Tanzania has become the first mainland African country to declare that it has completed the digital transition. New channels are now available to free-to-air viewers on their set-top boxes (see Distribution News below). This provides an interesting opportunity for the delgates to the Broadcast, Film and Music Africa Conference taking place at the end of the month to look at these new opportunities.
The catch with the Tanzanian announcement is that the country has simply completed the installation of the transmission infrastructure, the supply side of the equation. No-one knows whether all TV households in Tanzania (the demand side) have yet made the transition. Although there is no data yet, poorer households are less likely to have made the switch. However, this approach may yet become the default for African countries as they limp towards the ITU’s 2015 deadline.
Mauritius, which is the only other African country to claim to be near completion, has adopted a much more careful approach. The regulator ICTA, in partnership with the Post Office, is carrying out a survey to identify how many people have still not switched from analogue to digital.
As Kenya prepares to be the second country in East Africa to transition to digital broadcast (after Tanzania), industry players are regrouping to capitalise on opportunities that increased bandwidth will provide.
“This is the season for change especially on the TV front,” said Sean Moroney, Chairman and founder of AITEC Africa, organisers of this month’s ‘Broadcast, Film and Music Africa’ conference (see details below).
However, he warns that a lack of sufficient information could potentially derail industry gains. “When it comes to digital terrestrial television (DTT), several African countries won’t hit the International Telecommunication Union’s deadline on time. Many countries still hesitate between technology standards and few are aware of best practices for digital television implementation and the ideal PPP (public private partnership) mix,” he said.
For those stations that have resolved technical issues, the focus will be on how to sustain audiences and attract adverts, and this Moroney said will require a better understanding of audiences through surveys, which will help develop new business models. He added that while the role of TV and radio had altered since the 1990s, broadcast continued to be the preferred medium on the African continent. While radio was dominant in sub Saharan Africa, television was gaining prominence in North and South Africa.
Sylvain Béletre, senior research analyst at media consultancy and research company Balancing-Act said that while greater competition prompted the application of a ‘Me too’ business model where companies closely mimicked their competitors, it also resulted in proliferation of cheap international content rather than quality indigenous programmes.
“African audiences want to watch local content, but the economic weakness of many states has meant that talented artists stop working for local broadcasters because they are not paid adequately,” Béletre said. The diversification of devices through which listeners can consume broadcast content - such as satellite, internet and various portable gadgets- has also increased uptake of broadcast and heightened audience expectations.
One of the greatest battles that is brewing in the Kenyan pay TV space is between pan-African platform 'MultiChoice DStv', Chinese contender StarTimes and Wananchi group's 'Zuku TV'. The race for audiences has pushed broadcasters to maintain and develop market share. It has also spurred innovations like VoD (video on demand), the most popular example of which is Catch-up TV where TV shows are usually available after the original broadcast.
Based around a story published in ‘Nairobi Business Monthly’, June 2013 and produced by Aamera Jiwaji.
Video briefings in English on topics you need to know about:
House of Lungulu, a programme about how people live their lives:
Alexandros Konstantaras on Kenyan comedy of sexual mores The House of Lungulu
Creating multimedia products in Kenya:
Chief Nyamweya & Harto Muhato on Tsunami Studios and its forthcoming action sci-fi comic
Selling a multimedia package of a TV animation series and games to China:
Malaysia's Rayson Wong on selling a 3D animation series and games to China
Why Filipino telenovelas do well in Africa:
Evelyn Raymundo, CBS-ABN on why Filipino telenovelas are so popular globally
What Africa’s young TV viewers are thinking and how they use social media:
Alex Okosi on what a survey of MTV viewers tells us about young people in Africa
Creating new programmes and selling them internationally:
Kenyan chef Kiran Jethwa talks about his new TV programme Tales from the Bush Larder
An interesting recent British-Nigerian Nollywood release:
British-Nigerian director Andrew Ukoko talks about his latest film The Assassin's Practice
Mahamat-Saleh Haroun collects the Jury Prize in Cannes in 2010 for his film Un Homme qui Crie (A Screaming Man). African film is enjoying a rare invitation to cinema's top table with a film by the French-Chadian director competing for the 2013 Palme d'Or, as the continent strives to satisfy an appetite for films made by Africans for Africans.
Haroun, who left Chad during the civil war, won plaudits for his autobiographical 1999 film "Bye Bye Africa" and has continued to make films about his homeland despite settling in France more than 30 years ago. His latest film "Grigris" is one of 20 films in the contest for the Palme d'Or. It will be screened on Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival where he was invited to sit on the jury in 2011.
Although the filmmaker won the Cannes jury prize in 2010 for "A Screaming Man", few Africans will have seen his films at the cinema. Cinemas across the continent have in recent years fallen victim to a combination of lack of investment and the rise of television and DVDs, often pirated, as a preferred form of entertainment.
Apart from Nigeria and South Africa, which have their own domestic film industries, the continent suffers from a shortage of homegrown movies.
Ivorian actress Emma Lohoues, who scooped best actress awards at two international film festivals for her performance in Owell Brown's 2010 romantic comedy "Le Mec Ideal", believes many of the essential ingredients for a successful industry are already in place. "Our cinema has a future with a wave of talented emerging actors and directors," she told AFP. "All we need and which is badly missing is the support of the authorities," she added.
Democratic Republic of Congo director Ronnie Kabuika dreams of the day when there might be a state-sponsored infrastructure for the industry in his country, perhaps as part of the ministry of culture. "Those who try to produce things make do with what's at hand (but) there is no support, no finance," he said.
Many on the continent look with envy at the way films are financed in Morocco, a set-up modelled on the French system. Government funding has made the country the envy of the continent with six million euros ($7.7 million) funding some 25 Moroccan films a year.
In Rwanda, it is hoped that a planned film commission will help the country move on from films made by foreigners about the 1994 genocide. "We should dare to make films (that look at things) through our own eyes," said filmmaker Eric Kabera who in 2001 collaborated with British filmmaker Nick Hughes on the first feature film about the genocide.
Movie makers say the success of the Nigerian film industry, known as "Nollywood", shows that Africa can produce its own films and make a splash in the wider world. Nigerian actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde was recently named by Time magazine as one of its most 100 influential people.
Mostly shot on video and rooted in the hard realities of daily lives blighted by violence and corruption, the films made over the last 20 odd years "have placed Nigeria on the world map and redefined African cinema", said Nigerian director Mahmood Ali-Balogun.
"Nollywood is worth celebrating. It has done well for Nigeria and Africa.... It has put Nigeria on the world map and redefined African cinema," he said."It is about us, by us and for us.... Nollywood has empowered Nigerians," he added. Older, poorer quality films known as "microwave" movies were being replaced with better productions, he added. "There is a lot of improvement these days," he said.
See him talk about his latest film Tango With Me:
The success of "Nollywood" with its hundreds of films produced annually is also notable for the fact that it receives very little support. Despite that the industry was "viable and profitable" with stars that "take the public with them", added Owell Brown.
International "script doctor" Miguel Machalski will be working this week with the Durban team that developed and co-produced the award-winning feature film, Izulu Lami (My Secret Sky), to develop the script of its follow-up film, Muti Dot Mobi.
Machalski is a Paris-based film script consultant who worked on Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby and the Iranian Foreign Language Oscar-winner, A Separation, as well as Best British Independent Film Award winner Billy Elliott. Machalski arrived in Durban on Monday, May 13 to work on the script of the latest film in development from longstanding Durban company Vuleka Productions, with director Madoda Ncayiyana and producer Julie Frederikse, who are co-writing the script.
Machalski's script consultancy work is supported by the eThekwini Municipality’s International Relations Office and Durban Film Office, as well as Durban's twin city of Nantes and the French city's 3Continents Film Festival. This cooperation between Durban and Nantes highlights the two cities’ relationship around filmmaking. Frederikse and Ncayiyana developed their first feature film at Produire au Sud (Producing with the South) of Nantes, which is also supporting Machalski's script work on Ncayiyana's new film. Machalski's workshop will be held at the Durban premises of Alliance Francaise.
