US and Nigerian-backed Aflix VoD service launches with major international content at an affordable price
Because international rights holders have held out for what seem like impossible minimum guarantees, African VoD platforms have tended to focus on local content. The pendulum seems to be swinging the other way with Aflix launching this week with international content at the fore. Also iROKO has signed up some international content. Russell Southwood spoke to Aflix Director Nyasha Mutsekwa about what’s planned.
Mutsekwa has previous form in the VoD space as he used to run metvafrica.com, part of iBurst in South Africa, before it was closed down. iBurst had begun to realise that a VoD platform was not going to be an easy investment and got out. Mutsekwa went back to Kenya to consult on TV and media and while doing that met the Nigerian investor in Aflix and once the two met, was signed up to be part of Aflix.
The investment for Aflix has come from both New York and Nigeria, with the investor in the latter wanting to remain anonymous as he does business with the telcos.
So what’s the offer?:”It’s US$9.99 a month and you get access to ABC, Viacom, Disney, Miramax and MGM. There’s also pay per view for US$2.99 if you’re a subscriber and US$4.99 if you’re not. The catalogue has just under 5,000 titles with ABC as the biggest supplier.” There will be a 14 day free trial before the service requires payment,
On local content, things are moving more slowly:”We’ve had quite a few local content providers sho interest but we’ve haven’t landed any yet. We’re working with local TV broadcasters who would love to have a VoD service.”
It’s only available on Android devices and the app has been in soft launch mode on the Play Store since the beginning of August but will officially launch on 15 August. The last two weeks have been spent testing the payment gateway. Payment is either made using a credit card or with m-money credis from services like M-Pesa and Airtel Money.
In addition, Aflix is currently working to develop set-top boxes to give users the ‘living room experience.’ By simply plugging in the device into their TV sets, Aflix users can enjoy Hollywood entertainment on their ‘big screens.’
He’s talking to ISPS (including iBurst) about getting access to their subscribers on an affiliate basis and has another couple of partnerships that will be announced before too long.
The minimum download speed required to stream the content is a 3G connection but the software senses the download speed and adjusts the quality so it can operate on what Mutsekwa dubs as 2.75G:”We’ve done tests in Lagos and there were no issues with speeds.”
Mutsekwa believes that Aflix is “bringing the luxury of theatre going into African homes, at a price point that is affordable. Aflix customers will be able to watch Hollywood titles, from the classic favourites, to current new releases and Blockbuster hits.” Mutsekwa adds, “With the use of smart phones on the rise in Africa and the reality that movie going is quite pricey, this is the perfect time to launch our product and change the way Africans watch and enjoy their favourite content.”
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 21 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with Digital Content Africa in the title line.
Here are some examples of past issues below:
Online film, music and TV content in Africa – In search of the elusive business model
Zimbabwe’s TV Yangu offers a social TV platform with original programming
Video clip interviews this week:
Director of Dr Bello, Tony Abulu on his next film Superstar slated for release in March 2015
"Balancing Act" is looking for sponsors to produce a free monthly e-letter in French on the ‘audiovisual sector in Africa’.
To date, there has been not a single source of information in French on this market segment.
The format of this newsletter would be similar to that produced in English, with possible minor modifications. The newsletter would then be posted on our site like on this link
Our information portal contains a powerful search engine that allows anybody to find items by keywords and dates easily.
Sponsors of the newsletter will be able to help shape the newsletter topics to serve its employees awareness, and would get advertising and moderated editorial spaces in our media.
If this proposal interests your company, please contact me on: email@example.com with French Broadcast in the title
Pay-TV firm StarTimes has unveiled its self-produced Star Swahili channel in a bid to revamp its offering for Kenyan subscribers to include local content.
The channel will be available on all the StarTimes bouquet options, including the basic bouquet, with the company eyeing growth in similar channel options in the future, which will include other Kenyan dialects.
StarTimes has partnered with content developers to promote local talent, with the major flagship content being Churchill Live – Kenya’s leading stand-up comedy show – and Samantha Bridal – a wedding reality show with heavy emphasis on the challenges couples face as they plan their weddings.
Speaking during the unveiling of the revamped content, StarTimes vice president for marketing Hans Han said the company has pre-licensed an array of fresh shows that will air between now and December.
“Star Swahili goes live immediately and promises an unrivaled mix of Kiswahili movies, series, drama, comedy, documentaries, celebrity lifestyles and talk shows. As a company, we are committed to quality content acquisition and development for this and more channels to come key in progressively enriching the television viewing experience for our subscribers,” he said.
