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Issue no 190 - 23 October 2014

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  • What is really happening on the TV landscape in Africa currently ? If one person knows about this market in-depth, both from a producer and TV channels’ points of view, it is Bernard Azria, CEO of Cote Ouest. Bernard Azria has over thirty years experience in the African audiovisual industry. In 1983 he founded Nelson Mc Cann, the first network of Marketing and Communication Agencies in Francophone Africa, affiliated with the McCann Erickson group.

    In 1997, he set up Cote Ouest Audiovisuel in Abidjan which has become a point of reference for the distribution of audiovisual programmes across Africa. In 2010 he opened an office in Mauritius that deals with Anglophone markets. 

    Sylvain Béletre, analyst at ‘Balancing Act’ interviewed him ahead of Discop, the ‘MIP TV’ of Africa.

     

     
    Q. In the African territories you cover, where do you see the most significant growth for media services?

    A. In anglophone countries, Nigeria, Kenya and Africa are far ahead. In North Africa, Morocco is a leader. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Senegal seems to be the most advanced among francophone countries. We also witnessed growths in Cameroon and Gabon.
     
    Q. Will the African countries you know reach the June 2015 DTT(1) deadline? if not, why?

     
    A. It seems that this is the case in Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Senegal. However, everyone expects a 6-month extension to the original deadline, bringing it to 17 December 2015.
     
    Q. How many free TV channels should DTT bouquets include for a given African country?
     
    Q. It depends on the number of multiplexes. A multiplex can typically carry six channels in high definition (HDTV) or 20 channels in standard definition (SD). For example, Senegal  provides 4 multiplexes carrying 19 local channels, including the national channel that is considering the possibility of broadcasting in high definition. Obviously in each country DTT operators will offer free and paid services. It is clear that profitability will come from pay DTT. Pay DTT service will play a key role since it won’t require any change to the antenna coupled with an affordable decoder (STB – set box) or with a DTT-equipped TV set. That will help with the development of more sophisticated and suitable offers such as VoD.
     
    Q. Should DTT bouquets include international TV channels and radio stations?

     
    Yes, of course, because if we take the example of Senegal, nearly 80 channels will be offered to all Senegalese homes and the local TV production industry does not have the capacity nor the will to edit all 80 local channels. Therefore international or regional channels will be part of the TNT offer.
     
    Q. Should governments allow foreign players to fund and supply DTT content and platforms?
     
    A. It seems that it is already happening in some countries, and it is a threat to the industry. DTT raises very significant difficulties: Technical, logistical and financial. The transition requires raising a very large capital , which may exceed EUR 100 million, and of course difficulties in terms of sourcing content.  Everyone is preparing as best they can to meet one or other of these three challenges. Today it seems that only a Chinese group has been approaching some African governments with an offer solving those three problems. If this offer is attractive, it also carries a danger that one can imaginable. DTT is not a technological revolution, it is a major revolution for the cultural and economic future of Africa, it is an opportunity for Africans to finally build their own destiny in the audiovisual sector. This opportunity at intersection of cultural and economic concerns. Let private groups kidnap this chance would be a terrible mistake!
     
    Q. When you talk to African TV channels, do you feel their executives are fully aware of the upcoming changes in the African media landscape and the consequences for their business model? Are they ready for it?
     
    A. Of course everyone is aware of the digital transition. Whether they really understand the issues, and if they are really prepared for it is another question. But we do think that some players clearly understand what will happen and are getting prepared for this war. For this is a war!
     
    Q. How should African governments fund DTT? (e.g. through new telecoms licences?) will it happen?
     
    A. Obviously, models vary from country to country, and of course it takes shape as a tender with equipment companies, operators’ license and funding agencies, etc. Of course, we understand the need for funding and obstacles to prevent the status quo of some governments who are being cautious and thus opt for ready-made solutions by a Chinese group. Otherwise, we will also see funding through licenses. DTT Technology is only a tool, the challenge lies in profitable models and operation of this tool.
     
    Q. In theory, should African governments fund part of the national TV content (incl. films, news, docus and series) and why? Will it happen?
     

    Government support for quality national content must exist, because it is vital for the development of the national audiovisual sector. This sector is strategic for the future of Africa. But for countries that rarely did receive this support, the transition to DTT makes it mandatory, essential and urgent. Failing this will not lead to a domination of African programmes but to an invasion and a crash. As already mentioned, this is a historic opportunity for Africa; failing to understand it and letting foreign interests prevail at the expense of the national interest would be making a tragic mistake in history.

     
    Q. Do you see a growth in the African TV and film production segment? is quality improving?

    A. Yes indeed, we have noticed an improvement in both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the « made in Africa » TV and film production segment. But it is not enough. Quantitatively, it is when DTT but also the DTH and Broadband will come to full maturity that we will see the amount of hours needed to satisfy audience and channels’ need. Today it is still insufficient. Yet in terms of quality, we're confident that the level will grow rapidly. Because the thirst for African content is not only felt in Africa but also beyond its borders. And our belief is that Africa is a wealth of talent still completely unknown and untapped.
     
    Q. Is DTH an essential part of the digital migration process in Africa and why?

     
    A. DTH is not essential, but it will grow. There are operators currently in place that can offer DTH services for every home at very affordable terms using DTH and broadband.
     
    Q. Do you see VoD service usage grow in those African regions you know? 
     
    A. A complete blur reign on VOD services. To our knowledge, VoD content for African is mostly consumed by people outside of the African continent. We believed that consumption of VoD from the African continent today is very marginal. This is mainly due to the problems of bandwidth and cost of the so-called bandwidth. It seems that the consumer will pay much less to the VoD platform than what he will pay to the operator for the cost of data transfer.
     
    Q. Will Africa go through the same media usage patterns as in the Western and Asian World: decline of traditional press, radio/TV persistent, VoD/TV catch up/replay boom, digital advertising growth?
     
    A. It is likely but not certain that we follow the same path. Certainly we are in the continent of orality (the use of speech, rather than writing, as a means of communication), and it is certain that the press has never had high penetration. It is certain that radio has the strongest media outreach with an uneven penetration. Certainly TV in all its forms (tv = remote and vision = watch with the inclusion of tablet, laptop, mobile) remains king. Certainly young Africans do not differ much from young Ukrainian, Chinese, or New Yorkers: they are eager and curious. It is certain that there will be a time when Africa will be catching up on digital usage in lightning speed. Africa is fortunate not to have an old infrastructure needing destruction to get a brand new digital network. Africa will soon be technologically in par with Western countries. In the light of these observations, we're heading towards the same pattern.
     
