosch. He asked students to write down their experiences. When he read them back they were shocked to hear someone else say what they had been through, how desensitised they might have become, said Corder.

    Within Contraband Cape Town, making a documentary on the exclusion of black students in Stellenbosch led to exhaustive discussions. Contraband launched this year and makes content focusing on youth freely available. All four members of the company study at the University of Cape Town. Corder is an honours literature student and hosts a radio show on Good Hope FM. Erik Mulder majors in English literature, German and Spanish. Markus Hegewisch studies economic history and film studies. Declan Manca is doing a Bachelor of Arts degree in film production. They're all white males, none with experience at Stellenbosch.

    Rather than try to judge or legitimise the students' experiences, they wanted to ask one question: “What is it like to be a black person and exist and be alive at Stellenbosch University?” They asked what the students wanted to say and worked their comments into a narrative on the overwhelming responses on racism and language as alienation. All 32 student interviews were filmed over six hours on 2 August.

    Corder remembers driving home with Mulder that night. “That car journey was one of the most exhaustive, complex, emotional spaces I've ever been in.”

    One of the students said he'd rather his family die than go to the university. Another says: “The colour of my skin in Stellenbosch is like a social burden ... I mean just walking into spaces, there's that stop, pause, and stare where people cannot believe that you would enter into this space.”

    “Being black within the Stellenbosch community you know that you're not accepted and you kind of ask yourself what's wrong with me, like what did I do wrong?” says another. “In the beginning I actually started to assimilate, you know, wanting to lose myself and attain whiteness. Maybe this will work better and they'll accept me more because I'm trying to be like them. And I realised that I cannot do that. I'm not willing to sell my soul to whiteness. I have to be proudly back.”

    The night before Luister was released, the Contraband team played it for Open Stellenbosch. Watching themselves, the students again heard their own experiences. But it's their daily reality. “For us it was in a sense almost normalised,” Open Stellenbosch's Mohammed Shabangu said on watching it for the first time. The group's Majaletje Mathume said he was aware of the issues to some extent, but as an insider was partly desensitised. It led to doubts – will anyone care, will the students look like spoilt black kids, will the film have an impact?

    “We've got the attention. We're yet to see if that manifests in change,” Corder said on Monday.

    After Luister trended on social media, the ANC hammered the university, calling it an “erstwhile laager of white supremacy” that's failed to provide leadership on transformation. Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said instances of racism and discrimination are occurring seemingly unabated. The DA's Mmusi Maimane said the allegations show that race still matters. The EFF said racist groups are trying to maintain spaces as white enclaves, using Afrikaans as a tool to do so.

    Stellenbosch University vice-chancellor Wim de Villiers said it's sad that some students are exposed to racism and discrimination. “However, to insinuate that the university is not serious about transformation, that it turns a blind eye to flagrant racism or that it in some sense advocates or maintains a culture of Apartheid at the university, is simply not true and cannot go unchallenged.” He'll be challenged on that claim in Parliament's portfolio committee on higher education and training today.

    Shabangu says he's happy about the attention Luister has brought to the issues, but questions why they have been allowed to continue 21 years into democracy. “The political parties that have shown their concern and have addressed it still need to answer the question as to why they've allowed this space to fly under the radar for 21 years,” he said.

    He said Stellenbosch faces some of the same issues as other student movements demanding transformation at the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University and the University of the Witwatersrand, but they're also dealing with crude racism reminiscent of the 1970s in a town he says is run by the Broederbond.

    Open Stellenbosch is also working with other documentary makers looking at the conditions in the area and is using the current attention to push its demands. In a press release sent through a publicist on Monday, Open Stellenbosch announced a march that coincides with the university management's appearance in Parliament. It wants all classes to be available in English and an emergency council meeting on transformation. “As the testimonies in Luister demonstrate, the culture of Apartheid is alive and well in Stellenbosch, both in the town and the university,” the statement reads.

    On Monday, Mathume, who was in the film, thanked those who have taken an interest and called on the rest of the country to support their cause. Advancing beyond immediate outrage is another challenge. Politicians allowed the situation to continue. Stellenbosch academics aren't engaging on the issues. And the white students and staff “in whose names the atrocities the university committed” aren't moved, he said.

    After featuring in the film, white students have been asking Mathume how he feels. Each time they respond with an inevitable “but ...”.