From culture to art, film to fashion, music, sport, literature and lifestyle, Bloomberg TVAfrica will go beyond business to bring you Africa’s most talked about culture with their new show Africa Trending.
Each week Savahna Nightingale will be taking you on a journey across the African continent, delving into the topics that are trending. They’ll be crossing Africa in search of the most exciting stories and inspirational people.
They will be tracking the new influence From the African art that is influencing Western culture, the African fashion houses that are changing today’s catwalks, and the movies and directors challenging our views of Africa.
Bringing influence from Africa in studio and on location, they’ll be bringing you the latest news and events and telling you whats trending, as well as exploring what is buzzing across the world of social media. On top of this will interviews with Africa’s rising stars, sporting personalities and leaders that help define the spirit of Africa.
Each week, they’ll provide a run down of the most talked about personalities, and engage the audience for their opinions in our weekly interactive polls.
For us any opportunity to spread successful and honest as well as positive stories on Africa, and specifically African fashion, textiles and manufacturing is a great thing. So we will be looking out for the team at various fashion events and watching out for the show to launch.
Miners Shot Down premieres on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 22h00CAT on Witness, Al Jazeera's flagship documentary strand. The multi-award-winning documentary will screen daily until 16 August 2014, the two-year anniversary of the Marikana massacre it investigates.
In August 2012, mineworkers in Lonmin, one of South Africa's biggest platinum mines, began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. The police insisted that they shot in self-defense, but Miners Shot Down tells a different story.
Using the point of view of the Marikana miners, Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low-paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers. What emerges is collusion at the top, spiraling violence and the country's first post-apartheid massacre.
The documentary has been a festival favourite, opening leading international documentary festivals like One World and Sheffield, and winning Best Film at One World in Prague; Movies That Matter in The Hague; and The Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival in Myanmar.
In South Africa, it's won awards from the two leading festivals for documentaries, scooping the Special Choice Award at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival in June and both the Best South African Documentary and Amnesty International Human Rights Awards at Durban International Film Festival in July 2014.
The Durban jury said, "Miners Shot Down emerged as the overall winner of the award for its profoundly moving portrayal of the Marikana miners’ massacre. The human rights abuses so vividly portrayed include the right to life, the right to justice, the right to protection by the police, the right to know, the right to peaceful protest and the right to human dignity. This film is particularly important in South Africa at the present time, given the Farlam Judicial Commission currently investigating the tragedy."
The ongoing Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the massacre began in October 2012 and recently had its deadline extended again until 30 September 2014.
Screening times: 13 Aug 22.00 CAT| 14 Aug 14.00 CAT | 15 Aug 03.00 CAT | 16 Aug 08.00 CAT
Vme TV Takes Viewers to Madagascar, a Natural Paradise Planeta Feroz special takes viewers to Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot
Vme TV, the only national Spanish-language television network affiliated with public television stations, is taking viewers on the trip of a lifetime to the island of Madagascar, a natural paradise in Southeast Africa, widely known for its diverse ecosystems and impressive variety of native plants and animals. Audiences can explore this biodiversity hotspot with "Madagascar" on Friday, August 15, 2014 at 5 p.m. E/P.
Explorer, ecologist, filmmaker and scientist, Massimo Simion travels to Madagascar to show the true wonders of what is commonly referred to as the "eighth continent." The island, which is considered endangered due to its rapidly growing number of human inhabitants, is a geographically isolated bio diverse location that boasts a 90 percent rate of endemic species and growing.
"Madagascar" is the newest addition to Vme TV's Planeta Feroz lineup, a special series developed with programming from educational networks such as PBS, BBC, and NatGeo, carefully curated for Vme TV audiences. Planeta Feroz introduces viewers to the wonders of Mother Nature by showcasing the world's most exceptional habitats. The series forms part of Vme TV's mission to provide inspiring programming for Hispanic Americans in the United States by engaging them in a superior learning experience that is entertaining for the entire family.
Available in 43 markets and reaching more than 70 million households in the United States, Vme TV is available through Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network and AT&T U-verse among other local cable companies.
Source: Company Press Release
- The MultiChoice channel dedicated to covering the murder trial of South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been pulled down for the last time, and will resume only to show the judgment on September 11, the DStv provider said.
From 5 August US global media company MHz Networks features a nation-wide, five-month market broadcast test of Africa Today TV. The launch coincides with the first USA-Africa Leaders Summit, which was hosted by the White House in Washington, D.C. from 5 to 6 August.
Yaya Moussa is the founder and president of the new channel and maintains that it is dedicated to developing positive perceptions of contemporary Africa by broadcasting the continent's stories.