Ncayiyana's debut film, Izulu Lami, which premiered at the Durban International Film Festival, won six international Best Feature Film awards: at the Cannes, Pan-African International Film Festival and the international film festivals of Verona, Italy; Kerala, India; Tarifa, Spain and Zanzibar, and at the African Movie Academy Awards, as well as 2nd Prize at the One World Media Awards, UK. Ncayiyana's short film, The Sky in Her Eyes, is the only South African film to win an official award at the Cannes Film Festival, the Djibril Diop Mambety Prize for Best African Short Film.
It was during Vuleka's unique casting process in 2007, supported by the Durban Film Office and the INK Area Based Management programme, that they discovered the child actors who starred in Izulu Lami and won Best Actor awards at the African Movie Academy Awards, the South African Film and Television Awards and the Tarifa African Film Festival. Tshepang Mohlomi and Sobahle Mkhabase were 13 years and 10 years old respectively when the film was shot. Mohlomi went on to win a second African Movie Academy Award for his role in Sara Blecher's Otelo Burning. He performs at music concerts in KwaZulu Natal and will showcase his vocal talent in his starring role in Muti Dot Mobi.
"The heart of Muti Dot Mobi is the world of entertainment," said director and co-writer Ncayiyana. "Tshepang plays a wannabe performer with a groundbreaking style, featuring an unusual mix of music, from African traditional and gospel to hip-hop and beatboxing. I am confident that he will deliver the powerful acting and singing performance required, as he is a rare young talent and is very serious about his career."
Pamela Douglas will present a three-day syllabus that relies on screening clips and full episodes of shows to demonstrate screenwriting techniques on 16, 17 and 18 August 2013 in Johannesburg.
The writer will discuss why American television is so successful and will elaborate on the global future of TV. There will be time for interactive discussions and participants interested in receiving feedback on their individual projects (such as pilots, how to create original series, working with focused attention on a current series), can consult her.
Douglas has numerous television credits and her work has received awards and nominations from American Women in Radio and Television and The Writers Guild of America, among others. She is a professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles and is the author of the screenwriting book Writing the TV Drama Series. Contact email@example.com for bookings and information.
The countdown to Mediatech 2013 has started and anticipation for the top brands and services on offer this year in broadcast, film and production has begun to build. Professionals involved with content creation and production across various mediums through to transmission can look forward to a dynamic experience and an opportunity to engage with the latest in cutting edge technology.
"Mediatech is the only real broadcasting event of its kind that provides a good forum to network with virtually the whole broadcast industry. It's an opportunity to build relationships and introduce customers to product specialists who can talk in detail about topical technologies and the solutions to address their current and future needs." says Steve Alves, MD of Concilium Technologies who is exhibiting again this year. After NAB, Alves is excited about showcasing new products from Harris, Ross, Telecast, Prodys to name a few, along with some interesting additional products from other partners. "There are just too many great products to mention", says Alves who encourages attendees to visit their stand to view the exciting array of brands on display.
Confirmed exhibitors in broadcast, film and production for this year include:
Touchvision, African Union Communications, Atos, Concilium Technologies, Gencom, Inala Technologies, Jaycor International, Mac Africa, Macro Video, Media Cloud, Movie Vision, Neotel, Penmac Audio Visual, Questek Advanced Technologies, Telemedia, Case Connection, Movie Mart / Media Film Services, Phoenix Fire, Etere.
Exhibitors, Inala Technologies, Telemedia and MovieVision are among a number of companies looking forward to bringing out some valuable international principles. Broadcasters, producers, cinema owners and post production professionals will be able to engage in product expertise from these highly regarded guests and speakers attending Mediatech Africa in July. Inala Technologies will also be exhibiting and demonstrating the newest products from TVLogic, Harmonic, Aviwest, Riedel and Pebble Beach and some well-known names in the industry such as Associated Press, TSL and MOG will also be present. Telemedia's Michael Hall, international sales manager for Crystal Vision Ltd, looks after sales in many countries across the world and is excited to showcase products to visitors in broadcasting and teleports. Says Hall: "Mediatech is a busy show with good connections to the local broadcasters."
The exhibition will take place between 17 and 19 July at The Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg and visitors are invited to register free at the Mediatech website before 7 July to avoid paying R50 at the door.
Where The Road Runs Out, is directed by Rudolf Buitendach (Dark Hearts) and starring Ivorian born actor & Cesar award winner Isaach De Bankole (Casino Royale, The Diving Bell & The Butterfly), South African actor & SAG nominee Stelio Savante (A Million Colours, Ugly Betty) and Saturn award nominee Juliet Landau (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Ed Wood).
The film was shot on location in The Netherlands (Rotterdam), South Africa (Durban), and has also become the first feature film to shoot in Equatorial Guinea. The drama is brought to the screen by Dutch production company Firenze Film, & is line produced by Karin S De Boer (Black Book). The script is written by David Hughes (A Night At The Museum With McFly) with story by Robert Mann & Krystle Stok. Emmy nominee, Kees Van Oostrum (Gods & Generals) is the director of photography.
The international human rights drama was also shot in location in Durban and Rotterdam and has partnered with SOS Children's Villages and The United Nations. De Bankole is repped by Margrit Polak Management, Landau is with Covington International, and Savante is repped by Don Buchwald & Associates and Marshak/Zachary.
The feature has also partnered with special social partner SOS Children's Villages Weltweit, the world's largest charity dedicated to orphaned and abandoned children. And has also partnered with 'The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity'.
In Where The Road Runs Out (Field Station Africa), a Rotterdam based respected scientist and lecturer (Isaach De Bankole) has grown weary of the world of academia. The sudden death of an old friend who has been running a field research station in Africa gives him the incentive he needs to turn his back on his academia and return to his African roots.
Arriving in Equatorial Guinea he finds the field station in a state of disrepair. Through a local boy Jimi, his jaded eyes are opened to the possibilities of life in this rich and colorful place. Jimi also introduces him to Corina (Juliet Landau) who runs the local orphanage and a tentative but heartfelt romance begins. With the unexpected arrival of George’s old friend Martin (Stelio Savante), George discovers there are many obstacles on the road to redemption…and many more where the road runs out.
The 15th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival runs from 6-16 June 2013 in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Africa’s premier documentary event will screen the most-talked about documentaries from around the world, including two 2013 Oscar nominees (The Gatekeepers and How To Survive A Plague) and winners from Berlin (Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present; In Heaven Underground), DOK Leipzig (Colombianos), and Sundance (Queen of Versailles; The House I Live In).
“Documentaries broaden our experience of the world, showing us places few of us would otherwise see,” says new festival director Lesedi Oluko Moche, pointing to a varied line-up that takes you from the biggest home in America (Queen of Versailles) and the world’s richest apartment building (Park Avenue) to one of Jordan’s poorest villages (Rafea: Solar Mama); from the locker rooms of Wimbledon (Venus & Serena) to behind-the-scenes at The Museum of Modern Art in New York (Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present); and from farms in Zimbabwe (The Bag on My Back) to a 130-year-old Jewish cemetery in Berlin (In Heaven Underground).
The documentaries will introduce you to an influential pimp in America (Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp); a divorced Moroccan wedding videographer (Camera/Woman); an Argentinian classical pianist (Bloody Daughter); Colombian immigrants in Sweden (Colombianos); drummers in Africa and Europe (The Fellowship of The Drums); and persecuted female bloggers in Cuba, China and Iran (Forbidden Voices).
This year’s line-up also shines a spotlight on some of the world’s most debated issues, including poverty (Poor Us: An Animated History; Rafea: Solar Mama); the war on drugs (The House I Live In); inter-cultural adoption (Mercy Mercy – A Portrait of True Adoption); HIV/Aids (How To Survive a Plague); and Israel/ Palestine (The Gatekeepers, The Village Under The Forest).
But Encounters isn’t just about looking outwards: there are 13 documentaries investigating Africa. Comrade President profiles Mozambican president Samora Machel, while No Harm Done, which won Best Documentary at FESPACO, is the story of agnostic Tunisian documentary filmmaker Nadia el Fani’s double battle against cancer and a radical Islamist hate campaign.
Hot from Hot Docs, Riaan Hendricks’ The Devil’s Lair will have its African premiere as the opening night film at Encounters. It’s a jarring story of fatherhood, drug dealers and assassinations on the Cape Flats.