    Q. Is pay TV too expensive for large African audiences? will prices come down in the coming years and why?
     
    A. With the proliferation of offers it is expected that services will be sold at a few dollars a month and we are convinced that the future of television in Africa will go through "paid services". I want to take as an example a service launch in which I was personally involved when I was working at McCann. This was the first launch of mobile service in Francophone Africa. It was in the early 90s and the strategic vision of the operator was to launch a product for businessmen from the elite, millionaires, leaders etc. Only after the launch did we realised we had there a mass service and that the real market was in the mass market. Today, in order to keep their mobile phones, people are going without anything else. Spending around US$ 5 per month per individual from disadvantaged classes is nothing extraordinary.

     
     
     

    Q. How will DTT offers compete with pay TV?
     
    DTT will offer free channels (must-carry obligation) and will be paid by channels and/or governments. But above all it will offer pay packages. And the question that arises is how Pay TV on DTT services will compete with pay TV via DTH.

     

    Note: (1) DTT means digital terrestrial television. Also written DTTV.

    Legend:

    Q.=question

    A.=answer

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    Digital Content Africa: Balancing Act's web TV channel Smart Monkey TV has launched a new e-letter called Digital Content Africa. On a fortnightly basis, it covers online film, music, publishing and services and applications. We have already produced 25 issues and these can be viewed on this link: Essential reading for those in broadcast or film. If you would like to subscribe, just send an email to info@balancingact-africa.com with Digital Content Africa in the title line.
    Here are some examples of past issues below:

    You Tube provides a platform for piloting new TV series: An African City and Al Bernameg light the way

    Licensing delays stall Kenya’s “i-Tunes” content platform on a Raspberry Pi but end may be in sight

    The Mobile Deal that is keeping Africans from having more music, film and TV on their mobiles

    Online film, music and TV content in Africa – In search of the elusive business model


    Video Clip Interviews - This week:

    Abukar Abba Tahir on Gotel's plans to launch the Al Jazeera of Africa from Abuja

    Michael Wanguhu on a TV series that follows Kenya's marathon runners in the USA

    Khalid Shamis' film The Colonel's Stray Dogs about the Libyan opposition in exile who went back

    Kene Mkparu, Filmhouse on having 25 cinemas in Nigeria by 2019

    Director Abey Esho on the trials and tribulations of shooting the web/tv series Festac Town

    Ulrich Stark on how broadcasters can make money on social media platform Wezwa

    Man on Ground Akin Omotoso on his latest film a rom-com called Tell Me Sweet Something

    Director of Dr Bello, Tony Abulu on his next film Superstar slated for release in March 2015

    Evert van der Veer, Head of Comedy Central, Africa on the South African comedy scene and programmes they make

    Three competition winners talk about the film they'll make for Afrinolly's Cinema4Change

    Mandy Roger on exclusive African content coming on Pana TV inc a Basketmouth series

    Jason Njoku, iROKO on launching its production arm ROK Studios to test film and TV series

content

  • The Lifetime channel (DStv channel 131) has a number of original movies and a new two-part mini-series lined up for viewers in December.

    Houdini
     Adrian Brody stars in this two-part mini-series about Harry Houdini, a famous illusionist and escape artist. Houdini tells the story of the immigrant from Eastern Europe as he finds fame, engages in espionage, battles spiritualists, and encounters the greatest names of the era.
    Houdini airs on 11 and 18 December at 20h00.

    Pastor Brown
     A dying pastor asks his daughter to leave her life as a stripper and take over as head of his Church. She accepts but must face critics and the sister and son she deserted many years before. The film stars Sallie Richardson-Whitfield, Keith David, Ernie Hudson, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Nicole Ari Parker, Rockmond Dunbar, and Michael B. Jordan.
     Broadcast date: TBC.

    Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever
     Based on the internet meme sensation which garnered over four million Facebook friends, Lifetime original movie Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever follows the infamous character and his sour outlook on the holidays.
    Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever airs on 24 December at 21h35.

    Liz and Dick
     Lindsey Lohan and Grant Bowler play Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in one of the greatest love stories in Hollywood history. From the time they met on the set of Cleopatra, Taylor and Burton played out their roller-coaster relationship in front of the world and left their respective spouses, married and divorced, only to remarry and divorce once again.
    Liz and Dick airs on 7 December at 20h00.

    Source: Screen Africa 16 October 2014

  • The rapid spread of new technology in Africa is changing the way people get news and entertainment.

    Mobile internet and the growth of television is forcing those in more traditional media to adapt in order to remain relevant.

    Traditionally, radio has been what vast numbers turn to keep informed - so how is it coping?

    BBC World Service presenter Alan Kasujja, who has worked at radio stations across East Africa.

    He returned to Kenya where there used to be a single state broadcaster to find an unrecognisable landscape.

    First broadcast on the Today programme on 20 October 2014 Listen here.

    See also:

    Cyprian Josson on his online radio channel Nollywood Radio

  • Morocco has withdrawn its right as hosts of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations due to fears over the spread of the Ebola virus that has hit the West African region.

    The news comes a day after round four of qualifiers were played with Algeria and Cameroon almost certain be to confirmed as the first two nations to secure their place at next year’s tournament.

    Reports say, Morocco is prepared is prepared to deal with any consequences that their decision to pull out as the 2015 AFCON hosts may have.

    The Moroccan government’s initial request to postpone the tournament to later in the year was rejected by the continental football organising body last week.

    They have since proposed that they swap the 2017 hosting rights relinquished by Libya or postpone the tournament to 2016, but CAF had not responded, which forced them to make the withdrawal announcement on Thursday 16th October 2014.

    CAF has urged South Africa and Ghana to prepare to jointly host the competition while negotiations continue with Morocco.

    Source: CRTV 16 October 2014

  • The Royal African Society’s annual Film Africa festival will screen 85 films, including 24 premiers from across 23 different African countries, from 31 October to 9 November in London. The Royal African Society is an organisation which fosters a better understanding of Africa in the UK and throughout the world.

    Tala Hadid’s The Narrow Frame of Midnight will open the festival while Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu has been selected as the closing film. Other noteworthy films featuring at Film Africa are: Olivier Delahaye and Dani Kouyaté’s Soleils, Sana Na N’Hada’s Kadjike, Noaz Deshe’s White Shadow (executive produced by Ryan Gosling), Hicham Lasri’s They Are the Dogs, and Dieudo Hamadi’s National Diploma.

    Sheila Ruiz, Manager of Film Africa, says: “The films in this year's festival continue to reveal new images and nuanced narratives of Africa, which we know London audiences are eager to see and engage with. There is really something for everyone and we look forward to yet another successful festival!”