Frederick Thomas, founder and president of MHz Networks believes the launch of Africa Today TV aligns with MHz's mission to serve its diverse US audience of over 38 million and said, "MHz has partnered with Dr. Yaya Moussa and his initiative to develop Africa Today TV in the U.S., as MHz for 20 years has used its public service broadcasting platform to provide Americans with original, foreign (English subtitled) TV content. Africa Today TV is a unique addition that will give the diverse nations of Africa the opportunity to connect with the African Diaspora in the US and globally-minded American viewers."
The new channel will be the only independent, public service and educational channel in the US broadcasting a full range of programs which include daily news, current affairs, business, education, arts, music, sports, drama, documentary and feature films direct from Africa.
Ebrahim Rasool, South Africa's Ambassador to the United States, added, "The inaugural USA-Africa Summit is a milestone in the Obama Administration's work to develop a stronger relationship, deeper understanding and enhanced communication between the United States and the nations of 21st century Africa. I am pleased that Africa Today TV offers a new television resource to help African and American leaders build an important bridge between the new Africa and the United States."
Viewers can watch Africa Today TV on MHz Networks 1 in the Washington, D.C. area at 17h00 EDT weekdays via digital broadcast channel 30.1, Comcast 271, Cox 470, RCN 30, Verizon FiOS 451, Dish Network 8077 and DirecTV 56/2183. Programming premieres on weekends in September.
Source: Screen Africa
Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Competition were announced today by Ferial Haffajee, Chair of the independent judging panel. The competition is now in its 19th year.
This year the competition received entries from 38 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.
There are 28 finalists from 10 countries:
Daniel Biaou Adje, ORTB, Benin
Safia Berkouk, El Watan, Algeria
Vinayak Bhardwaj & Tabelo Timse, M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, Mail & Guardian, South Africa
Romão Brandão, Jornal OPAÍS, Angola
Sean Christie, Freelance for Landbouweekblad and The Mail & Guardian, South Africa
Obinna Emelike, Business Day, Nigeria
Ben Ezeamalu & Emmanuel Ogala, Premium Times, Nigeria
Bob Koigi, Farmbizafrica.com, Kenya
Joseph Mathenge, Freelance for The Saturday Nation, Kenya
Anne Mawathe & Rashid Ibrahim, Citizen TV, Kenya
Patrick Mayoyo, Daily Nation, Kenya
Christine Muthee & Oliver Oscar Ochanda, Media Development in Africa (MEDEVA), Kenya
Dickson Ng’hily, The Guardian, Tanzania
John Muchangi Njiru, The Star Newspaper, Kenya
Olatunji Ololade, The Nation Newspaper, Nigeria
Bayo Olupohunda, Columnist, Punch Newspaper, Nigeria
Ossène Ouattara, Infoduzanzan.com, Côte d’Ivoire
Brito Simango, Televisão de Moçambique, Moçambique
Joy Summers & Susan Comrie, Mnet Carte Blanche, South Africa
Suy Kahofi, Freelance for West Africa Democracy Radio, Senegal
Paballo Thekiso, Saturday Star, South Africa
Bento Venancio, Jornal Domingo, Moçambique
Evelyn Watta, Sportsnewsarena.com, Kenya
Announcing the finalists, chairperson of the independent judging panel Ferial Haffajee said: “2013 was a huge news year, and the stories from our continent set a global agenda. The judges were pleased with the quality of entries, and were impressed by the depth of specialist beat reporting. In addition, they noted the growing sophistication of the use of images and pictures across all platforms.”
The independent judging panel, chaired by Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief, City Press, South Africa includes: Debo Adesina, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Newspapers, Nigeria; Betty Dindi, Managing Editor of QTV, Nation Media Group, Kenya; Jean-Paul Gérouard, Editor-in-Chief, France Télévisions ; Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Joel Kibazo, Director of Communications, Africa Development Bank; Arlindo Lopes, Regional Regulatory GM, MultiChoice Angola; Amadou Mahtar Ba, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, AllAfrica Global Media; Kim Norgaard, CNN Africa Bureau Chief; Aires Walter dos Santos, Account Executive, iSenta Comunicação & Imagem SA, Angola.
The competition is once again supported by the following sponsors, who continue to lend their valuable support to the awards: The Coca-Cola Company; Ecobank; GE Africa; IPP Media, Tanzania; Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) and A24 Media.
The finalists will enjoy an all-expenses paid four day programme of workshops, media forums and networking in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania culminating in a Gala Award Ceremony on Saturday 18 October 2014.
The host for the evening is CNN International anchor and correspondent Isha Sesay, host of ‘CNN NewsCenter’.
Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International said: “I have witnessed the quality and excellence of work in this competition strengthen year on year, and am proud that it continues to maintain its place as the most prestigious Pan African journalist awards. Just as CNN encourages, promotes and recognises excellence in journalism at all levels, we are particularly pleased to be able to support journalists who represent our future.”
Nico Meyer, CEO MultiChoice Africa said: “MultiChoice Africa congratulates all finalists and thanks our esteemed panel of judges for taking time to select the very best of African journalism. As a company born and bred in Africa we have an unmatched passion for the continent and believe in making long term and sustainable invests in order to enable development and to create a meaningful legacy in the countries in which we operate. These awards demonstrate CNN’s and MultiChoice’s commitment to the development of media in Africa, Meyer said – and this is a very special year as we celebrate our 10th year of our partnership.”
Imtiaz Patel, Group CEO of MultiChoice South Africa said: "As a long-time partner to CNN in these awards, we know the prestige that comes with being a finalist. I would therefore like to extend our best wishes to the finalists – thank you for telling the stories of Africa. We look forward to celebrating your journalistic excellence at the awards in October.”
The pay-television broadcaster has taken the wraps off plans to launch a new football tournament with the Premier Soccer League.
Pay-television broadcaster MultiChoice and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) have taken the wraps off a new football competition called the MultiChoice Diski Challenge.
The three-year agreement, which is being billed as a corporate social investment project by MultiChoice, will provide life skills and leadership development for players.
A programme to develop broadcasting skills among the youth is also planned. There will be five scholarships for players and production interns.
The games will be broadcast live or delayed on SuperSport and on community television channels that are broadcast on the DStv platform.
The Diski Challenge consists of 16 teams, split into two groups of eight teams each, which are representative of the general PSL. The two groups will play each other in an eight-team competition that comprises group stages, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.
MultiChoice will offer up to 30 players interested in broadcasting careers the opportunity to attend a one-week career conference at the broadcaster’s Randburg studios. The conference will give the players exposure to career paths in the broadcast environment and will include panel discussions with executives, engineers, producers and technicians. About 40 internships for aspiring content producers will be available at SuperSport, too. Half of the interns will be female.
The idea behind the programme is to develop the PSL’s reserve league, with an emphasis on fast-tracking under-19 talent into their first teams. Clubs will be limited to include a maximum of three players above the age of 20 in their reserve league teams.
“The competition includes a round-robin league format and knockout phase for the 16 PSL teams and will also equip players for life after football through life and leadership development skills as well as exposure to careers in broadcasting by attending a one week career conference at the MultiChoice campus,” the MultiChoice South Africa Group CEO Imtiaz Patel said.
Patel said the project will strengthen football development in South Africa.
The Diski Challenge tournament will kick off in September and will end in March 2015. The winning team will receive a floating trophy and a trip to The Netherlands for a four-day training camp with the Royal Netherlands Football Association. The team will also play two friendly games in Germany against two Bundesliga teams.
SuperSport will broadcast the Diski Challenge matches live. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media
- German television broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Welt is planning to launch services in South Africa via mobile application and the web on smartphone or tablet devices. Popular German TV shows like 'Der letzte Bulle', 'Ladykracher' and 'Pastewka' will be available on the channel, Nextvame reported. The channel can be subscribed to for USD 10.61 per month. ProSiebenSat.1 Welt is being launched in seventeen other markets with South Africa being the only African country. According to the German Embassy in South Africa, some 2,000 Germans emigrate to South Africa each year.
Through its new partnership with ViewSat, leading Christian ministry channel, The WORD network is now able to broadcast its content to an additional 70 million viewers across Africa.
Established in 2006, ViewSat has a wealth of experience in supporting channels to broadcast their content across six continents. By tapping into this expertise, The WORD network opens its religious programming to an audience of millions currently accessing their content via free to air (FTA) receivers across Central and Southern Africa.
The WORD Network is the largest African-American religious network in the world, and its ambitious growth plans are echoed by ViewSat’s current capacity, as well as its growing portfolio of services.
Safia Rana, Head of Sales and Marketing at ViewSat, comments “We are delighted to support The WORD Network to broadcast its mission to Africa. We continue to focus on the quality of our customer service and distribution, which is reflected in our growing client base, including high profile religious channels across North America and around the world.”
Kevin Adell, CEO of The WORD Network comments, “The WORD Network is delighted to partner with ViewSat, opening our content to an audience of millions across Africa. We chose ViewSat as they are expert in the broadcast of Christian channels and understand our unique requirements – we look forward to working together to broadcast the Word to Christians across Africa.”