Aryan Kaganof’s An Inconsolable Memory follows the story of the Eoan Group from the vibrant era of Cape Town’s District Six to present day.
Dylan Valley’s Incarcerated Knowledge follows a reformed gangster from his release from Pollsmoor as he tries to turn his life around; Shannon Walsh and Arya Lalloo’s Jeppe On a Friday is part Jozi travelogue, part urban allegory.
Mark Kaplan and Heidi Grunebaum’s The Village Under The Forest explores the hidden remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya, which lies under the purposefully cultivated forest plantation called South Africa Forest.
Shelley Barry’s Mr. Shakes – The Passion To Live follows the Port Elizabeth disco king; while Tamarin Kaplan and Marla Altschuler’s award-winning The White Picket Fence Project is a coming-of-age documentary about two young men: one in post-war Kosovo, the other in Gugulethu.
“We’re incredibly excited about this year’s streamlined lineup,” says Lesedi. “Every year, most of the screenings sell-out, so we recommend booking early.”
Encounters is running from 6-16 June 2013 at The Bioscope in Jozi and at Nu Metro at the V&A Waterfront and The Fugard in Cape Town.
Encounters is brought to you by our main sponsors: The NFVF, Bertha Foundation, City Of Cape Town, Wesgro and V&A Waterfront. Guests travel courtesy of Goethe Institut, German Consulate, American Consulate, British Council and French Institute SA.
You can watch and download the trailers at the links below:
For more information, visit www.encounters.co.za.
To stay informed, Like Encounters on Facebook or follow @encountersdoc on Twitter.
- Kagiso Lediga’s new movie Blitz Patrollei (The long arm of the law just got shorter) went into cinemas in South Africa on 10th May 2013 at various recognized cinemas. Blitz Patrollie stars two South African comedians David Kau as Ace Dikolobe and Joey Rasdien as Rummy Augustine as well as Kagiso Lediga as Ledwaba. The movie will also be screened at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival from the 17th May 2013 at Arcades 2.
- The South African Gold, Silver and Bronze winners for The One Show 2013 in the categories for Print, Radio, TV, Posters, Innovative Marketing, Integrated Branding, Design and Interactive was announced last week. Here are the winners
- At Cannes, South Africa's National Film and Video Foundation’s and the Kenya Film Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Two South African films that actor and producer Tony Kgoroge is involved in were well received with packed screening rooms at the The 66th Cannes Film Festival in France.
- Eighteen projects by African filmmakers have been selected for the finance forum of the Durban FilmMart (DFM) which takes place from July 19 to 22 during the 34th Durban International Film Festival (July 18 to 28).
Oh how I love my PVR! After years of being in the advertising and communications business, my husband and I delight in zapping the rubbish ads and moving on to what we really want to watch - the programme! It's a global trend which is resulting in more and more interest being placed on AFP's (Advertiser Funded Programmes) with some really interesting results.
After working for the past eight years on developing CSI advertiser funded content platform, 'Kaelo Stories of Hope', we are being approached more and more to develop relevant programme content for a wide range of forward thinking clients who are feeling the "zap". Clients are asking for strategies and help in creating a meaningful talking point around brand promise and values.
It's a real art to create relevant, meaningful and entertaining broadcast content which has a comfortable space for clients to be integrated. It's an inversion of the classic marketing approach where the brand leads and the story follows. In this discipline - the content always leads and the brand follows, sometimes quite obscurely.
Clients need to get comfortable with the idea that a brand can be built without showing or sometimes even mentioning the brand - but simply through association with relevant content. Great entertainment can be a powerful brand builder.
Branded content development is not a skill necessarily found within the classic industry repertoire - and globally, several independent and global agencies have recognised this, opening dedicated units to explore and concentrate on AFP platforms for clients.
JWT Entertainment have been operating for a decade in this space, and BBH London have branded content as a particular service offering creating a number of short films and inserts for broadcast which have not mentioned a client, but rather sought to spark debate, interest and media coverage for clients indirectly (some great examples on their website). It's clear that the skills here are not about making short 30 second television ads where the brand is king, but creating films of various lengths which really engage the viewer where the content is king.
In the past year, Mindshare Entertainment created an online entertainment series "In the Motherhood" for clients Unilever and Sprint which was picked up by ABC and aired as a half-hour comedy series - demonstrating that the right branded content can also generate revenue and be leveraged through distribution deals on various platforms.
The mind boggles when you think of all the great content which could be created for SABC for example using the branded content and entertainment model!
Branded content and entertainment has also recently been added as an award category in the marketing industry. I look forward to the same being added to our own Loerie or Prism Awards in future as more communication agencies develop the skills and work with some of our great independent local production companies in developing new entertaining content so that I can zap the ads to get to it!
The 38th Assembly of Parties of the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization EUTELSAT took place 15 and 16 May 2013 in Paris, under the Chairmanship of Ms Marta Leandro of Portugal and with Mr Frédéric Labarrere of Monaco as Vice-Chairman. Ms Leandro is a senior expert within the Portuguese communications regulator ANACOM who has represented Portugal in several intergovernmental organisations. Mr Labarrere is Counselllor at the Embassy of the Principality of Monaco in France, where his responsibilities include political and economic affairs.
Three high calibre candidates from Italy, Poland and France were proposed for the position of Executive Secretary. The Assembly elected to reappoint by acclamation Mr Christian Roisse of France for a third mandate of four years from 2 July 2013.
The Assembly adopted a Resolution on the use of satellite to bridge the digital divide, encouraging the 49 Member States of the pan-European organisation to take into account the advantages of satellite-based broadband services for access to internet, in particular when responding to their national, public and institutional needs.
Important matters were considered by the Assembly, including the priority of rights of use of radiofrequencies assigned to EUTELSAT IGO under the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the problem of deliberate jamming and piracy of satellite transmissions, relevant developments in the national, European and worldwide regulatory environment and the future of the use of the C-Band for fixed satellite services.
Sixty-nine percent of the people in the world infected with HIV-AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The situation is particularly dire in the southern part of the continent. And in South Africa, an estimated 17 percent of adults live with the virus. To address the issue, the health research center John Hopkins foundation has created an original and very popular TV show called Intersexions, broadcast on South African public TV channel SABC, that is currently in its second season.
A radiant young bride is getting ready to walk down the aisle, when she hears on the radio that a famous disc jockey is dying of AIDS. He is a former lover, from a long time ago. So what can she do? She has had three lovers in her life. But what can she tell the love of her life, a few hours before their wedding night?
Harriet Gavshon, producer of the hit TV show Intersexions, says that this is the type of situation that drives the HIV-AIDS pandemic.
“The original idea of Intersexions was to try and explain to young people the idea of a sexual network, the idea that once you sleep with somebody, you’re entering a huge network of millions of people you don’t know, so you should protect yourself,” said Gavshon.
Gavshon says, like many popular TV shows, Intersexions hooks millions of people each week with its recipe of love, sex and secrets. But its narrative is different: Instead a set cast of characters, it follows the progression of the evil virus through society.
“Each week we jump into a new milieu, from the city to the rural areas, to the prisons, to a club. You know, every week you don’t know where we’re gonna turn up, because you don’t know where the virus is gonna turn up. You know, not to let anyone off the hook,” she said. “Somewhere along the 26 episodes you will come across someone just like yourself.”
Intersexions‘ innovative story-telling was internationally recognized last year when it won the prestigious, U.S.-based Peabody award, alongside hit American programs like Game of Thrones.
Catherine Chinyani, a nanny working in Johannesburg, is one of the 3 to 4.5 million people who tune in each week. She says that the show strikes a sensitive chord.
“The other one that I watched, it was so touching,” said Chinyani. “Because the nanny was in love with her boss, and later she was HIV positive. Because her boss was saying “no no no no, we can’t use a condom.” Maybe the boss promises to give you a lot of money, and then you get in bed with him without a condom. And at the end of the day, you have the disease, and the money will never help you anymore.”
In South Africa, HIV-AIDS prevalence is particularly high among the young and sexually active: a third of women between 20 and 25 years old are infected by the virus, and research shows that the main driver of the pandemic is risky sexual behavior.