    “Lately I've decided I'm not going to entertain anyone on that level. It's not emotionally healthy for me,” he says. “Something must happen. There can't be any other way.” DM

    Watch Luister here
    Source: The Daily Maverick

  • MultiChoice's DStv has introduced a new media sales platform in order to boost its revenue from advertising across its African footprint. Stats 2 Go provides potential advertisers with comprehensive data of viewer profiles including socio-demographic profiles, key viewing measures, social media usage, most watched programmes, viewing preferences and 'headspace attitudes', NexTVame reported.

    The strategic match between advertiser and the correct channel was often missing in the market, said Brenda Wortley, director of research and strategy at DStv Media Sales. Stats 2 Go has been in development for 18 months and is available free via an online portal
    covering all DStv channels. Numbers and predicted trends are based on DStv-i data, which are updated monthly.
    Source: Telecompaper 23 September 2015


  • Vubiquity and BBC Worldwide have signed a deal to deliver content to South African video-on-demand (VOD) service MTN FrontRow.

    MTN FrontRow was the first OTT VOD service to be launched by a South African-based telecoms company, going live in December 2014, in a partnership between Discover Digital and MTN. The service offers both subscription and transactional VoD, via its FrontRow Club and FrontRow Premiere brands.

    The new deal brokered by Vubiquity allows MTN FrontRow Club subscribers to watch the latest BBC Worldwide series, including Sherlock and Planet Earth.

    MTN FrontRow Club subscribers can stream content instantly via their internet browser to their mobile device or computer, or through its Android or iOS apps. The service is available to everyone regardless of their current operator, and users can sign up to the service from R119 per month. MTN zero-rates its data for FrontRow for all MTN customers.

    “BBC Worldwide produces some of the world’s most popular and cutting-edge content. MTN FrontRow is bringing this outstanding-quality content to South Africa. They are responding to the growing demands of customers who want to view the latest films and TV series whenever they want and wherever they want, said dam Poulter, MD for EMEA at Vubiquity.

    “Vubiquity has the proven platform solution that enables any type of business, not just traditional broadcasters, to meet their customers’ constantly evolving expectations and provide viewers with top-quality content across a wide ecosystem of devices. It’s a pleasure to work with companies like Discover Digital and MTN that are pushing the boundaries and delivering innovative services tailored to their customers’ needs.”

    “We are delighted to secure BBC Worldwide content for the MTN FrontRow service. MTN’s commitment to build on their premium content offering ensures the consumer will continue to enjoy world class content,” added Stephen Watson, managing director of Discover Digital.

    “The BBC brand sits well within the existing catalogue of the top six Hollywood studios whilst adding an alternative of much-loved British film and series flavour.”
    Source: Broadband TV News 23 September 2015

  • Paris, 24th September 2015 — Globecast, the global solutions provider for media, has announced today that it has successfully completed a major project with its customer  Lagardère SPORTS to bring comprehensive daily coverage of the 11th All Africa Games to European and African audiences.

    The 11th All Africa Games took place from September 4–19 in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. This edition marked the 50th anniversary of the Games - with over 50 countries involved in 22 sports - as well as their return to the Congo.

    Globecast was contracted by sports marketing agency Lagardère SPORTS, leader in the management of marketing and audiovisual rights for sports in Europe and Africa.

    Globecast provided two flyaway antennas in Brazzaville with dedicated satellite capacity for four contribution feeds (equivalent to 300 hours of satellite time) from the country to France. These four feeds were received in Globecast’s Paris headquarters with London operating as backup.

    As well as the technical infrastructure, Globecast also took the four feeds arriving in its Parisian MCR and created a comprehensive single package for broadcasters. This included three language variants – Arabic, French and English. This was achieved using dedicated commentary facilities within Globecast with the programme broadcast for six hours per day using three satellite feeds for European and African broadcasters to retransmit.  On request, the distribution of additional private (unilateral) signals for European and African broadcasters was also made possible.

    Michele Gosetti, VP Contribution and Media Services at Globecast, says, “We are very pleased that our contribution expertise – technical, logistical and editorial – has been recognised by Lagardère SPORTS. We have extensive experience of operating across Africa, often in challenging conditions.  With three engineers in Brazzaville and a dozen people dedicated to the operation in our Paris MCR during the All Africa Games, the results were great and this was a successful project.”
    Source: Company Press Release


  • Cape Town - Pay-TV provider MultiChoice has increased its reach by almost four million, the National Association of Broadcasters said on Tuesday.