Source: Company Press Release
French music video television network, Trace, has launched a new music channel, TRACE Toca, on MultiChoice’s pay-TV service, DStv, in Angola and Mozambique this week.
The Portuguese language channel is dedicated to afro-lusophone music and is available on DSTV’s Bue (Premium), Grande (Compact) and Facil (Access) packages in both the countries.
“Angola and Mozambique are among the most creative and prolific countries for music in Africa,” said Olivier Laouchez, co-founder, chairman and CEO, Trace Group. “In partnership with the DStv team, we have built TRACE Toca with the ambition to complement the existing music offering and to engage music lovers in a new and great local music experience.”
Following on from Four Corners' Best Film win at the Niagara Film Festival in Canada last month, the South African thriller continued its award-winning streak as Director Ian Gabriel picked up his second international Youth Jury Award last weekend, taking 2nd Place for the 'Best Film Gryphon' at the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy.
Four Corners was the only South African picture selected to screen at the Italian festival, and was featured in the Generator +18 category where it was praised for 'outstanding direction, cinematography, performances and music that gave a strong sense of the world of the film'. The category’s winner was Korea's Joon ik Lee's true story, Hope.
Gabriel earned his first International Youth Jury Award for his critically-acclaimed debut feature film, Forgiveness, which received a Youth Jury Best Film Award at the Locarno International Film Festival in the year of its release. "It is a special privilege to be recognised by youth audiences. With Four Corners it was always my intention to make a film that firstly addressed young people, as the film itself is about the choices young people must make. By voting for a film from the Cape Flats at an International festival in a beautiful Italian valley, this Youth Jury has proven that today's young people want the windows of the world, no matter how distant, opened to them. "
Giffoni is the largest youth orientated cinematic event in the world and allows young audience members to act as the jury and vote for winning films. This year’s festival guest star Richard Gere, hailed the festival as having 'worldwide importance'. "International cinema allows you to see the world from a richer and broader perspective than the typical American and Hollywood films youth have traditionally been exposed to. In this way, encouraging the next generation's interest in these stories allows the broadening of global youth culture and I'm convinced that any good change we hope to see in the world will only come about through the actions of today and tomorrow's youth" comments director Ian Gabriel.
This week Four Corners will have it's Quebec premiere in competition at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal. Meanwhile, Four Corners was released this month on DVD and is available in Musica stores nationwide.
Four Corners, a GIANT, Moonlighting Films co production, was made with the support of the National Film & Video Foundation and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.
The official trailer for South Africa’s first dance film, Hear Me Move, has finally been unveiled, giving dance fans and film lovers a first look at director Scottnes L. Smith’s powerful coming-of-age narrative.
The film showcases energetic “sbujwa” and “pantsula” dance sequences, choreographed by the award-winning Paul Modjadji, that play out against the backdrop of a gritty urban Johannesburg.
The film tells the story of Muzi (played by newcomer Nyaniso Dzedeze), a mild mannered accounting student at a Johannesburg college and the son of a legendary township pantsula dancer. When tragedy struck at a street dance and his father was murdered, young Muzi promised his mother to give up dancing. What Muzi doesn’t know is that his father’s death was not as everyone believed it to be.
When his father’s former dance partner, Shoes, approaches Muzi to join his crew, “Sbujwa Nation”, Muzi has to choose between finding out the truth about his father’s death or disappointing his mother. What he doesn’t realise is he has made himself mortal enemies with Prince, the former leader of “Sbujwa Nation” and head of rival dance crew “Ambi$hN”.
The film features a host of well-loved South African actors such as S’thandiwe Kgoroge as Muzi’s mother, Makhaola Ndebele as Shoes and Lillian Dube as Muzi’s grandmother. Alfred Ntombela, Khanyi Mbau, Lorcia Cooper, Boity Thulo, Thembi Seete, Amanda Du Pont and radio DJ Khutso Theledi also make cameo appearances.
Viacom International Media Networks Africa partners with Multichoice to expand the reach of MTV to DStv Extra & Compact subscribers
Johannesburg, 13 August 2014: Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa has revealed that youth and general entertainment channel MTV (DStv channel 130) will open its arms to legions of new fans in South Africa when it moves to the DStv Extra and Compact packages on 25 August. The channel, which has previously been available only on DStv Premium, will now be part of the DStv Extra and Compact packages, alongside sister channel MTV Base (DStv Channel 322).
With this new deal, VIMN will significantly increase MTV’s reach in the South African market, underlining its point of reference for the young and the young-at-heart, while broadening its appeal to advertisers and brands.
Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa said, “We are excited to partner with MultiChoice to bring MTV’s world-class entertainment content to a wider audience base in South Africa via the DStv Extra and Compact packages. This provides us with a great opportunity to introduce more content and initiatives that deliver even greater value for our viewers and partners.”