Lusanda Mahlasela, from the John Hopkins foundation, a health research center that initiates the project, says Intersexions’ audience success lies partly in its ability to convey this message without patronizing the audience, she says.
“It’s something we are constantly aware off. And it becomes a fine line between trying to convey the message, and making sure you’re not being judgmental and moralizing,” said Mahlasela.
One of the most contoversial episodes is from Intersexions’ second season: a young lesbian living in a township is gang-raped by a group of thugs set to punish her for her lifestyle, something known as “corrective rape” in South Africa. After her ordeal, she is in the hospital and is visited by a doctor.
“You’re HIV negative,” the doctor says. “Which means we’re right on time to start an ARV course, just in case one of your attackers was HIV positive. By taking ARV you’re lessening your chances of getting the HIV virus, which we call post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP.”
Intersexions‘ main message is health, and it conveys practical information about the disease, how to avoid it and how to get treated. It also aims at triggering discussion about HIV-AIDS. It has a very strong presence on social networks where each episode is animatedly discussed by viewers. Catherine Chinyani also says it makes her think about the disease.
“The other day, it was a guy who was so much in love with women,” said Chinyani. “You know, I’ve got also a son, and it taught me: you know, I should sit down with my son, and let him know: “look at what this one is doing, it’s not good. At the end of the day, he’s got HIV.”
- In May, Franco-German TV channel Arte presented an 82 mins TV magazine on hip-hop and rap, an African-related music and dance movement that started in the 70’s in the Bronx. The movement travelled the World in the 80’s and made strides all over Europe – particularly in France –with Sidney, the first black TV presenter in the country - and across Africa. France and Germany based audiences can watch the replay here for a limited time only:
Afriscope no. 31 in May - June - July 2013 issue also made a special edition on hip-hop. Read it in French here
- South Africa: Cabinet has approved a proposal to review some of the Independent Communications Authority of SA's functions to make it more transparent and accountable.
- South Africa: Red Cherry Media is warming up the season with exciting, value-for-money media and production offerings, one of which is a R320k TV package including the production of an ad as well as a week's worth of TV spots. Their own production facilities, a fully accredited media buying and media planning division ensure that they really do offer you more bang for your buck. Contact Red Cherry Media on 011 807 2531 (JHB and DBN) or 021 447 7232 (Cape Town) and discover how they can make your brand stand out from the clutter.
FRANCE 24 has concluded a new distribution agreement with Tanzanian operator Sahara Media and is now available on Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) in the country.
FRANCE 24 English version in now available as part of the “Continental” offer which comprises seven national and four international TV channels.
This new offer is already available to households subscribing to the service in the cities of Dar es Salaam and Mwanza and will be available nationwide in the coming weeks.
FRANCE 24 English version is also available 24/7 in Tanzania on Star Times (terrestrial pay-TV) and Zuku (satellite pay-TV) while its French version is available on the Multichoice Africa satellite offer.
France’s Institut National de l’Audiovisuel acquired archive of post-genocide Rwanda footage from award-winning documentarian Anne Aghion.
The Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA)—the organization charged with preserving and providing access to France’s audiovisual history—has acquired a unique collection of footage shot between 2001 and 2009 by French-American documentarian Anne Aghion, during the production of her series of award- winning TV and feature films on post-genocide Rwanda. As part of the agreement, INA will provide a full copy of the footage to Aghion, for presentation to Iriba Center for Multimedia Heritage, an archival institution in Rwanda co-founded by the filmmaker.
INA will digitize and enhance the archive and provide global access to some 550 tapes, making up 350 hours of footage. The material was shot primarily in a single rural village, as the Rwandan government put in place the ―Gacaca, a system of community-based tribunals established to judge crimes dating to the 1994 genocide, which claimed 800,000 lives over the course of three months.
The archive is available here
Aghion’s footage is a unique documentation both of Rwandan history, and of a population in the throes of nearly a decade of social reconstruction. About one half of the collection comprises open-air trials, with the rest made up of one-on-one interviews of survivors, defendants and witnesses. Filmed outdoors, as well as in locations including a school and local lock-up, this material shows, for the first time, the long- term process of re-weaving a community’s social fabric after a cataclysm on the scale of the Rwandan genocide.
The footage is mainly in the Kinyarwanda language, as well as in English and French. The materials are fully translated into English, indexed to time codes every 10 to 15 seconds at most.
The agreement with Aghion is part of INA’s policy to expand its collection, and to engage in international cooperation for the preservation of audiovisual heritage. According to Michel Raynal, Deputy Director, Heritage Collections, ―These recordings, compiled with persistence, and made completely outside of the context of breaking news, contribute to the development of common memory. It is precisely within INA’s mission to collect, safeguard and provide access to this memory for new purposes, be they professional or scientific. Taking on this archive was an obvious decision.
Aghion is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including a 2005 Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2008, she released her feature film, ―Ice People,‖ co-produced by Arte and the Sundance Channel, which explores the personal and emotional challenges of scientists in the extreme environment of Antarctica.
ABOUT INA: INA, founded in 1974, gathers and preserves the images and sounds, which form the basis of our collective memory. It authenticates them, gives them meaning, and shares them as widely as possible through its collections and its expertise. The world's number one audiovisual centre for digital archiving and archive enhancement, INA has become the watchword for technical innovation in both these fields. Otherwise, since 2006, Ina is diversifying the means of transmission of its contents to the public: site Ina.fr, mobile, Connected TV, Video on Demand (VoD)... learn more:
Vision Africa, a full-service marketing and stakeholder research company in Namibia, is currently preparing for this year's MediaMetrics survey. Fieldwork for this national study is scheduled to start in June 2013.
Running for the 8th consecutive year, MediaMetrics has become the de facto standard for media consumption and awareness in Namibia. It is aimed at all stakeholders with an interest in media consumption and media preferences in Namibia, offering affordable, reliable and accurate information about target audiences' viewing, listening and reading habits and preferences.
The core of the study looks at socio-demographic info and media consumption (print, radio, TV and outdoor), but includes other measures like top of mind brand awareness, information on sport, entertainment and leisure, as well as cell phone and internet usage. In addition, ConsuMetrics provides a view of consumers' frequency of use, most preferred brands, pack sizes, etc. for a variety of consumer product categories.
Managing Director, Cornelius D'Alton, has indicated that more and more companies are realising the value of proper research in developing their marketing strategies. Any company that would like to spend their advertising money wisely by reaching the correct target market through the correct medium should invest in the MediaMetrics study. Through partnering with each client, Vision Africa is able to delve deep into the available data and obtain relevant and meaningful insights, which can translate into well-planned marketing initiatives to help your business grow.
The SAARF Board decided last year that an international audit of the TAMS panel was necessary to review the methodology, identify any possible shortcomings in the panel as well as areas of improvement and guide the planned multimillion-rand expansion of the panel.
In December 2012, the board appointed the CESP of France, a body that specialises in the audit of media audience surveys, to undertake the audit and the final report was presented to the board on 15 April 2013. The report identified shortcomings in the sampling, weighting and management of the TAMS panel that have led to low efficiencies.
During a three-hour session, the CESP auditors took the board of directors through its 70-page audit report. Based on its auditing verifications and analysis, the overall finding is that the methodology of the South African Television Measurement System corresponds to the international best practices on both establishment survey and TAM Panel and that it is comparable to similar TAMS in other countries.
However, the audit did also bring some serious issues to the fore that needs rectification.
Firstly, by design the current panel is imbalanced, with the over-sampling of DSTV and HD PVR households coupled with the under-sampling of the rural areas (mostly LSM 1-4) although this is corrected by the weighting. Everyone on the TAMS Council underestimated the impact of the unbundling of LSM 5 from the LSM 1-5 RIM Weight, causing a loss of LSM 5 audience to LSM 4. Users of the data had difficulty in understanding the effect of the newly aligned LSM groups and due to the under sample in LSM 1-4, instability in the LSM 1-4 audience was also experienced.