    NAB executive director Nadia Bulbulia presented these figures to the portfolio committee on communications at parliament.

    MultiChoice increased its reach from 9.7 million in 2012 to 13.4 million in 2014.

    However, SABC1 continues to be the most watched channel in the country with 29.7 million viewers, followed by SABC2 with 27.4 million.

    In terms of the figures, M-Net had the smallest reach in 2014 with 2.6 million, up by only 200 000 from 2012.

    On radio, 2014 statistics shows SABC stations reached the widest audiences with 41.6 million listeners.

    This is followed by commercial stations having reached 15.7 million listeners and community stations 8.7 million.

    Bulbulia pointed out that according to 2011 census statistics, TV surpassed radio in the number of users.

    In 2001, 52.6% of South Africans had access to TV. This increased to 74.5% in 2011.

    72.1% of citizens had radios in 2001, compared to 67.5% in 2011.
    Source: Fin 24

  • KAGISO Media has acquired a 37% stake in Ghana’s Global Media Alliance Broadcasting Company for an undisclosed amount and is busy setting up a direct presence in the West African country.

    This is part of the company’s strategy to build a significant media company in SA and in the rest of Africa.

    The Ghana transaction was expected to be followed by another transaction in Kenya, Kagiso Media CEO Mark Harris said on Friday.

    "We want to create the equivalent of our (South African) Kagiso Media in Ghana. We have not decided whether we are going to call it Kagiso Media.

    "We are sending quite a number of people to Ghana. It’s key people from radio and we are sending some sales and creative people too."

    In Ghana, Kagiso Media also owns Reel African, which provides content to the African diaspora overseas.

    The new acquisition, Global Media Alliance Broadcasting Company, operates Happy FM, YFM Accra and free-to-air terrestrial television Ghana. Sabido Investments, which owns in SA, is a shareholder in Ghana in partnership with Global Media Alliance.

    Kagiso Media is fully owned by pan-African investment company Kagiso Tiso Holdings.

    In SA, Kagiso Media’s investments include Kaya FM, Gagasi FM, Jacaranda FM and Urban Brew Studios.
    Source: BDLive 21 September 2015

  • Johannesburg - The public broadcaster South African Broadcasting Authority (SABC) recorded a R395m loss in the last financial year.

    During a media briefing announcing the organisation's 2014/2015 annual results, SABC CEO Frans Matlala blamed the public's failure to pay television licences as the biggest reason for the financial loss. However, he said the company was not broke.

    The SABC currently had R1 017bn in cash reserves.

    While this was lower than the R1.4bn at the end of the last financial year, Matlala said the decline was due to some funds being invested in areas like content, employee benefits and converting  contract workers to permanent employees.

    News24 reported earlier SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng had received a pay increase of almost R1m in the last year.

    His salary rose from R2 872m to R3 784m during the year under review, Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Gavin Davis said. The R912 000 pay rise included a R279 000 bonus.

    The information was revealed when the SABC annual report was tabled in Parliament.
    Source: News 24

  • There was nothing untoward about SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng receiving an increase of almost R1m, the public broadcaster’s CEO, Frans Matlala, said on Wednesday.

    Addressing the media at the SABC in Johannesburg, Matlala said it should be noted Motsoeneng had been promoted from an acting to a permanent chief operating officer and, in any position, “a salary hike was expected when one was promoted”.

    It was alleged Motsoeneng’s annual pay had increased from R2,9m to R3,8m in this financial year.

    The R912 000 pay rise included a R279 000 bonus.

    Matlala added Motsoeneng was not the only SABC board member who had received a pay hike.

    Meanwhile, the SABC has recorded a R395m loss in the last financial year.

    Matlala said the biggest cause of the loss was due to the public’s failure to pay television licences and advertisers cutting down on expenditure.

    However, the company was not broke and had cash reserves of R1,1bn.

    Although this was lower than the R1,4bn the broadcaster had at the end of 2014, Matlala said the decline was also because some funds were invested in areas like content, employee benefits and converting contract workers to permanent employees.

    Matlala said despite this there was “good news to share” about the last financial year.

    He claimed the broadcaster had made remarkable progress, although there was “room for growth”. 
    Source: News24

regulation & policy

  • Pay-TV operator MultiChoice is feeling the pressure from local and international over-the-top (OTT) players. On top of that, the company believes the regulatory framework in SA is not protecting traditional broadcasters against the onslaught of big foreign media companies.