Aletta Alberts, GM for Content for MultiChoice, said MTV will make a welcome addition to the DStv Extra and Compact packages: “We want our customers to have access to a wide variety of the best entertainment – MTV will delight young and young-at-heart Extra and Compact customers with its unique blend of cutting edge entertainment and music. Now more DStv customers can become part of the MTV generation.”
MTV will open to DStv Extra and Compact customers on Monday 25 August at 21:00 CAT with the primetime premiere of the channel’s flagship awards show, the 2014 MTV Video Music Video Awards in association with Sprite, powered by MTN (red carpet show begins 20:00 CAT). Performers at the awards, which take place at the Forum in Inglewood California, include, among others, Beyoncé, Maroon 5, Usher, Ariana Grande and 5 Seconds of Summer.
Source: Company Press Release
- South African trade union Solidarity has accused digital television operator DStv of censorship after it rejected an advertisement marketing the union.
Solidarity said it is launching a campaign this week to release the rejected advertisement – which markets Solidarity membership and would have been aired on kykNET – to the public.
- Nigerian company, Core Media Services, has launched a 24-hour digital TV station, Core TV News, on the StarTimes platform. “Our agenda is to everywhere. That is why we started with StarTimes,” said Jide Adediran, Managing Director, Core Media Services. “We are already present in 33 states of the federations. We have gone beyond regional TV station (during its six months of test transmissions)”. The new channel platform further plans to expand into more than 16 more cities in Nigeria before the end of 2014.
From 27 to 30 August the fourth annual kykNET Silwerskerm Festival will take place at the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, Cape Town. The festival highlights the best in Afrikaans film and will include feature film premieres, short films, discussion panels, an awards ceremony and for the first time documentary films as well as 15 short films produced by kykNET.
According to Silwerskermfees mentor Deon Opperman; "Just like ‘depth’ is created in sport by creating high-standard training opportunities for the emerging talent of the next generation, Silwerskerm creates an opportunity for emerging talent in the film industry - producers, writers, directors and production teams - to hone their skills in preparation for larger, professional projects thereafter. It gives me great pleasure as writing mentor to be involved with the Silwerskerm festival. It is my belief that this project will in the years to come have a significant impact on the standard of South African film."
Scripts for the kykNET produced short films were selected from a large number of applicants who were taken through script development sessions and mentorship with Mitzi Booysen, Herman Binge, André Stoltz and Deon Opperman. Funded by kykNET, the films are currently being filmed in and around South Africa.
This year the festival will be involved with Cape Town’s World Design Capital initiative. In light of this and in an aim to create unique South African narratives, the Silwerskerm festival in conjunction with AFDA and Guga S'thebe Arts and Culture Centre in Langa, will be making a number of short one to two minute films. This project was also executed in Hillbrow, Johannesburg and these films will also be screened at the festival.
Locally made movies generated R33-million in revenue at South African cinemas in the first half of 2014, a 43% increase on the R23-million generated by homegrown productions in the first half of 2013, according to the latest South African Box Office Report.
The report, released at the weekend by the National Film and Video Foundation, showed that, of the 111 films released at the box office between 3 January and 28 June, 12 were South African productions.
Top earners over this period were mazing Spider Man 2 (R21.8-million), Rio 2 (R21.1-million) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (R16.9-million). Pad Na Jou Hart was best local performer, grossing over R11-million.
The report also revealed a correlation between gross revenue and the number of prints at release, with Pad Na Jou Hart having received the largest number of prints, compared to Elelwani and The Forgotten Kingdom, which received the lowest revenue but also the lowest number of prints at release.
According to the report, total gross revenue at South Africa's cinema's fell by 6%, from R408-million to R382-million, between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014.
Times Media (formerly Nu Metro) and Ster Kinekor had the largest market share with 46% and 36% respectively. This was followed by United International Pictures with 13% and Crystal Brook with 5%.
Indigenous Film Distributors received 1% of total market share, while distributing five out of the 12 local films on offer in the first half of the year. Ster Kinekor distributed four local movies, while Times Media and United International Pictures distributed two and one respectively.
In terms of earnings by genre, animation was the highest-grossing genre with R72-million, followed by action/adventure with R70-million and drama in third place with R59-million.
- South African pay-TV provider, Siyaya TV, which recently won the ZAR 1 billion (USD 94.5 million) deal from South African Football Association’s (SAFA), plans to work with other broadcasters including SABC and e.tv, to provide coverage of the national football teams’ matches which starts in May next year. The move comes as an attempt to avoid political backlash after SABC lost the broadcast rights. With the six-year SAFA deal, Siyaya TV now has the broadcast rights to all national team fixtures of Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana, and fixtures of the junior national teams.