Secondly, the panel does not reflect the national profile of the TV viewing population closely enough. Although this is corrected by weighting, the efficiency of the RIM weighting is low but from the insights gained from the audit, this can be improved. The goal here would be to diminish the large range in weights in order to improve the weighting efficiency. This would work towards improving the audience fluctuations, which have been cause for concern amongst broadcasters and media buyers in particular.
Certain aspects of the panel such as the replacement of households that have been on the panel for more than 10 years will have to be addressed. The replacement of the Eurometers, which have been the backbone of the panel over many years, and the metering of multiple television sets in homes with more than one TV set were also raised as issues needing attention.
Other aspects, such as the downward trend in viewing, will need further investigation. The insights from the audit will also act as pointers in order to establish the reasons for this.
At the request of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the board has met with the TV broadcasters and the board has undertaken to address these shortcomings as speedily as possible and to take all corrective steps necessary to restore the integrity of the TAMS currency.
The board is in the process of engaging with the audit task team on its recommendations and proposed action plan. The audit report and action plan will be released to the wider industry for further consultation on Friday, 17 May 2013.
Due to the complexity of the measurement system, the testing and implementation of all the recommendations along with the further necessary investigations may take as long as a year to complete.
The panel is on the brink of the largest increase in its history in the number of households measured by TAMS. This increase will go a long way to help combat audience fragmentation and to meet other challenges, such as the measurement of time shifted viewing, the viewing of television on numerous other devices and platforms and provide a good framework for TV measurement after the rollout of DTT.
- The opening up of premium sports TV rights to multiple broadcasters could become a reality in South Africa if the Government and regulator turn comments made this week in Parliament into action. South Africa's Communications Minister Diana Pule said she is to issue "a policy directive in the second quarter of 2013/2014 to Icasa to issue a regulation on market definition for wholesale access to premium TV content to address market competition," according to a report in TechCentral.
- African operator group Vodacom said it had delivered “a solid performance” in the year to 31 March 2013, while acknowledging “tough competition across all our markets”. The company identified a number of “key challenges”, including the growth of OTT and instant messaging services, access to spectrum for LTE, and pressures on consumer spending in South Africa. Read more here
South Africa's film industry more than pays for itself with a 2.89 multiplier says the National Film and Video Foundation survey.
The first-ever national study of South Africa's film industry based on verifiable information has shown that in 2012 the industry contributed R3.5 billion to the national economy.
The research, commissioned by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), and conducted by Deloitte, found that the industry 'more than pays for itself' with payments to the South African Revenue Services (SARS) of more than R670 million, a figure R420 million more than the estimated R250 million Film and Television Incentive paid by the Department of Trade and Industry in 2012.
The industry created a total of 25,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2012, and, showed a multiplier of 2.89. That means that for every R1 spent in the film industry, an additional R1.89 is generated in the industries that service the industry and ancillary industries.
"The multiplier of 2.89 places the local film industry at ‘mid-range’ when compared to the economic contributions of 99 other industries within the country. The top five industries (drawn from financial services; public administration; electricity distribution; insurance and pension funds and coal and lignite mining) had GDP multipliers of between 3.71 and 3.52, whilst the bottom five industries multiplier effect were between a high of 1.42 and a low (engines and turbines) of 0.99," said Judy Prins Leader of Deloitte Sport, Media & Entertainment at Deloitte.
"For the first time we are able to articulate what returns there are for government's investment in the film sector. The data collected with this research will allow us to focus our strategies on the efforts most likely to bear fruit for the South African economy.
"Not only do we now have data to make informed investment decisions but we are also encouraged that the efforts put into the sector are now paying off," said Zama Mkosi, NFVF CEO.
Also of significance, the film industry has grown 14% per annum over the past 5 years. "We know the film sector plays a vital role in social cohesion. Now we also know that with ongoing and additional support - from government and private investors - the film sector can continue to contribute to government's goals of job creation and poverty alleviation," said Mkosi.
Discussing the results of the NFVF research, Prins said that as there was no central database of information regarding the South African film industry, a multi-pronged approach was required to collect data to obtain an accurate picture of the industry. This involved the Department of Trade and Industry, which administers the South African Film and Television Incentive available for film-makers in the country; a national online survey; and, meetings with key stakeholders.
A value chain analysis was also done as part of the study of the South African film industry, which revealed key trends and issues within the industry. Referring to this, Mkosi said that "despite the significant investment government has made into the film industry through the DTI incentive, producers and film-makers still face challenges in securing equitable partnerships with foreign film producers. The South African film incentives rank amongst the least competitive film incentives in the world to encourage foreign film-makers to film in South Africa, coming 24th in the rankings behind countries like New Zealand, Mexico and Germany.
Despite the fact that the local industry grew, it had to deal with significant challenges such as small cinema-going audiences; high exhibitor costs; short flighting windows available for their films; decreasing DVD revenues thanks largely to a thriving pirate trade (and to a lesser degree to the effects of online downloading, streaming and video-on-demand); a lack of funding available for development and production costs; a lack of distribution incentives; and, little international presence."
"Despite major challenges in the value chain, the industry has shown the commitment and ability to adapt, survive and grow. The industry has grown 84% in the past five years and there is no doubt that it will continue to be an active industry in the future," concludes Prins.
To view or download a complete document of the economic baseline study, click here
Wananchi Group-owned East African pay TV platform Zuku has added 11 new channels to its offering after striking a series of carriage deals.
The new channels include short movies service Shorts TV, the first time the channel has been available in Africa, and Hindi movie channel UTV Movies, which airs Bollywood blockbusters from UTV’s own library as well as other movie studios. Zuku is also adding own-branded channels Zuku Swahili Movies, which will air a wide range of East African movies subtitled in English to be accessible to non-Swahili speakers, and Zuku Movies Max HD, a new HD version of the existing Zuku Movies Max channel. Zuku is also launching a one-hour time-shifted version of Zuku Movies Max.
Other new channels on the plaform include Indian food channel Zee Khana Kazana from Zee TV and African music channel 1Music. The latter was already available on Zuku’s cable platform but has now been added to its satellite bouquet for the first time.
Zuku has also added two new sports channels: Setanta Action, which focuses primarily on combat and action sports, and its own Zuku Sport HD, an HD version of the Zuku Sports channel that includes programming from UK club TV services Arsenal TV and MUTV, as well as live motorsports and coverage of athletics, basketball, boxing and mixed martial arts.
Zuku is also adding news channels CCTV News from China Central Television and DW News from German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
From CCTV, Zuku will also carry documentary channel CCTV9 and general internet channel CCTV4. The latter is in Mandarin, with some programming subtitled in English.
Zuku has taken additional capcaity on the SES 5 satellite to accommodate the expansion of its platform.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the new portfolio of channels we are able to offer Zuku’s audiences. The spectrum of content acquired through these new carriage deals further reinforces our mandate to provide the market with excellent range, relevance and value for their money,” said Hannelie Bekker, managing director of Wananchi Programming.
- A screening of anti-xenophobia films were been held by the Johannesburg based non- governmental organisation, African Diaspora Forum, on 18 May to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the victims of the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
-Feathered Dreams, starring Nollywood's Omoni Oboli, is the first film produced in Ukraine with African film markets in mind. The company behind the film Kiev-based Highlight Pictures has also produced such feature films as Lovers in Kiev and Synevir. Feathered Dreams is based on a true story of Sade, a young medical student from Nigeria who dreams of a career as singer. Challenged by many circumstances of life as a foreign student in Kiev, Sade perseveres with confidence and supported by her Ukrainian boyfriend Denis.
- Supported by DSTV and the National Film and Video Foundation, and representing South Africa at the global market, the Blitz Patrollie team returned home from Cannes’ 2013 festivities with news of the conclusion of the film’s deal with sales and production company Picture Tree International.
The Zambian Government has not yet awarded a contract for the supply, delivery and installation of terrestrial digital migration to Star Software Technology of China. The Chinese firm, also known as StarTimes, has emerged as the preferred bidder.
Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent secretary Amos Malupenga and StarTimes have clarified separately that the tender process had not yet been concluded.
Malupenga said though StarTimes had been selected as the preferred bidder by the ministerial committee and the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA), the contract had not yet been awarded.
“StarTimes has been picked as a preferred bidder by both the ministerial committee and ZPPA as indicated in the advertisement in the Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia that appeared on April 25 and 26, 2013.