    This was revealed yesterday by the company's senior executives at the MultiChoice offices in Randburg. The execs were in unison in expressing their fears that online video content is growing in SA and will eventually eclipse traditional TV.

    Describing the rapid changes the broadcasting sector has faced over the years, Nolo Letele, executive chairman at MultiChoice, said in the past video content was only distributed by a few broadcasters but today they are countless.

    Imtiaz Patel, group CEO of MultiChoice, added that in 2005, there was only SABC, eTV and MultiChoice, but now consumers have video content access from international brands such as YouTube, Netflix, VIDI and HBO, among others.

    ONTAPtv became the newest player to launch into the South African video-on-demand (VOD) market this month, only a month after Naspers-backed ShowMax was introduced to South African consumers. Both newcomers will have to compete with other VOD services, such as MTN FrontRow and Vidi, as well as contend with the imminent arrival of Netflix in 2016.

    "There is a plethora of players now in the industry, which shows the changing nature of technology as well as consumer behaviour," said Patel.

    Pay-TV monopoly

    In SA, MultiChoice has introduced Internet services that include a mobile app and a VOD-like product that allows subscribers to download movie content from an online catalogue.

    The only other pay-TV provider in SA, StarSat, has so far failed to gain traction, leaving MultiChoice with 95% of the market. MultiChoice has monopolised pay-TV since it launched DStv in 1995 – a move that was instigated nine years prior with the introduction of SA's first subscription TV station, M-Net.

    "Global international giants like Google, Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook are the real threat," Patel noted. "These international players are not here to respect national boundaries."

    He revealed that according to MultiChoice's internal intelligence, Facebook and Google are raking in R3.2 billion annually from online advertising from SA.

    Although the international OTT players offer the same content as local broadcasters, they are not regulated in the same way, Patel said.

    Karen Willenberg, director of regulatory and legal affairs at M-Net, said the international OTT players simply provide their content via the Internet without any regulations, licences, or contributing to local content.

    "South African companies are at a huge disadvantage unless policy and legislation ensures ‘like for like' treatment," said Willenberg. "These companies are already taking significant advertising revenue out of SA without being taxed."

    Willenberg also pointed out that due to increasing cases of alcohol abuse in SA, the Department of Health is looking to ban alcohol advertising, something which will negatively impact advertising revenues of the local broadcasters only.


    She also noted there was a tendency by the South African authorities to over-regulate the traditional broadcasters, giving the international players an unfair advantage.

    "If similar content is already available on other platforms, why over-regulate others? For example, we cannot show ‘Game of Thrones' during the day although we know there are lots of viewers who would want to watch it during the day. Besides, they can still watch it online during the day if they so wish."

    Faced with this mounting pressure, MultiChoice will lobby, together with other local broadcasters, for the relaxing of the local regulations. "Some developed markets have already reduced regulation. The government must just regulate only that which requires regulation."

    The other challenges the pay-TV operator is facing relate to currency fluctuations, which Patel said have an adverse impact on content and satellite costs.

    Tebogo Sibidla, a director at Werksmans Attorneys, says SA's broadcasting laws need to be adjusted to accommodate online video content as well.

    "The problem with our regulations is that they don't have any impact on anyone who is operating outside our jurisdiction. If the regulations are adjusted at least there will be some accountability from the international players," she said.


    Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, stresses it's not possible to regulate online content delivered to international Web sites, but it is likely there will be attempts to regulate content made available by South African-based businesses.

    This will apply to all the newly-launched VOD services, as well as Netflix, should it choose to launch an SA-specific service, he notes.

    "In fact, all of this content is already regulated in terms of the Film and Publications Board age ratings. However, it is unlikely they will introduce time restrictions, as none of these are the equivalent of free-to-air services, or at least their adult content would not be free-to-air," says Goldstuck.

    He points out that content available online in other countries cannot be regulated in any way, unless local service providers are ordered to block specific sites. "That hasn't happened with pornography, so it's unlikely to happen with general video content."