    The year 2014 has been a benchmark for a number of African countries, which will be reflected in the film programme.

    The festival will host a nation-wide slate of iconic South African films titled ‘South Africa at 20: The Freedom Tour’. The line-up includes Lionel Rogosin's 1959 classic Come Back, Africa, the award-winning Four Cornersdirected by Ian Gabriel, and Rehad Desai’s controversial documentary Miners Shot Down about the 2012 Marikana massacre.

    In celebration of 60 years of independence in Algeria, Film Africa 2014 will present a programme of Algerian films which highlight the creative work of a new generation of courageous filmmakers. Titled ‘Algerian Cinema: Towards a New Wave’ the programme is testament to the country’s shifting filmmaking landscape.

    A number of documentary filmmakers will portray their interpretation of African literary and music scenes in this year’s film programme, which includes UK and London premiers of Silvia Voser’s Ken Bugul – Nobody Wants Her, Rachel Samuel’s Asni: Courage, Passion & Glamour in Ethiopia, Lebogang Rasethaba’s Future Sound of Mzansi, and Mário Patrocinio’s I Love Kuduro.

    Zeinab Badawi, chair of the Royal African Society, says: “Film Africa 2014 is presenting a variety of powerful and compelling narratives from the continent on film. I think Film Africa is doing a marvellous job in bringing untold stories to the fore.”

    Other Film Africa 2014 programme highlights include:

    • The Industry Forum at the BFI: a free event which informs on the business of African cinema
    • The Baobab Award for Best Short Film
    • Film Africa LIVE! music nights featuring the best African music in London
    • A schools screening programme
    • A spotlight on Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) African cinema
    • Female filmmakers and women-centred stories
    • Over 20 filmmakers and guests in attendance

    Film Africa 2014 will take place across 11 venues, including the Hackney Picturehouse, Ritzy Brixton, BFI Southbank, Ciné Lumière, Rich Mix and the South London Gallery.

    Visit the Film Africa website for more information.

  • In the interest of acquiring new and original content for its channel, M-Net (DStv channel 101) invites content creators and production companies to pitch ideas for an original unscripted show, to potentially feature as part of their programming line-up in 2015. Pitching is open to the entire industry and will commence in October 2014.

     M-Net director Victor Eckard, "Since changing the landscape of South African television in 2001 with Big Brother South Africa, the country's first local version of an international reality show format, M-Net has continued to raise the bar with highly-acclaimed, first, exclusive local entertainment in HD, but now it's game on to find 'the next big thing'. We can't wait to see where this open pitch will take us."

     The selection process consists of a ten minute face-to-face pitch with M-Net’s commissioning team in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Participants are advised that show ideas should have a high production value and speak to the needs of DStv Premium viewers. This means content needs to be slick, sophisticated, unpredictable, unique and entertaining for the entire family.

     "What we definitely don't want is anything that is dated, old-fashioned or anything we've seen before. It's M-Net, after all," adds Eckard.

     While M-Net is definitely looking for compelling new reality shows, other unscripted genres will also be accepted.

     Producers and format creators who would like to book a time for their pitch or read through the full brief can visit the pitching web page . Concept submissions must be sent via this online form. No hard copies will be accepted.
     Once the online submission is completed, producers will be contacted by the M-Net commissioning team to confirm a time slot for their pitch.

     Contact Qama Mase via email on qama.mase@mnet.co.za for more information.

  • Footage of a badly burnt woman being berated by a crowd in Nigeria has been watched hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube.

    The film begins in a blur. An angry mob and a policewoman can just be made out, gathered in a circle on the dusty ground. As the camera finds its focus, the grim reality becomes clear. In the middle of the circle sits a woman, almost naked, her body bloodied and burnt.

    The title of the video, "Flying Bird turn into old woman in Oshodi", doesn't appear to explain the disturbing scene, but its description, and a local news article, combine to create an unusual narrative. Eyewitnesses quoted by the newspaper say a black bird had been flying in the sky over Oshodi, in Lagos, before striking an electrical cable, falling to earth and transforming into a woman. The same eyewitnesses say she confessed to being a witch.

    The video, uploaded to YouTube on October 10, has been watched more than 215,000 times, and the figure is still growing fast. Similar videos of the distressed woman, shot by other members of the crowd, have also gained tens of thousands of views. Much of the reaction online suggests many believe the theory, and the film has even been the subject of comedy spin-offs on YouTube. But many express anger and concern as well: "This is truly barbaric," reads one, and "it is a cover up [for] murder," says another. The woman in the video died shortly after it was shot, as police took her to hospital.

    Banke Idowu was one of those who filmed a video of the woman - in her case she was asked by a journalist friend to go to the scene. She tells BBC Trending that as she arrived, she was told about the metamorphosis by others in the crowd. She herself believes the explanation of witchcraft. "I've never seen it in real life, but I've heard about it and seen it in films, so when they said it happened, I believed it." Asked if she failed in her duty to protect the woman, Idowu says that in stepping in, she would have been putting her own life at risk. "Some people may think you belong to the same cult, and they may end up attacking you."

    The journalist friend who asked her to visit - Adeola Fayehun - is based in New York, and heard what was happening on Twitter - showing how quickly news of the incident spread on social media.

    Kenneth Nwosu, a police spokesperson, is unable to shed light on the events preceding the video. "We got a call that the mob was surrounding a woman at a bus stop. The priority was to save her life," he says. In the film an official can be seen beating the crowd back with a branch. The police took the woman to hospital, but say she died on route. Nwosu says an autopsy will be performed to establish the cause of death. As yet, she remains unidentified, and no arrests have been made.

    Accusations of witchcraft remain common in this part of the world says Hermione Harris, a social anthropologist at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. "In a secular society like ours it's very hard to grasp a belief in supernatural forces." But the notion of witches and wizards is embedded in a form of Pentecostal Christianity that is popular in Nigeria, she explains.

    In New York, Fayehun is hopeful that the exposure the film has received on social media will start to change the way people behave in future. Whatever the crowd believed had happened to the woman, they still had a responsibility to help her, she says. "Now the video is out there, the people who were involved will start to rethink their decisions in situations like this."

    Source: BBC Trending 19 October 2014

  • Rwanda's parliament has condemned the BBC for broadcasting a documentary which questioned official accounts of the 1994 genocide in the country. It approved a resolution calling on the government to ban the BBC in Rwanda and to charge the documentary-makers with genocide denial. To read the full story please click here.

  • Using Adaptrum’s ARCS 2.0 TV white spaces radio, MyDigitalBridge says its pilot network in Namibia achieved speeds ranging from 5Mbps to 10Mbps.