“It does not mean that the company has been awarded a contract for the project as the tender procedure has not been completed,” Mr Malupenga said.
He said during a media briefing that the ministry, in accordance with tender procedures, had given other bidders that were not picked the right to appeal within 10 days after the publishing of the notice.
He said two companies had so far appealed against the decision and that the ministry was waiting for the third appeal before the close of business.
“After we receive the appeals from the companies, a committee would be appointed to look into the complaint and if the matter would not be resolved by the appointed committee then ZPPA will have the final say,” Mr Malupenga said.
StarTimes project manager, Ken Xie said the process of awarding the tender had not been concluded.
Five Chinese companies bid for the tender to supply, deliver, install and commission the terrestrial digital migration.
They include Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corporation, Gospel Digital Technology Company Limited, and King Tai investments Zambia Limited.
The ministry said the other companies were rejected based on partial quantities, omission of items, and non-compliance to the technical specification and bid security, among other reasons.
The Communication Commission of Kenya is set to shut down seven more broadcast transmitters belonging to Royal Media Services, just months after another crackdown and an ongoing legal tussle.
The regulator put a public notice on unauthorised use of frequencies by Citizen TV in Nanyuki, Menengai hill, Narok, Maili nne in Nyahururu, Kilifi, Kitui and Mwingi.
CCK has given 30 days to the company to stop using the frequencies or it will take the measures at its disposal. Director general Francis Wangusi said on the phone the seven transmitters are new discoveries made in its recent audit.
"We will use our regulatory power to shut down these transmitters," he said. The self-allocated frequencies, according to Wangusi, are on the reserved guard bands. A guard band is an unused part of the radio/TV spectrum between allocated bands, for the purpose of preventing interference.
So even if RMS rightly applied for the frequencies, they are not available for allocation to any operator. According to the Kenya Information and Communications act, Cap 411A, operation of radio services without a licence is an offense that attracts a fine of Sh5 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.
In February, the Commission switched off 17 unauthorised transmitters operated by RMS, seized equipment and sought from the office of Director of Public Prosecution to start criminal proceedings against the proprietor S.K. Macharia.
RMS moved to court to stop CCK from shutting down more frequencies, return the seized equipment and halt the criminal proceedings, but it lost the bid.
Justice Lydia Achode ruled that the commission had acted within the law in seizing the illegal transmitters. "We have the evidence against him, we are expecting the DPP to take them to court," Wangusi said.
This is not the first time, RMS and CCK are at loggerheads. CCK says between 2008 and 2012, RMS acquired 24 frequencies illegally which are still in operation because of a standing court injunction on it by RMS.
CCK adds earlier (2002- 2006) the company had grabbed 77 frequencies. These were regularised after government intervention. The annual fees for TV is Sh360,000 while for radio it is Sh136,000 for each frequency.
The Portfolio Committee on Communications has applauded Sentech for exceeding the targeted 80% DTT population coverage four days before the targeted date. As at 28 March 2013, the state-owned company had attained 80.43% population coverage.
The DTT project is a key national project, yielding an array of benefits for the country. In addition to improved television viewing, DTT will enable e-services to be provided thus bringing services such as health and education to the homes of ordinary people. Furthermore, with DTT, Parliament will also have an opportunity to interact and connect with the community it serves.
With this DTT promise, the Committee further reiterates its position that access to information is a constitutional right, which must be enjoyed by all citizens. In this respect, the Portfolio Committee on Communications has urged the Department of Communications to lead the industry in a national strategy that will ensure 100% geographical broadcasting coverage.
The Committee further advises Sentech to ensure that in further rolling out the digital network, rural communities are prioritised. The Committee therefore takes comfort in noting that Sentech’s digital broadcasting network will enable every household in the country (both rural and urban) to have access to digital television .At its appearance before the Portfolio Committee on Communications on 26-27 March 2013, Sentech reaffirmed that the 80% network rollout focused more on rural areas, with the additional 62 DTT sites located in rural communities.
With the Gauteng and Free State province now completely covered, upon receipt of set-top boxes, more citizens will now have access to digital television. Sentech has further affirmed that the full provincial rollout will be attained by 31 March 2014. This will comprise 88% terrestrial population coverage, with the remaining 12% of the population covered via satellite.
- e.tv, the South African free-to-air television channel has set up e On Demand, a catch-up service that allows you to watch some of our past programmes online for free. Catch upon episodes and seasons you’ve missed or discover brand new shows online. Full episodes of select shows will be available to watch on your computer, tablet or cell phone. To watch e On Demand register for a free account here , and watch eKasi Scandal and many more shows.
- The SABC will repay its government-guaranteed loan of R1bn in full within the next few months, communications minister Dina Pule said on Tuesday. Introducing her budget vote debate in the national assembly, Pule said the public broadcaster was accelerating its payback plan. Full story here
Google reportedly in talks with South Africa and Kenya regulators to build wireless networks on TV airwaves
Google is reportedly working on a way to connect more people around the world to the Internet, specifically those in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the search engine company is looking to build wireless networks in emerging networks through TV airwaves, making it possible to connect where wired Internet isn’t available.
It’s believed that Google will be partnering with local companies to build out these networks. It has been talking with regulators in South Africa and Kenya to look at the current laws in the country to see if this network can be built “en masse.” Sources tell The Wall Street Journal that Google has also been working on new microprocessors and low-cost Android smartphones to help those that can’t afford devices that many in more resource-rich countries can.
This isn’t the first time Google has explored being a good global company. At the Google I/O developer conference, co-founder and CEO Larry Page spoke at its keynote and said “technology should do the hard work, so people can get on doing the things that make them happiest in life.”
The Fifth SADC Digital Broadcasting Migration Forum took place on April 15-17, 2013 in Swakopmund, Namibia. The main objective was to review the implementation of the SADC Roadmap for Digital Broadcasting Migration in the SADC Member States and to address challenges in meeting the SADC Analogue Switch Off (ASO) deadline of December 31, 2013.
Delivering the keynote address, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) of Namibia, Hon. Joel Kaapanda expressed his satisfaction that the SADC Region has made notable progress on the DTT migration and having been the first in Africa to: Set up a Regional Implementation Steering Committee, Establish the minimum specifications for low cost free-to-air (FTA) set top boxes (STBs) and Set up a DTT Project Management Office (PMO).
In her welcome address, SADC Senior Programme Officer for Information and Communication Technology (ICT),Mrs. Cecilia Mamelodi Onyadile, noted that SADC was the only Region in Africa that had developed a Regional DigitaLTerrestrial Television (DTT) Roadmap and appealed for continued support for the work of the SADC Secretariat.
The Forum discussed the issue of Digital Sound Broadcasting Standards and the 700 MHz Channeling Plan as requested by the SADC ICT Ministers in their meeting convened in November 2012 in Balaclava, Mauritius.
In general, Member States presentations on their status of the implementation of the SADC Roadmap indicated that they were at different stages of the DTT migration. While some Member States have recently made significant strides however, challenges were noted and this resulted in slow progress in the rollout of DTT. The Forum reviewed the pertinent issues of the Digital Dividend associated with the impending migration in particular the appreciation of the opportunities ushered by the Migration to DTT and made the following recommendations:
That a Progress Report capturing the status of Member States in the implementation of the SADC Roadmap prepared by the Forum be presented to the Ministers Meeting on the 23rd of May 2013 in Maseru, Kingdom of Lesotho.
Member States are to duly complete the DTT PMO Questionnaire on the implementation status of the SADC Roadmap by 3rd May 2013.
Member States are to send their requests for technical assistance on DTT Broadcasting Migration from the DTT PMO to the SADC Secretariat by the 3rd May 2013.
SADC Member States are to duly complete the SADC Digital Dividend Frequency Spectrum Stock Taking (694-862 MHz) Form and submit the same before the 3rd May 2013.