    Goldstuck urges both the regulator and broadcasters to start off by understanding the economic, technical and social dynamics of the new world of content into which we are moving, and that may take many more years.
    Source: ITWeb 23 September 2015

technology & convergence

  • Rennes, France, 23rd September 2015: ENENSYS, designers and manufacturers of digital TV transmission technologies, today announced that it has been selected by CANAL+ Overseas as a key technology partner for the rollout of the broadcaster’s DTT platform in Africa. TNT Africa, a multi-country sub-Saharan Africa project, is designed to work alongside its existing DTH service Les Bouquets Canal+.

    ENENSYS is supplying the key content insertion and regionalisation technology in the form of its T2-Gateway product at the Paris headend and then T2-Edge systems at the main transmitter sites in each country. All the content will be supplied via the Paris headend, over satellite, to each transmitter site. This includes country-specific services and even services for sub-regions in some countries.

    Emmanuel Jacques, Sales Manager, ENENSYS said, “Regionalisation is a key differentiator for DTT from satellite-delivered services, though this does require knowledge and specific technology to achieve. We do this using PLP (Physical Layer Pipes) aggregation. This is central to our network regionalisation systems.”

    ENENSYS technology will aggregate the content at the transmitter site in order to insert the regionalised content, which has also been supplied by satellite, for that country. This fully optimises the satellite bandwidth using standardised DVB-T2 technology along with Single Frequency Network (SFN) compatibility, which is crucial. Without this deterministic capability, interference would occur where there was crossover between transmitters.

    Jacques added, “We were the first to be able to offer this cost-effective and precision local DVB-T2 insertion technology for regionalisation that’s suitable for SFN use. We have many years of experience with DTT deployments, including with MULTICHOICE’s GOtv in southern Africa, and we can handle the complexities of these projects, of which there are plenty. We are excited to be working with CANAL+ Overseas on this major project.”
    Source: Press Release

  • Vizrt, a provider of production tools for the digital media industry, recently announced a new video-on-demand (VoD) workflow. It works seamlessly with existing studio workflows for highly automated publishing of video content online with Coder, Vizrt s transcoding tool. The system was demonstrated at Vizrt s booth during IBC 2015.

    The new workflow allows users to create stories by editing video and graphic items in a non-linear editing system. These stories can also be created or enhanced in any of Vizrt s video and graphics editors. The resulting stories are saved with clean video with Vizrt s Meta-Graphics workflow.

    As a show airs, Viz One, Vizrt s media asset management system, automatically ingests the clean feed and saves all events triggered by Viz Opus including graphics. At the end of airing each story, videos are automatically packaged and transcoded for the web.

    Vizrt s VoD workflow allows for publishing video, with minimal manual work, to both web and mobile from the studio.

    Even though video-on-demand has been around for a long time, the process of getting content from the control room to online and mobile platforms hasn t been efficient. With this new workflow, Vizrt is pushing the capabilities of studio production to make processes easier for the broadcaster, said Petter Ole Jakobsen, Vizrt CTO. The new Vizrt workflow avoids the time-consuming repackaging work and allows programmes to be published instantly after airing. We are also enabling the broadcaster to provide responsive graphics adapted to their online channels and the end user devices - automating the workflow even further while improving the end user experience.
    Source: 23 September 2015

  • M-Net is bringing the latest international programming to viewers faster than ever before, this time for the benefit of DStv Premium customers with a DStv Explora. Instead of waiting for a gap in the prime-time schedule on M-Net 101 or M-Net Edge, hand-picked series will be available exclusively on the DStv Explora within 24 hours of their US launch times.

    Starting on Thursday 24 September, the first four series that will receive the Express to Explora treatment are: season 1 of Limitless, starring Brian Finch; the sixth season of the cop drama Blue Bloods, starring Tom Selleck; the new medical drama Code Black; and the third season of The Blacklist.

    Our superfast Express from the US delivery service has already revolutionised the way in which many people watch TV, says M-Net director of General Entertainment, Gideon Khobane, and we believe that series fans will love being able to watch more shows for which there simply are no available time slots yet, as they play out in the US. Were thrilled that were able to make use of the incredible technology provided by the DStv Explora to make Express to Explora happen.

    DStv Premium customers with Explora s don t just have these four series to look forward to; they will also get all first episodes of series as they premiere on M-Net 101 and M-Net Edge.