    MyDigitalBridge Foundation says it has successfully trialled the world’s biggest TV white spaces (TVWS) project.

    Working in partnership with Microsoft and Adaptrum, and with support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Millennium Challenge Account, the foundation carried out the trial in late August as part of Namibia’s Citizen Connect TVWS pilot project.

    ‘White spaces’ refers to radio spectrum that exists between airwaves that were mainly used for terrestrial TV broadcasting (470MHz to 790MHz). As broadcasting moves to digital, this spectrum is freed-up creating so-called ‘Digital Dividend’ frequencies that can be used to cost effectively rollout mobile broadband, particularly to rural and remote areas.

    Citizen Connect aims to provide a blueprint of nationwide broadband internet connectivity. The TVWS pilot consisted of a network deployed across a 9,424km² area covering several regional councils as well as a number of schools in northern Namibia. It’s claimed this makes it the biggest white spaces project of its kind in terms of area coverage.

    At the University of Namibia’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos Campus in Ongwadiva, the trial demonstrated the connection of three regional council offices in Oshana, Ohangwena and Omusati, 28 schools, and seven education circuit offices. All has a link distance of 8km to 10km, with two links at 12km.

    MyDigitalBridge says typical speeds ranged from 5Mbps to 10Mbps with the help of Adaptrum’s ARCS 2.0 TVWS radios, and provided users access to a wide range of voice, video, and data applications. The demo also included high-resolution Skype video-conferencing from three locations, each connected to the internet.

    The next steps are to enhance the network’s operational efficiency and to trial video teaching, e-content distribution, and peering between the connected sites. The foundation says it envisions the video streaming of maths classes using one qualified teacher to reach 20 to 30 schools.

    The deployment of TVWS technology in Africa falls under Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative. This was launched in February 2013 to actively enable African economic development using relevant, affordable and accessible technology.

    In collaboration with local public and private sector partners, Microsoft is currently piloting TVWS projects in Kenya, Limpopo, Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana.

    Source: Connecting Africa 16 October 2014

broadcast

  •  Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the overall CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year at the 2014 Awards ceremony held at Mlimani City Conference Centre, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 18 October 2014. His winning work ‘Images of Terror’ documents the experience by Westgate Mall shoppers in Kenya, when the mall was attacked by gunmen in September 2013. ‘Images of Terror’ appeared in The Standard, a daily Kenyan newspaper, and was selected out of entries from 38 African countries.

     Mathenge said: “It’s a great honour, and I’m humbled to receive this award. All finalists who are here deserve this award. I hope it will motivate men, women and children of goodwill all over the world to fight terrorism. Memories fade with time, but pictures don’t. We felt it necessary to capture each and every moment so that generations to come may see the horror.”

    As the top winner, Mathenge receives a cash prize and a three-week visit to CNN Centre in Atlanta to participate in the CNN Journalism Fellowship. All finalists receive a cash prize and an iPad Air, with runner-ups receiving an iPad mini.

    Winners in the individual competition categories are:

    Culture Award: Obinna Emelike, Business Day, Nigeria
     Title: ‘The roads between us…..a journey across Nigeria’

    Coca-Cola Economics and Business Award: Sean Christie, Freelance for Landbouweekblad and The Mail & Guardian, South Africa
     Title: ‘Zimbabwe's Forests Go Up in Smoke’

    Environment Award: Patrick Mayoyo, Daily Nation, Kenya
     Title: ‘Ice on the Equator’

    Francophone General News Award for Print Media: Safia Berkouk, El Watan, Algeria
     Title: ‘Pourquoi l'impôt rebute les Algériens’

    Francophone General News Award for Electronic Media: Daniel Biaou Adje, ORTB Benin
     Title: ‘Et pourtant, c'est lui qui avait raison’

    Press Freedom Award: Bheki Makhubu, Swaziland

     Mohamed Amin Photographic Award: Joseph Mathenge, Freelance for the Saturday Nation, Kenya
     Title: ‘Images of Terror’

    MSD Health and Medical Award: Olatunji Olalade, The Nation Newspaper, Nigeria
     Title: ‘This marriage will kill me – Tragedy of Nigeria's child brides’

    Portuguese Language General News Award for Print: Bento Venâncio, Jornal Domingo, Mozambique
     Title: ‘Corrupção no Património do Estado (série de cinco reportagens de investigação, publicada em diferentes datas)’

    Portuguese Language General News Award for TV / Radio: Brito Simango, Televisão de Moçambique, Mozambique
     Title: ‘Xibejani’ (Rinoceronte), Caça furtiva do elefante arruina o Parque’ Transfronteriço do Grande Limpopo.

    Sport Reporting Award: Evelyn Watta, sportsnewsarena.com, Kenya
     Title: ‘Inside Senegal’s mythical Wrestling heritage’

    GE Energy and Infrastructure Award: Joy Summers and Susan Comrie, M-Net Carte Blanche, South Africa
     Title: “Game of Geysers part 1 and 2”

    News Impact Award: Anne Mawathe and Rashid Ibrahim, Citizen TV, Kenya
     Title: ‘Veiled Injustice’

    Nico Meyer, CEO MultiChoice Africa, said: “Congratulations to all the 2014 winners, we are proud to recognise your excellence in journalism and to reward you for your courage in telling stories that would have otherwise remained untold. We believe the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards has had a profound effect on the African media landscape and as MultiChoice Africa we remain committed to recognising excellence in journalism throughout Africa. We applaud all the nominees and winners for contributing to Africa’s growth and success.”

    Imtiaz Patel, Group CEO of MultiChoice South Africa added: “I would like to thank all of the journalists who have entered this competition and in doing so have helped further develop this award as a platform for excellence in journalism. Your dedication and commitment to tell stories that reflect the reality of our world is very encouraging. A special congratulation to the winners announced tonight. Your work echoes a great future for the role of the journalists and serves to further strengthen the role of the media in Africa. You are indeed all winners and an inspiration to us all – you have made us very proud.”

    Source: Screen Africa 19 October 2014

  • Fire In The Blood, winner of eight international awards, screens in two parts on Al Jazeera English, channel 406 on DStv, on Friday, 31 October and Friday, 7 November at 20:00. After 1996, Western pharmaceutical companies and governments blocked access to low-cost generic AIDS drugs for the countries of the global south.

    This caused 10 million or more preventable deaths.