On Digital Media (ODM) seems to have mislead the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) by giving the regulator impression that its three pornographic channels – Private Spice (which has since changed to Brazzers), Desire TV and Playboy TV – would show conventional/healthy sex between couples, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.
Darryl Cooke, for the Justice Alliance of SA (JASA) told the court that a perusal of the content screened by ODM’s adult channels clearly showed that this was not the case, with shows such as and on the air.
Cooke argued that these shows promote and glamorise promiscuity, unsafe sex and infidelity and that ODM had thereby misinformed ICASA with its initial representations of channel content.
ICASA granted ODM a license to air the porn channels in April last year as subscribed packages. JASA, Cause for Justice and Doctors for Life have since appealed to the court to overrule ICASA’s decision.
The SABC cannot punish its chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng for a lie he told 19 years ago.
This is according to SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala in court papers opposing a court bid by the DA contesting Motsoeneng’s permanent appointment as the COO of the public broadcaster.
In her opposing affidavit, Tshabalala denied that the SABC board and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi rewarded “malfeasance” when appointing Motsoeneng last month. “He has been appointed in the interests of the SABC to achieve its stability going forward,” she argued.
Tshabalala rubbished a report made by public protector Thuli Madonsela, which found that Motsoeneng lied about his matric qualification, gave himself undue salary increases and purged staff members.
“Upon investigation into this recommendation by the public protector, the SABC is satisfied that there has been no irregular spending through unlawful and improper actions of Motsoeneng,” she argued. Tshabalala again cited a report by a law firm which, she said, had cleared Motsoeneng of wrongdoing.
In her report When Ethics and Governance Fails, Madonsela found that Motsoeneng unduly gave himself two salary increases in a period of one year while he was acting COO. Tshabalala went on to attack Madonsela’s report, saying conclusions were reached without giving any factual background.
She dismissed the DA’s call in the founding court papers for Motsoeneng to be sacked, saying issues of suspension and discipline were between employer and employee. “They are guided by considerations of fairness. They are not matters to be decided by the court.”
She argued that there was no urgency for the court to deal with the matter. “Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been in the position of acting COO for more than two years and there is no direct evidence of harm that he has caused to the SABC in that time,” Tshabalala argued.
Madonsela invoked her powers this week against an “uncooperative” Muthambi when she asked the sheriff of the court to serve a subpoena on the minister.
Muthambi denied a meeting request made by Madonsela’s office on July 10, according to the public protector’s spokesperson Kagalelo Msibi.
“The public protector wanted first to hold a discussion with the minister but the minister declined saying it was part of a court battle with the DA. That shouldn’t matter,” Msibi said.
- The value of digitally pirated products downloaded and sold through the Internet globally will rise to $240 billion (N38.4 trillion) by 2015 if precautionary measures are not taken immediately, according to Frontier Economies, an online business research platform.
- The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has launched the Nigerian e-Copyright Registration System (NeCRS) designed to protect copyright owners from intellectual property theft.
South African pay-television provider Siyaya TV plans to launch some channels before the end of 2014 via a direct-to-home satellite platform, according to MyBroadband. It said a report in City Press said Siyaya was one of five new broadcasters to receive conditional licences to be pay-TV broadcasters that had now submitted the necessary additional information required of them to Icasa. Siyaya has signed a deal with the South African Football Association (Safa) that is reported to be worth ZAR 175 million per year over six years.
Siyaya's main shareholder Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela, led by John Molefe Pilane, said it plans to transform the broadcasting industry in South Africa. Pilane said the Bakgatla were at the heart of rural development, building a city and developing the economy in Moruleng village in the North West. Pilane said the television station targeted black middle-class and lower income earners, who were also at the forefront as soccer lovers. It has been reported that Siyaya said in its submission to Icasa for its licence that it plans to charge a subscription fee of ZAR 70 per month, said MyBroadband.
Middle East pay-TV operator, OSN, supported by Cable Network Egypt has launched internet-enabled satellite receiver and recorder with full 3D and high definition (HD) capabilities in Egypt, in an attempt to counter content piracy.
OSN Plus HD provides a digital video recorder (DVR), allowing viewers to pause and record live television for the first time. The service also features video-on-demand (VOD) with premium movies, TV series and children’s entertainment.
“Egypt is set to become one of the largest and fastest growing markets for the television industry,” said David Butorac, CEO, OSN. “As home to some of the most powerful content, Egyptian television is an inspiration for all. The launch of OSN Plus HD is a strategic and long-term growth initiative of OSN in Egypt.”