The Forum received the status report on the operationalisation of SADC DTT PMO to be a special desk under the auspices of the SADC Secretariat with the primary objective to be the one-stop-shop for advice, co-ordination, monitoring, evaluation and reporting on the implementation of the SADC Roadmap for Digital Broadcasting Migration. It has been identified as an instrumental component of the institutional arrangement for the effective, successful and smooth implementation of DTT broadcasting in the Region and it will be manned by experts seconded from Angola, Botswana and South Africa. It will be responsible for assisting all SADC Member States to meet the SADC ASO deadline or the international deadline for DTT broadcasting migration.
A proposed US bill, if signed into law, could result in American pay-television subscribers being able to pick and choose the channels they want to subscribe to. But before South African consumers get excited by the idea, MultiChoice warns that the model is simply not feasible.
US senator John McCain has introduced a bill that proposes forcing cable television operators to allow Americans to subscribe to only the channels they choose rather than having to pay for bouquets of channels, many of which they never watch.
The prospect of paying only for the channels they want may sound appealing to consumers, but industry players warn it could actually end up costing viewers more than a monthly subscription.
McCain introduced the bill in the US congress last Thursday. It’s called the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 and, if signed into law, will prevent the bundling of TV stations, allowing users to create their own à la carte bouquets of channels.
The bill is expected to face fierce opposition from broadcasters. McCain tried to push through similar legislation in 2006, but it failed to gain traction.
MultiChoice South Africa CEO Collins Khumalo tells TechCentral that allowing consumers to create their own bouquets presents an enormous “administrative challenge” because pay-TV operators need to have systems in place to allow consumers to change which channels they’re subscribed to, along with complicated billing systems and increased call centre capacity to deal with queries.
“The even bigger theoretical problem is that customers say they’re paying around R600 now, and they have around 100 channels, so they believe they should pay around R6/channel,” Khumalo says. But, he says, it makes more sense to think in terms of pay-per-view models where consumers pay for individual movies or sporting events.
“If someone in the UK wants to watch a football match on pay-per-view, they pay between £7 and £10. If you then translate that into rand and consider what it would cost to watch an entire season’s matches, paying R600 for all the matches would actually work out cheaper.”
Khumalo says the à la carte approach would also undermine the diversity of content MultiChoice could offer. “When there are new channels coming onto the platform, they get told we have a million subscribers on the Premium bouquet. It’s part of how we attract quality content.”
If customers could pick and choose their channels, MultiChoice would have limited incentive to pay for the rights to show less popular content.
“The much more radical example is looking at a newspaper,” Khumalo says. “You can’t pay for only the sports section if that’s all you want to read. The bundling element makes it much more affordable than it would be if each element stood alone.”
Were South Africa to try and institute the sort of bill being proposed in the US, Khumalo says it would undoubtedly face strong opposition. Moreover, he says, were such a bill to come into effect, the consumer would be the ultimate loser as they would end up paying more than they do now.
The communications minister has told parliament that a government policy that mandated that set-top boxes support a control system for digital terrestrial television would be reviewed.
Communications minister Dina Pule surprised parliament on Tuesday, announcing that she’s decided to review the policy on the set-top box control system for digital terrestrial television so that its inclusion would no longer be mandatory.
The issue of set-top box control has delayed the roll-out of digital terrestrial television for a year. This is after e.tv took issue with a decision by the minister that state-owned Sentech would manage the control system. The free-to-air broadcaster took Pule’s decision on review to the high court, which found in its favour late last year.
Among other things, government wanted to use the control system to ensure that government-subsidised decoders were not resold outside the country.
Pule told parliament on Tuesday that the review of government’s position on the control system was “one way of fast-tracking the roll-out of digital terrestrial television”.
However, it was not immediately clear if this meant that the tender for the manufacture of subsidised set-top boxes would still make inclusion of a control system mandatory. Pule’s spokesman, Siya Qoza, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The minister had been waiting for e.tv and the SABC to put together a proposal of how they intended to manage the control system.
- In South Africa, total data traffic on Vodacom’s network has increased 40% year on year, according to group CEO Shameel Joosub, with average monthly data usage per smartphone user now at 139M. Joosub believes video on demand will also be a growth area for mobile operators in future, though he adds that it’s essential that South Africa gets a move on with its migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television that that spectrum can be freed up for fourth-generation (4G) mobile networks. The deployment of 4G, he says, is a precursor to offering consumers services such as Internet protocol television. Vodacom would consider partnering with pay-TV operators such as MultiChoice, which owns DStv, or On Digital Media, which owns TopTV, “when the time is right”.
- DTT: South African media company Kagiso believes Icasa must ensure equitable access to content for newcomers and that set-top boxes offer interoperability — which will allow consumers to access diverse service providers’ content using a single box. It also wants new pay-TV operators to be allowed “open window” broadcast periods — similar to what M-Net used to offer with Open Time — where they can broadcast to non-subscribers. Open window viewing periods reduce marketing costs for new players and allow consumers to sample services before committing to paying for them. Source: techcentral
6-23 June 2013
Encounters - South African International Documentary Film Festival
Capte Town, South Africa
Encounters is Africa’s premier documentary event, celebrating its 15th edition in 2013.
For more information click here:
26-27 June 2013
Broadcast, Film & Music Africa 2013
Kenyatta International Conference Centre Harambee Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya
Theme: Building a world class electronic media industry in Africa.
For full details click here:
17 to 19 July 2013
Mediatech Africa 2013
Venue: Coca-Cola Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg, South Africa
The biennial advanced technology trade show has positioned itself as the largest and most prestigious event of its kind in Africa for the media and entertainment industries.
For more information click here.
18-28 July 2013
the 34th edition of Durban International Film Festival (DIFF)
Venue: throughout Durban
South Africa’s longest-running film festival presenting over 290 screenings of current films from around the world, with strong focus on South African and African cinema.
For more information click here.
19-22 July 2013
4th. Durban FilmMart 2013 (DFM)
Venue: the Blue Waters Hotel in Durban, South Africa
The DFM is a large annual co-production and finance market, a joint programme of the Durban Film Office and the Durban International Film Festival with principle funding from the City of Durban. For more information clcik here.
August 12-17, 2013
Lola Kenya Screen 2013
Annual international film festival, market and production workshop for children and youth. Includes news, photo and video galleries, and more. For more information click here:
7-10 Oct. 2013
Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France
One of the largest global markets for entertainment content across all platforms. Reknown African producers and distributors will have some presence this year, esp. from South Africa. For more information click here:
12-19 Oct 2013
African Film Festival of Cordoba – FCAT
Venue: Cordoba, Spain
The main African film fest in Spain.
For more information clcik here.
24th of October until the 1st of November 2013
Africa in Motion (AIM) – Scotland African Film Festival
Venue: Scotland, Edinburgh
A large festival aimed at introducing African cinema to Scottish audiences. The call for entries for the annual AiM Short Film Competition is open, with a deadline of 31st May 2013 to send your films.
For more information clik here
exact dates tba, Novembre 2013
Film Africa 2013
Venue: London, UK.
The UK’s largest annual festival of African cinema and culture.
For more information clcik here.
exact dates tba, Novembre 2013
Kenya International Film Festival 2013 (KIFF)
For more information clcik here.
6 to 8 November 2013
Discop Africa TV
Venue: Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The largest content market and co-production forum in Africa.
For more information clcik here.
18-19 November, 2013
Middle East’s Entertainment Content & Media Marketplace. Find out more here
SA's sci-fi siren set to seduce Hollywood
A week after her latest novel, The Shining Girls, hit the Sunday Times Bestseller list in the UK, Lauren Beukes began negotiating film rights to the book.
This is on top of South African movie producer Helena Spring acquiring rights to Zoo City - Beukes' previous novel, which won the Arthur C Clarke and Kitschies Red Tentacle literary awards.
The Shining Girls centres on a time-travelling Depression-era drifter, Harper Curtis, who must murder the "shining girls" - bright young women who possess some alluring, but unnameable, quality that makes them burn with potential - in order to continue his travels.
Speaking about the film rights, Beukes said: "It's four offers on the table - plus three other inquiries, but they're very serious offers and we're hoping to close a deal very soon."
She added "Winning the Arthur C Clarke award for Zoo City put me on the map with big publishers.
"It helped to have a brilliant agent and a cool concept for the new book - all of which were factors in the perfect storm of the five-way bidding war over The Shining Girls at the Frankfurt Book Fair."