    Fire In The Blood is the untold story of the unlikely alliance which came together to stop this ‘holocaust against the poor’ and save millions of lives in the process. The documentary was shot in eight countries on four continents, with contributions from global figures such as Bill Clinton and Joseph Stiglitz, as well as African human rights icons like Desmond Tutu, Peter Mugyenyi, Edwin Cameron, and Zackie Achmat.

    Director Dylan Mohan Grey says, “Whenever anyone asks me what Fire In The Blood is all about, I always say it’s about the crime of the century. I felt totally compelled to make this film because the historian in me first could not believe, and then could not accept, that there was not a single film or even book in circulation which told this endlessly fascinating and important story ...”

    Oscar winner William Hurt narrates the devastating documentary, which was released theatrically in the USA, UK, Ireland and India, where it set an all-time record for the longest theatrical run by any non-fiction feature film.

    Leading film magazine Empire called it “a film to provoke fury … It’s the arrogance and greed of the drug tycoons that leaves a lingering impression, as they conspired to allow ten million to die simply so that they could maximise their profits.”

    The problem continues today, as the World Trade Organisation continues to block the importation of generic drugs in many countries because of a trade deal known as the TRIPS Agreement.

    Source: Al Jazeera  21 October 2014

  • The brand new DStv Premium channel M-Net Edge, which will take television connoisseurs to the edge of entertainment from 20 October 2014 at 19:00, will be the future home of HBO in Africa. M-Net has signed a milestone agreement with the renowned US television network to screen all first-run HBO series, as well its iconic library material, exclusively on M-Net Edge.

    When M-Net Edge launches on DStv's channel 102 next week, the HBO classic The Sopranos will be a fixture on the schedule on weekdays at 22:00, while viewers will also be able to enjoy the fifth and final season of the highly acclaimed Boardwalk Empire, the period drama starring Steve Buscemi, which has garnered a long list of prestigious awards over the years.

    In a revolutionary move, M-Net Edge has furthermore created weekend binge-sessions of drama series that previously only occupied late-night slots on M-Net. All prior spectacular seasons of Game of Thrones will be screened on Saturdays from 21:00 before the latest venomous power struggles of Westeros hit screens world wide in Season 5. These Game of Thrones catch-up sessions will include five episodes back-to-back in one go.

    Among the other HBO shows that will premiere on M-Net Edge at a later stage are new seasons of The Newsroom, Veep, Girls, Silicon Valley, The Leftovers and Looking. But that's not where the good news ends: anyone who has been waiting for the chance to watch gut-wrenching or hard-hitting masterpieces like Rome, Banshee and The Wire again, will love M-Net Edge's plans for 2015.

    "The deal with HBO is a great coup for us," says Victor Eckard, Director: M-Net and M-Net Edge. "Throughout the world, HBO is well-known for its groundbreaking, cutting-edge and superior quality productions. Their shows are a perfect fit for the bold new M-Net Edge which aims to delight discerning viewers with risque, yet classy, series. This fantastic partnership also allows us to bring the best HBO series to our shores much faster and you'll know where to find them first — on channel 102."

    "It is great to see M-Net Edge adopt the 'Home of HBO' model. It has proven to be successful in many other countries around the world," said Charles Schreger, President Program Sales for HBO. "We are thrilled to have such a valuable partner like M-Net embrace the HBO brand in this way."

    As part of its promotional campaign to launch M-Net Edge, the legendary Iron Throne from Game of Thrones was brought to South Africa. Some of the country's biggest stars, passionate Game of Thrones fans – and even politicians such as the Western Cape's Premier Helen Zille - have already taken their seat in this piece of television history.

    Source:Dstv Network 16 October 2014

  • The November event is looking to return with new vigor following three years of turmoil

    Maps to the Stars and Goodbye to Language have been added to the lineup for the upcoming Cairo International Film Festival, which is set to run Nov. 9-18.

    The David Cronenberg and Jean-Luc Godard titles join an international list of films, including John Boorman’s Queen and Country and Diplomacy from Volker Schlondorff.

    The festival is due to kick off with The Cut, Fatih Akin’s drama about the 1915 Armenian genocide that stars Tahar Rahim.

    Having been canceled in 2013 and in 2011 because of Egypt’s two major revolutions and largely seen to have fallen by the wayside as compared to other, newer regional festivals such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the Cairo International Film Festival, now putting on its 36th installment, is seen as experiencing something of a reinvigoration.

    Last year, it appointed veteran Egyptian film critic Samir Farid as director, and he immediately brought in acclaimed local directors Yousry Nasrallah and Ahmad Abdallah to the festival’s board, also forming a festival team made up of young filmmakers and critics. The response from the region has largely been one of enthusiasm and optimism about the festival's return.

    "Samir Farid has got a great team of young people who come from different backgrounds and add a lot, helping make the festival more diverse and more organized," Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy told The Hollywood Reporter. Hefzy was behind the recent Egyptian hit Excuse My French, which recently screened at the BFI London Film Festival. "I think the programming is going to be fantastic. They’re great programmers, they love film, they’re hungry," he adds.

    Among the regional films appearing at the festival will be Palestine’s Oscar entry, Eyes of a Thief, directed by Najwa Najjar and starring Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga. Both are set to attend.

    "What I appreciate most about the revival of the Cairo Film Festival is that in spit of all the political changes and upheavals, culture and cinema survives in the country which pioneered and advanced cinema throughout the Arab world," said Najjar, also pointing to the fact that the festival is only one in the whole of Africa and the Middle East to be accredited by FIAPF.

    Source: Hollywood Reporter  22 October 2014

  • South African makes top 10 in global film scoring competition. South African, Alun Richards, has been placed in the top 10 in the Vienna Symphonic Library International Film Score Competition with his composition for a scene from The Wolfman, starring Anthony Hopkins and Benicio Del Toro. Read the full story here.

    Leoanrdo DiCaprio's production company Appian Way have teamed with Netflix to release the gorilla documentary Virunga. The wildlife film, directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, follows park rangers as they struggle to protect gorillas in Africa's oldest national park. According to Deadline, the film is part investigative journalism and part nature documentary as the rangers get caught in the crossfire of poachers, militia and developing industries. 'Virunga' will be available on the streaming service from November 7. Read the full story here.

distribution

  • CodeBlack Films, a division of leading global entertainment company Lionsgate, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Times Media Films to distribute films in South Africa. Times Media Films holds approximately 44% of the film distribution market in South Africa and supplies films to Nu Metro, Ster-Kinekor and a number of Independent cinemas. Its distribution also extends into East and West Africa.

    The deal encompasses guarantees for five films and a mid-six figure guarantee for each film distributed.