    The new age of television is all about convenience, as a result of their busy lifestyles, viewers sometimes miss out on an entire series because they couldnt watch the first episode that introduced the main characters and vital story lines. Were now making it easier for them to never miss out on one of our excellent series again, Khobane explains.
    Source: 4rvf 23 September 2015


  • 10TH South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) Deadline EXTENDED

    The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and the South African Film and Television Awards Committee have extended the closing date for applications for the 10th South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs) to the 25th of September 2015. The SAFTAs, managed under the custodianship of the NFVF, are an industry initiative governed by the SAFTAs committee and the body of industry representatives comprising of the broadcasters, SASFED and other key stakeholders.

    This year submission can be made online via the SAFTAs online portal, The system makes it easy for applications and content to be uploaded online and in real time to allow for timeous delivery of submissions. Copies of ID documents for all relevant cast and crewmembers are needed. The format in which video content should be uploaded is MP4.

    The closing date for submission of feature films is not affected, and therefore remains the 16th of October 2015.

    First Ever Elements Film Lab launches in Cape Town

    This year sees yet another exciting addition to the shnit International Shortfilmfestival weekend: the inaugural Elements Short Film Lab. An initiative running concurrently to the shnit Expanded Talent Focus programme for Playground Cape Town in 2015, over the festival weekend filmmakers will participate in a series of workshops, discussions, conversations and engagements that will further their paths in creating world-class short films. Panellists include among today's most exciting storytellers and producers in South Africa, and this all access workshop weekend promised to enlighten and inspire filmmakers from all levels of industry.

    The first Elements Film Lab will be hosted at the historic Cape Town Club on Queen Victoria Street, a short walk from the festival hub at the Labia Theatre - the oldest independent theatre house in Cape Town. Tickets are available on a limited basis, and include a full weekend pass to shnit International Shortfilmfestival, lunch every day, and networking functions. Events are scheduled to compliment the festival schedule - expanding skill sets in the day time, celebrating the art of the short every night.

    Tickets available through Webtickets . Prices, tickets and full line up available at The lab takes place 8-10 October. Concession tickets are available on a limited basis. Information available online.

    For information, contact

    More on shnit International Shortfilmfestival at

    Lab Highlights:

    In Conversation with Fly on the Wall

    South African actor Anthony Oeseyemi sits down with Bryan Little and Filipa Domingues to talk about the duo's film and art making collective, Fly on the Wall. Bryan, a producer, and Filipa, a director, discuss everything from the creative process and finding inspiration to what progress means in an ever-evolving industry and what filmmaking might look like in the future.

    Panel Discussion: That Big Bang

    There's an old clich that reads, You can make a bad film from a good script but never a good film from a bad script'. Three of the most exciting filmmakers working in SA, Jenna Bass, Sibs Shongwe-la Mer and Jahmil XT Qubeka discuss the inception of stories and the importance of scripts. The discussion will break down the writing process; explain what makes a good story and how to craft great film experiences, as well as mastering visual storytelling and highlighting the unique opportunity short films offer for story telling.

    Panel Discussion: The Science of Shorts

    Our panel of experts Bridget Pickering, Thandeka Zwana and Steven Markovitz focuson the elements needed to bring a great short together and take it to the world. This panel will discuss the challenges and advantages of short film making; including financing short films, finding great stories, making festival connections and marketing short films.

    Producer's Workshop

    Producer Elias Robeiro shares his experiences on making short films and the importance of showing them to the world. Using real-world examples, Elias delves into the benefits of making short films, how to budget properly, some tips on how to get them seen and how to develop a festival strategy for maximum exposure.

    Writers Workshop

    Anthony Silverston, Head of Development at SA's leading animation studio, Triggerfish, shares the nuances of crafting good characters and how to place them in real-world stories in this must-attend workshop called How To Write a Hero. Having spent years creating internationally acclaimed animations such as Zambezi, Anthony guides aspiring screenwriting with practical advice on what elements are required for great storytelling and how they fit together.

    Networking Events

    Elements Film Lab offers filmmakers the opportunity to network over the course of the weekend with a welcome drinks and lunches. Come meet industry experts and other filmmakers in a relaxed and creative environment. And with a full weekend pass to the Shnit International Short Film Festival there are plenty of films to watch too.

    Round Table Conversations

    The best way to meet industry members and form partnerships is to meet people face to face. The Round Table Conversations provide a platform to do that by connecting writers, directors, producers and performers. It's a casual way to meet like-minded individuals, chat to experienced filmmakers, and open up opportunities.