- Twitter is looking to boost its advertising business by letting more businesses pay to include video in their tweets. The company on Tuesday announced the beta test of a new advertising program, called "promoted video." It will let brands upload video to the site inside their tweets, and measure the videos' reach through analytics, similar to how advertising already works for non-video formats on Twitter.
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
Sept 25 - Oct 1 2014
Lights, Camera, Africa! Film Festival
The Lights, Camera, Africa! Film Festival, created by arts and culture centre The Life House, takes place at multiple venues in Lagos, Nigeria from 25 September to 1 October. The theme for the 2014 edition will be Legacy, and will highlight perspectives of the diverse tradition of filmmaking in Africa. By partnering with the New York-based African Film Festival, the British Council, Alliance Francaise, the Goethe-Institut and The Ford Foundation as well as developing relationships with industry experts such as Nadia Denton, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Tunde Kelani, Femi Odugbemi and Chika Anadu, the festival aims to offer attendees a diverse and valuable showcase of African cinema.
Email The Life House, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
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
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)
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.
SAFTA 2015 Call for Entries
It is that time of the year when the film and television industry prepare for the biggest event in the film calendar, The South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs). The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), South Africa’s custodian of film is calling on all local production companies to submit their entries for the 9th Annual SAFTAs.
As announced by the NFVF CEO Ms. Zama Mkosi at the Durban International Film Festival’s press conference, the entries opened on Friday 18th July 2014 and will close on Tuesday the 19th of August 2014. “The industry hosted a very successful 8th SAFTAs in April 2014. We anticipate another spectacular event that would honour, celebrate and reward South African talent on and off the screen. We therefore urge eligible productions to submit their entries before the closing date,” says Ms. Mkosi. NO EXTENSIONS WILL BE GRANTED. To allow feature films that will screen later in the year an opportunity to be submitted at the right time, the SAFTAs committee has provided producers ample time to enter the SAFTAs. The closing date for the Feature Film submission will be the 30th of October 2014.
Ms. Mkosi further highlighted that, “We are proud to announce that the committee has decided to honour presenters by creating a Best Presenter in TV Non-Fiction award. In addition, we have answered to the call to separate youth and children categories by creating the Best Youth award and Best Children’s award. This will ensure that the best talents are honoured in the right categories.”
The SAFTAs, managed under the custodianship of the National Film and Video Foundation, are an industry initiative governed by the SAFTAS committee and the body of industry representatives comprising of the broadcasters, SASFED and other key stakeholders.
Only television and film programmes that have been produced and publicly exhibited or broadcast between 1st of Aug 2013 - 31 July 2014 and feature films produced & publicly exhibited between 1st of Jan 2014 - 31 December 2014 will be considered. Only productions that are entered will be eligible for consideration.
The SAFTAs give recognition to individuals and productions that have excelled in the following categories: TV Non-fiction, TV Fiction, Feature Films, Short Films, Student Films and Animation. The awards also celebrate film and television industry legends who have long served in various fields of the industry through the Special Lifetime Achievement award.
For the 09th Annual SAFTAs complete rules and entry guidelines visit www.saftaregistration.co.za
The submission of entries will be followed by the filtration judging process, which will then be followed by the final judging process. The nominees will be announced in February 2015.
The main awards ceremonies will be held on the 20th and 21st of March 2015 in Johannesburg where all winners will be announced and be presented with the official SAFTA trophy, the Golden Horn.
The industry is urged register on the SAFTAs registration website, complete the electronic forms and to drop off all required material before or no later than Tuesday 19th of August 2014 at 16h00 for attention:
Lala Tuku: SAFTA: project coordinator
87 Central Street
For any further enquiries please email email@example.com
SA actress appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for Africa International Film Festival
The Africa International Film Festival, which takes place in Nigeria from 9 to 16 November, has appointed South African actress Xolile Tshabalala as the 2014 Goodwill Ambassador. The awards are a platform which seeks to give expression to African cinema by recognizing and rewarding excellence in the industry.
According to the Nigerian Tribune, Tshabalala, whose appointment was announced at the Durban International Film Festival, commented, “I’m very excited as an artiste and as a female filmmaker. Also, as an African, I am so happy about anything that brings Africa together and puts us on the world map. I’m overwhelmed with joy for being a part of the AFRIFF team.”
She added that, “When Chioma Ude, the founder of AFRIFF called me, I had no choice but to jump at the offer.”
Tshabalala is a 37-year-old actress known for her roles in South African drama series Jacobs Cross and popular soapie Generations.