    Traditionally CodeBlack has focused their efforts the US marketplace, producing smaller budget movies which cater to the African-American audiences. After identifying content popularity in other territories, via YouTube and other social media platforms, the company is now looking to expand into South Africa and the UK.

    According to Variety Jeff Clanagan, CodeBlack’s president and founder said, “There is a significant audience over there that is looking for African-American content. Through social media and grassroots strategy we’re going to work with our partners to build these markets.”

    Source: Screen Africa 21 October 2014

  • Tata Communications, a leading provider of A New World of Communications™, and PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider, have signed a high definition video conferencing (HDVC) interconnect agreement to interconnect the two companies' IPX and MPLS networks via a Network-to-Network Interface (NNI). This will allow both companies to offer global enterprise customers enhanced network data services and the highest quality HD video conferencing capability.

    This bilateral HDVC interconnect agreement is the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. It builds on the existing relationship between Tata Communications and PCCW Global, which began with the companies working together to deliver Voice over IPX in 2013. The addition of the MPLS NNI interconnection extends this relationship with expanded network capabilities for data and video, thereby allowing both companies to access each other's extensive global fiber-based MPLS networks. PCCW Global and Tata Communications' respective enterprise customers now have the ability to connect directly in HD video with customers, suppliers and employees around the world through a faster, higher quality data connection. The interconnection will also enable customers of both companies to access a variety of applications (voice, data and video) regardless of their location and have the opportunity to expand their reach globally with increased access to destinations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

    Mr. Rangu Salgame, Chief Executive Officer, Growth Ventures & Service Provider Group, Tata Communications, said, "There is a clear shift towards an open ecosystem between telecom providers in the Asia Pacific region. Providers are now aligning and interconnecting their networks so traffic can travel between their networks seamlessly and at the highest possible quality. For service providers and end-users, this means better service, better technology and unprecedented reach. This partnership creates new access routes for enterprise customers making video a daily business tool, boosting the pace of business across the region." Mr. Marc Halbfinger, Chief Executive Officer, PCCW Global, said, "Together with Tata Communications, PCCW Global has played a vital role in making HD voice a central part of business communications in Asia Pacific.

     With our new agreement to interconnect IPX and MPLS via NNI, we have the ability to unlock additional opportunity for businesses both in the region and the world, by making video call and conferencing a central part of current communications portfolios and by leveraging the extensive coverage capability and quality of service capabilities of IPX." The two interconnections between Tata Communications and PCCW Global are based on MPLS Network-to-Network Interface (NNI) and IPX connectivity platform. Underpinning this platform is Tata Communications' global MPLS network, supported by its wholly-owned fiber optic subsea cable ring around the world, which brings the reach and reliability needed to interconnect mobile service communities globally. Tata Communications is a Tier 1, top five IP carrier with a reach to 74 IPX On-Net PoPs across 40 countries* ensuring maximum reach for the global community of interconnected MNOs. PCCW Global provides MPLS, IPX and VoIPX in over 130 countries, making PCCW Global one of the largest IPX providers with the most local access connections worldwide. PCCW Global's portfolio of services includes an extensive list of global voice destinations and HD Voice over IPX with a high level of quality of service on a wide-reaching MPLS, Ethernet and full IP voice network.

    Source: Company Press Release

  • French pay TV giant CanalPlus hopes to make the grade with the Friday launch of A+, a new pan-African entertainment channel.

    The Vivendi unit called the channel’s programming lineup “vast and varied, like the continent of Africa,” and said the channel will be “made by Africans, for Africans.” It will be available in 20 countries across West and Central Africa starting Oct. 24.

    “A+ is committed to supporting the development of African cultural industry,” said CanalPlus Overseas president Jacques de Puy.

    Framing itself as aspirational and “decidedly optimistic,” the channel will focus on programming from soap operas to magazine shows, reality, game shows, comedies and films. It will particularly look to reach female viewers and the 15-25 youth demographic. Viacom and other U.S. entertainment companies have looked to expand in Africa amid a growing middle-class and demand for entertainment offerings.

    Chris Rock’s Everybody Hates Chris and Brandy’s 1990s sitcom Moesha will be among the programs. The American comedies will air alongside French-language ex-con drama Tundu Wundu and Pango & Wally, about a couple grappling with modernization, and English-language casino drama High Rollers and Adams Apples, about the daughters of a diplomat. An English-language Sex and The City- style dramady from Ghana, An African City, is in the works for 2015.

    Locally-produced reality offerings will include the Universal Music co-produced Idol-esque Island Africa Talent with contestants from 12 French-speaking countries competing for a record deal, the continent’s first kitchen competition show Star Chef and style makeover show Blackamorphose.

    The channel will also support and contribute to local productions and feature shows in French, English, Portuguese and Wolof and bring in shows from Angola, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Senegal, South African and Ghana.

    It will also air locally-produced films, including 2009’s Burkina Faso production Une Femme pas Comme les Autres (A Woman Like No Other) and 2004 French-Canadian-Senegalese co-production Madame Brouette (Mrs. Wheelbarrow), romantic drama hits from Nigeria’s prolific “Nollywood” including Passion Devorante (Consuming Passion) and Sacre Liaison (Sacred Liason) as well as Hollywood films with African-American stars including Will Smith’s Hitch.

    CanalPlus has had a presence on the continent for 20 years and is now available in 30 countries with 1.1 million subscribers. A+ will be available as part of the Canalsat Access pay-TV package.

    Source: The Hollywood Reporter 22 October 2014

  • Video on Demand mobile streaming service available as an Android app via the Google Play store or as an app on select set top boxes in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and 27 other African nations, Aflix has introduced an Affiliate Partner Programme which aims to provide an opportunity for participants to earn recurring revenue while introducing Africa’s newest and most exciting VOD service to the market.

    In a statement, the firm announced affiliate programme subscribers will earn recurring monthly commissions, Value Added Service, offer Aflix with their existing products as well as have access to Aflix executives to help them drive subscriber numbers.

     “Aflix’s affiliate programme is an extension of our dream to empower people while providing quality entertainment to our African audience. This kind of programme presents us as socially responsible business, which we are, as we do not just seek to get but also to give back even before we have started getting,” said Director of Business Development, Nyasha Mutsekwa.
     
    Mutsekwa said the move will help create extra revenue to the youth especially those using internet platforms. These move will also help the firm market itself through the affiliate program without spending on anything. Aflix has huge competition in Africa and as a new entrant, running an affiliate program alone might not give it much standing against its competitors that have huge content catalogues already.