    Drone Workshop

    The impact that drones have had on film and cinematography is tremendous and with drone technology now more affordable than ever it's a tool that can give amateur and low-budget filmmakers an extra dimension. In this workshop, Juanne Whyte from Orms Digital, talks about how to make drone footage work for your film, gives an update on drone-flying regulations and introduces us to the various drone options available to take your filmmaking to new heights'.

    Virtual Reality Workshop

    How do filmmaking and virtual reality combine? It's a question for the not-too-distant future. Tyrone Rubin from Sense Virtual talks about the latest developments in the world of virtual reality and how interactive technologies will shape filmmaking and the entertainment industry of the future. There will also be a must-see demo on the latest in the virtual reality field.
    Source: Filmcontact 21 September 2015

    NFVF Cycle 3 Funding Call for Applications

    The NFVF calls for applicants for the following areas of funding: Development Funding, TV Formats Funding, Production Funding, Documentary Archive, Markets and Festivals Attendance Funding. Closing date is 17 October 2015.

    As the target for the year has been met and exceeded, the NFVF can only consider filmmakers attending the following festivals, for funding:

    International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

    Rotterdam International Film Festival

    Pan African Film Festival

    RIO Content Market

    Berlin International Film Festival

    Festivals, Marketing and Distribution Funding

    For these funding categories, the NFVF will still accept applications for Cycle 3.

    All applications and supporting motivation must be hand delivered or posted to the NFVF at 87 Central Street, Houghton, Johannesburg, 2198. No e-mail submissions will be accepted. Closing date for applications is 17th of October 2015. Please note that all applicants should provide a copy of tax clearance certificate.

    See details here

    The NFVF will inform applicants of the outcome of the applications at the end of January 2016. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications received after the deadline will only be considered for the following quarterly meeting of council.

    Application forms can be accessed from the NFVF website or on the following link:

  • Fox International Channels has promoted Frank Rutten to executive vice-president, Fox Sports Europe & Africa.

    Rutten, who will report to Jan Koeppen, president of Fox International Channels Europe and Africa, will continue to have operational responsibility as managing director of Fox Sports in the Netherlands and will continue to be based in Amsterdam.

    Fox has built a portfolio of sports channels on the basis of its Dutch-based EMM business, and now operates six linear channels and an online platform. In addition to the Netherlands, the company operates channel in Italy, Turkey, Israel, Greece and sub-Saharan Africa.

    Rutten was CEO of EMM before Fox’s acquisition of the company in 2012. The Dutch outfit was created in 2008 by the 18 teams of the Dutch Eredevisie top-tier football league, of which Rutten had been CEO prior to his appointment to head up EMM.

  • Save the Date: 26-30 October 2015
    Call for Entries & Registration now open
    Registration has opened for film, TV and creative players to join the Kalasha International Film & TV Festival & Market. The Kalasha Film & TV Trade Show – 28 & 29 October 2015. The trade show will showcase Kenyan, East African and Pan African companies under pavilions, while the international TV & Film players will attend as participants.
    2015 Kalasha Film & TV Awards ceremony – 30 October 2015. The Awards ceremony will close the event. The range of the categories has increased to incorporate a new category i.e.: East African. Film makers in the region can follow the link to enter films for the awards ceremony.
    The festival is offering all film, TV, creative professionals a unique platform to discuss, collaborate and develop new business opportunities in the fast growing East African region. Kalasha International is organized a week before Discop Africa offering all professionals an easy way to benefit from both events. Register now via the website here Visitor pass is free of charge.

    10-15 September 2015
    IBC Amsterdam

    Big! global meeting place for everyone engaged in creating, managing and delivering the future of electronic media, entertainment technology and content. Featuring an influential conference and world-class exhibition, IBC immerses 55,000+ professionals from over 170 countries...

    5 - 8 Oct. 2015

    Cannes, France

    4 to 6 November 2015

    Venue: Johannesburg - The Dome @NorthGate Johannesburg, RSA

    The biggest African market & creative forum for TV programmes and audiovisual content trade: not to miss. Around 1500 participants. Organised by Basic Lead.

    17 – 19 November 2015
    AfricaCom / AfricaCast / TV Connect Africa 2015

    The largest annual meeting of ICT, telecoms and broadcast professionals for Africa. A 'must attend'. AfricaCom welcomes the re-launch of the AfricaCast event as TV Connect Africa.
    About 8000 participants. 
    Organiser: Informa



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