Joburg, Chicago, share similarities
Beukes, who has lived in Chicago, felt she knew the city well enough to use it as the primary location of The Shining Girls.
Besides, she noticed quite a few similarities between Chicago and Johannesburg, the city where she was born, including "government corruption, violent crime and segregation, but it's also an incredibly bright and vibrant city with amazing architecture and friendly people".
Setting the book in Joburg would have distorted the story, she said.
"It's a book about time travel and I was primarily interested in the 20th century.
"If I'd set it in South Africa, apartheid would have overwhelmed the story, when I wanted to talk about a lot of other things, from women's rights to the rise of the skyscraper, the loops and tangles of history - the issues that come up again and again."
Her next novel, Broken Monsters, will be set in Detroit.
The Shining Girls is published by Umuzi, Exclusive Books, R185.
Source: The Times/wikipedia, via I-Net Bridge, by Andile Ndlovu
17 May 2013.
Congratulations to the winners at SAMRA Conference 2013!
People’s Choice Award: Sangeeta Gupta and Andrew Vincent, for Insight Simplicity
Best First Time Speaker: Andries Noeth, for Real-time Measurement
Best Overall Paper:
Bronze – Neil Higgs, for Do We Have an Effect?
Silver – Vanessa Maritz, for Between Fact and Fiction
Gold – Andries Noeth, for Real-time Measurement
Thank you to all the presenters, the guests, the delegates, and the organisers for a wonderful conference! SAMRA was established in 1963 as a voluntary association of marketing researchers. The SAMRA Board, which consists of ten elected representative seats, manages SAMRA. There are four regional branches in South Africa based in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. Namibia also has a small branch.
Academy award-winner Forest Whitaker turns in a solid performance as a cop searching for the murderer of a white teenager in the movie ‘Zulu’, a violent and often shocking portrayal of South African gang culture where traces of apartheid still linger.
An AFDA Johannesburg Honours (2012) student film won the Edge of Your Seat Audience Award for the best thriller at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth held in April in Seattle, Washington.
Call for entries: Al Jazeera Pitching Forum at Encounters
On Saturday 15 June 2013 in Cape Town, two commissioning editors from Al Jazeera will listen to pitches from 16 African filmmakers. Each person has a maximum of five minutes to pitch their film, with an additional 10 minutes allocated for feedback and questions from the panel. Visual aids will be provided for those that have DVDs or presentations during the pitch.
This is the second year in a row that Al Jazeera has hosted a pitching session during Encounters. In 2012, Mayenzeke Baza pitched Ndiyindoda: I Am A Man, which went on to screen on Al Jazeera earlier this year.
Interested parties should send not more than:
· A one-page synopsis of their film
· A one-page biography of the filmmaker, including complete contact details (telephone no, city of residence, home and work address)
To: Nikissi Serumaga (firstname.lastname@example.org) on or before 4pm, Monday 27 May 2013.
Selections will be confirmed by Friday, 31 May 2013.
Please note that all participants who have been selected to pitch must be available for a one-day pitching workshop that will take place on Friday, 14 June 2013.
The Al Jazeera Pitching Forum takes place on Saturday, 15 June 2013 at the Protea Breakwater Lodge, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
Al Jazeera English is an international news channel, holding over sixty bureaus which span six different continents. Since being established in 2006, it has continued to grow in reach and popularity due to its global coverage, especially from under-reported regions. The channel currently broadcasts to over 250m households across 130 countries. Its in-depth approach to journalism has won it numerous awards and plaudits over the years, including RTS News Channel of the Year 2012, Freesat Best News Channel, the Columbia Journalism Award, a DuPont award, and a George Polk award.
Al Jazeera is one of the world’s leading media corporations, encompassing news, documentary and sport channels. It was the first independent news channel in the Arab world dedicated to covering and uncovering stories in the region. It is now a media network consisting of over 20 channels – Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera Balkans, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera Mubasher, Al Jazeera Documentary, the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, and the Al Jazeera Center for Studies.
Dominique Young: A senior producer based in Al Jazeera English’s bureau in London, Young commissions a wide range of documentaries on African and Middle Eastern subject matter, for broadcast in the channel’s flagship observational documentary strand, Witness, as well as other documentary seasons.
Witness broadcasts one 25’ film and one 48’ film each week. Witness films are character-led, first-person stories which set the context to the daily news agenda and provide an insight into key events of the day as they impact on the lives of ordinary people. Witness documentaries are inspirational and provocative with a global resonance and appeal. As far as possible, Witness stories are told by local filmmakers, as Witness aims to showcase the work of established and emerging documentary talent from around the world.
Diarmuid Jeffreys: An award-winning journalist and television producer with 30 years’ experience in the media industry, Jeffreys has been an executive producer at Al Jazeera English since 2008. Now based in Doha, he is responsible for its People & Power investigative current affairs programme and a range of other documentaries across the network. In 2011, that output also included several films as part of AJE’s much praised coverage of the Arab Awakening. In the last three years his programmes have won an Amnesty Award for Best Television Documentary 2010, the Rory Peck Best Features Award 2011, Best Documentary 2011 from the Human Trafficking Foundation, and a 2013 Silver Medal for Best Investigative Documentary at the New York Film Festival. They have twice been commended in the Best Investigative Documentary category by the Association of International Broadcasters. In May 2012, another series, Africa Investigates (in which African journalists target corruption and human rights abuses across their continent), won a One World Media Award.
With a new half-hour edition every week and broadcast throughout the year, People & Power pursues stories from all over the world; combining hard-hitting, revelatory and incisive television journalism with high quality filmmaking, probing deep into stories of global significance and investigating everything from political and corporate wrongdoing, human rights abuses and the origins of conflict to the plight of the world’s most vulnerable peoples. Over the last four years it has filmed everywhere - from Pakistan to Peru, from the USA to Afghanistan, from South Africa to Brazil, and especially across the Middle East as it has produce award-winning coverage of dramatic events in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Algeria and elsewhere.
For more information, visit www.encounters.co.za.
Cape Town: The Animation School offers a 3 yrs Diploma
Situated in Cape Town, The Animation School offers a three-year full time Animation Diploma. Since its launch in 2000, the school has established itself as the leading specialist animation training institution in South Africa. Its students consistently win top honours at various award ceremonies and its graduates have been employed by leading studios.
Students and graduates of the The Animation School have won numerous prestigious local and international awards validating the quality of animation training offered by the school. Our numerous accolades include Vuka Awards, NTVA Stone Awards, Gold World Medals at The New York Festivals 2011 and an Emmy.
The Animation School is South Africa’s leading internationally accredited Animation and Visual Effects training centre, and it consistently produces qualified Digital Animators with practical skills in the creation of 3D-Animation and Visual Effects. The Animation School equips students with cutting edge animation training enabling them to become highly qualified and sought after animation professionals.
In close collaboration with the industry, and by continually improving the skills and resources needed for offering locally and internationally recognised certification, aligned to the relevant South African National Qualifications Framework Qualifications and Unit Standards, plus 24-hour access to the latest professional technologies, the school aim to develop a pool of creative talent from which the animation industry worldwide can draw.
Its instructors have to be both highly qualified and have a diverse range of production experience. Simply teaching from a textbook is simply not good enough.
The school’s core staff faculty includes award-winning professionals who have excelled in both digital 3D and classical animation techniques. While visiting instructors and regular presentations from local and international studies, The school ensures that it is always up to date with industry trends and requirements of a constantly changing industry.
Bizcommunity is pleased to announce a worthy winner of the ticket to attend McCann Johannesburg's Portfolio Night initiative coming up this Wednesday, 22 May 2013, as judged by Biz creative director Terry Levin!
The National Film and Video Foundation have opened a call for proposals for first time filmmakers to make their first films.
The 15th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival runs from 6-16 June 2013 at the Bioscope in Johannesburg and at Nu Metro V&A Waterfront and The Fugard in Cape Town.
On Saturday 15 June 2013 in Cape Town, two commissioning editors from Al Jazeera will listen to pitches from 16 African filmmakers. Each person has a maximum of five minutes to pitch their film, with an additional 10 minutes allocated for feedback and questions from the panel.