    Chief Executive Officer of Vonetize, Noam Josephides whose company builds and operates various premium content services on smart TV and connected devices platforms; and whose Aflix is based on its SmartVOD offering, said: “Africa is on the verge of booming with new and exciting content offerings, based on a growing penetration of broadband and wireless connectivity.The affiliate progarmme will afford the users within the continent the opportunity to truly get empowered while also getting world class quality movie entertainment.”

    Source: TechMoran 22 October 2014

  • Flower Girl, a Nollywood film produced by Blu Star Entertainment, has taken four awards out of nine nominations at the 2014 Nollywood Movie Awards. The ceremony was held in Lagos, Nigeria on 18 October.

    Flower Girl was nominated for Best Movie, Best Lead Female, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Director as well as Best Cinematography, and won awards for Best Editing, Best Sound Design, Best Soundtrack and Best Set Design.

     Directed by Michelle Bello, the romantic comedy tells the story of a florist who collaborates with an ambitious movie star to help get her boyfriend to propose to her and fulfil her dream of walking down the aisle. The film is written by Jigi Bello and stars Damilola Adegbite, Chris Attoh, Blossom Chukwujekwu.

    See an interview with Michelle Bello, director on the link here:

    Source: Screen Africa 21 Ocotber 2014 

investment

  • StarSat (previously known as TopTV) is still at risk, according to new owners Star Times Group. The new owners say that South Africa has been reluctant about the pay-TV broadcaster’s new ownership.

     Star Times’ chairman Xinxing Pang says that despite the formal business rescue of the pay-TV broadcasters, subscribers have been lost and the extremely lengthy business rescue has still not been finalised.

    South Africa’s foreign ownership laws (for broadcasters) limit the stake China’s Star Times Group can hold to 20 percent. Consequently Star Times has been somewhat constrained in what it can do despite it owning 65 per cent of the economic interest in the broadcaster.

    Source: Advanced Television Website 15 Ocotber 2014

  • Nigeria's booming digital video film industry popularly called Nollywood has the commercial potential of a big film industry and has attracted the interest of the IMAX Corporation, one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies, specializing in immersive motion picture technologies.

    The worldwide IMAX theatre network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event Hollywood films around the globe, with IMAX theatres delivering the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR technology.

    Nigeria has all the opportunities and possibilities for any serious investor in new markets for global film distribution and even with less than 70 screens without any IMAX cinema, Nollywood has made Nigeria the second largest producer of movies by numbers after India’s Bollywood and is now estimated to be worth over NG₦853.9 billion (US$5.1 billion) as at 2014 and actually boosted the rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria to make the country Africa’s largest economy under “Motion pictures, sound recording and music production,” with a huge increase of N9 trillion in size. Analysts stated Nollywood made about N1.72 trillion in 2013. And with more disposable income and increasing GDP, more Nigerians are going to the cinemas as local cinema chains are building more cinemas and IMAX has already sent it's Vice President for Global Market Development, Giovanni Dolci to Lagos on a familiarization visit for feasibility study of the largest film industry in Africa.

    Presently, there are over 800 commercial IMAX screens in 59 countries.

    IMAX built it's first large screen theater in China in 2001 and by next year 2015, there should be 200 IMAX screens in China and will continue to increase towards it's goal of 400 screens in the most populous country on earth. China is the fastest-growing film market in the world and China passed Japan to become the world’s second-largest film market last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Box office sales reached $3 billion through Nov. 19, a 43 percent increase from 2012, according to Rentrak Corp.

    IMAX has big plans for Nigeria to increase it's movie theaters in Africa where it currently has 8 cinemas with 5 in South Africa;1 in Morocco; 1 in Cairo and 1 in Kenya. The target in Nigeria is to have over 30 IMAX cinemas with the first IMAX stand alone plaza to be located in the mega city of Lagos with an estimated population of 21 million, making Lagos the largest city in Africa. The location selected is Festac Town, a Federal Housing Estate located along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway leading to the neigbouring countries of Benin, Togo and Ghana. It's name is derived from the acronym FESTAC from the Second World African Festival of Arts and Culture that was held there in 1977. Festac Town is located in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, one of the 57 Local Government Councils that make up Lagos State. The local government area has a population of 1,500,000 people. Festac Town is about 15 minutes drive to the famous Alaba International Market (Electronics), the largest electronics market in Africa and the Lagos State University in the nearby Ojo Local Government. The town has over 5, 000 modern housing units comprising of tenements for low income earners to duplexes for high income earners situated on 7 avenues and accommodates over 150, 000 people, including over 45, 000 visitors. But it does not have a single cinema. So, the thousands of residents have to travel kilometers to the nearest cinemas located in other local government areas in the state.

    The first IMAX theater in the largest city in Africa will be a tourist attraction in West Africa and will have no competition in Festac Town and the entire Amuwo Odofin in the next 10 years and so projected to attract over 3, 000 people daily, including movie lovers and tourists. The estimated annual revenue is over US$32 million in the first 12 months.

    Source: FilmContact 21 October 2014

  • E.tv holding company suspends Marcel Golding. Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) in a surprise move late on Wednesday, announced that it had suspended its executive chairperson Marcel Golding pending a disciplinary hearing into “gross misconduct”. Golding was not available for comment at the time but HCI said in a statement that the suspended chairperson had started legal proceedings to block his suspension and the hearing that is scheduled to begin on Monday October 27. Golding, who featured in the Forbes list of “Ten African Multimillionaires You Have Never Heard Of”, is the largest individual shareholder of HCI – a listed holding company with significant stakes in casino chain Tsogo Sun Holdings, private free-to-air channel e.tv and Golden Arrow Bus Service, among others. Read the full article here.

technology & convergence

  • Excaf Telecom Group, the DTT operator in charge of the Analogue Switch Off in Senegal, has signed a contract with HTTV for the deployment of up to 1 million Set-Top Boxes. Excaf’s DVB-T2 platform will enable the population of Senegal to access Free to Air and Pay TV content over newly digitalized DTT signal.

    The Excaf Telecom Group is the first operator in French speaking Africa to manage the Analogue Switch Off decided by the UAT (African countries organization for telecoms) and to launch a pay TV business on the newly freed DTT spectrum.

    The versatile HTTV Hybrid TV operating system will give the opportunity to extend traditional TV services with interactive HbbTV services and On Demand content. It will increase the value of the Excaf platform and guaranty its future proofness.

    The STB’s of Excaf Telecom Group is based on STmicroelectronics’ STiH253 new DVB-T2 chipset and secured by Conax for the Conditional Access.

    “We are proud to have been chosen by Excaf Telecom Group for Senegal’s Digital switch-off” says Régis Saint Girons, httv’s CEO. He added “By reducing development cost and time to market, our first class HbbTV platform offers a cost effective and future proof solution for all African countries planning to do their Analog Switch Off”

    « For this analogue switch-off in Senegal, it was key for us to choose a reliable, mature and cost-effective solution to create value-added services for our subscribers. HTTV’s Hybrid Television operating system perfectly answered this expectation and we are very satisfied with our collaboration” says Mr. Sidy Diagne, managing director of the Excaf Telecom Group.

    Source: Press Release

  • The Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA) says it will upgrade the terrestrial television service in the country, from analogue to digital, by the end of 2016. EBA told Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) that the draft bill which has been tabled for discussion would help to deliver quality media service and ensure accessibility to media.

    The authority is introducing the change in line with the decision of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that member countries switch to digital by June 2015. The EBA added that the Ethiopian draft bill is expected to develop the film, art, media and other industries. According to the authority, the country is undertaking various activities to prepare policy direction and legal frameworks to introduce digital technology.

    Source: Telecompaper 21 October 2014

regulation & policy

  • In another disturbing move against freedom of speech and independent journalism in Egypt, one of Al Jazeera Arabic’s presenters, Ahmed Mansour, has been sentenced in absentia to 15 years imprisonment by Cairo’s criminal court on the absurd charge of torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square during the 25 January 2011 revolution.

    This is yet another bizarre and unjust targeting of Al Jazeera journalists, after the sentencing of other Al Jazeera journalists this past year to from seven to ten years imprisonment. Baher Mohamed, Peter Greste, and Mohamed Fahmy remain in prison, while others were tried in absentia.

    Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed says, "This unjust ruling, along with false accusations and criminal charges, is further evidence of the attempt to silence journalists, tarnish their reputations and disrupt their work. Ahmed Mansour himself has been targeted with more than 150 false accusations and complaints against him by the Egyptian authorities, this verdict being just one of them.

    “This case is another illustration of how Al Jazeera Media Network is paying the price for its professionalism, after the imprisonment of its journalists from Al Jazeera English, and Abdullah Elshamy, and the shooting of Mohammad Al-Zaki during the dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in. It is a price not only paid by Al Jazeera, but also other journalists from global and Egyptian media. Scores have faced harassment, been arrested, and even lost their lives for the sake of getting the truth to viewers and readers.

    “The verdict against Ahmed Mansour - who is followed by millions and has interviewed world and thought leaders - reveals how the Egyptian judicial system is politicised and continues to use its authority to intimidate journalists.

    “Al Jazeera remains dedicated and committed to its editorial and professional standards and maintains full confidence in its staff. Despite this baseless ruling, Ahmed Mansour remains one of the most respected journalists in the Arab world.

    “Al Jazeera Media Network calls on the Egyptian authorities to refrain from character assassinations against journalists in their attempts to unfairly tarnish reputations.  The network renews its demand for all jailed journalists to be released and stands firmly by its colleagues.”

    Source: Press Release

more

  • AfricAvenir will present the 2013 Abu Dhabi Film Festival Jury Prize Winner
    "Villa 69", on Sat. 25 October 2014, 7pm, in Windhoek Namibia.

    The film Villa 69, directed by first time director Ayten Amin, produced by Wael Omar and Mohamed Hefzy, starrs not only Egyptian actress super star Lebleba, but also Khaled Abol Naga, who delivers an impressively nuanced and dynamic performance.  His acting in Villa 69 confirms his reputation as one of the most charismatic Middle Eastern actors around. Not surprisingly, he won Best Male Actor at the Khouribga African Film Festival (Festival du cinéma africain de Khouribga or FCAK), 2014 for his role in Villa 69.

    Announcement by PAMRO

    The conference due to be held in Ghana in August 2014 is now to be re-schedued to August 2015 due to the health concerns and restriction in travel in West Africa. For further information please visit the website here:

    Important events in the African broadcast, film and TV sector

    Oct 2014 (dates tba)
    11th. African Film Festival of Cordoba – FCAT

    Venue: Cordoba, Spain
    The main African film fest in Spain.

    5 to 7 Nov 2014
    DISCOP AFRICA 2014

    Venue: Johannesburg, RSA 
    The biggest African market & creative forum for TV programmes and audiovisual content trade: not to miss.


    11th-13th November 2014
    AfricaCast/Africacom

    Venue: Cape Town Convention Centre (picture below), South Africa
    AfricaCast will continue to bring together the growing number of Sub-Saharan Africa’s major broadcasters, content owners, telcos, investors, cable companies and pay TV providers. AfricaCom is the largest telecoms and IT event in Africa.


    exact dates tba, Novembre 2014

    Film Africa 2014

    Venue: London, UK.
    The UK’s largest annual festival of African cinema and culture. Film Africa is the Royal African Society’s annual festival celebrating the best African cinema from across the continent. Every year, Film Africa brings London audiences a core programme of fiction and documentary films alongside a vibrant series of accompanying events, including director Q&As, panel discussions, talks, workshops, master classes, family activities and Film Africa LIVE! music nights.
    exact dates tba, Novembre 2014

    Kenya International Film Festival 2014 (KIFF)
    Venue: Kenya.

    25th -27th November 2014
    Digital Migration and Spectrum Management Forum – Africa 2014

    Johannesburg, South Africa
     A high-level industry conference, this conference will bring together key stakeholders across the broadcasting, telecoms, broadband and associated industries to assess the latest developments in spectrum technology, applications, standard, services and platforms and the relevance to Africa.
    Please click here  to access the event website and to register your participation at this event.

    15 to 17 July 2015
    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.

     

    ................................................................................................................

  • EVS announces interim CEO

    Muriel De Lathouwer has been appointed temporarily as president of the executive committee at EVS, following the resignation of managing director and CEO Joop Janssen.

     Janssen and the Board of Directors mutually agreed to end his term due to differences in view about the implementation of the company’s long term strategy. Although Janssen remains available as an advisor, the agreement is effective as of October 14, 2014.

     Pierre Rion, chairman of the Board of Directors of EVS said, “The entire Board of Directors would like to thank Joop Janssen for his work during the past two years. Under his leadership, the structure of EVS has been strengthened and professionalised, enabling the company to further grow in its four key markets: sports, entertainment, news and media.”

    Rion added, “I have great confidence in Muriel De Lathouwer’s capacities to perform this task, in close cooperation with the management team in place.”

    De Lathouwer is a member of the Board of Directors of EVS and chairs the strategy committee. During her career, she worked for Accenture, was associate principal at McKinsey and a member of the executive committee at Base. She is an engineer from University of Brussels and holds an MBA from INSEAD.

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