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Broadcast, Film and Convergence in Africa - Issue no 2036 22 April 2016

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  • This includes a Bronze in the Community Portraits category for My Nigeria, the six-part Al Jazeera documentary series showing six stories of six Nigerians, including stand-up comedian Basketmouth, fashion designer Deola Sagoe and Nollywood star turned politician Kate Henshaw.  South African production company Big World Cinema produced My Nigeria from Cape Town.

    Al Jazeera's Investigation Unit also picked up a finalist certificate in the Current Affairs category for Inside Kenya’s Death Squads, in which officers from four units of Kenya’s counter-terrorism apparatus admitted the police assassinate suspects on government orders.

    Commenting on the success, Giles Trendle, acting managing director of Al Jazeera English, said:  “Al Jazeera English is delighted to have won a series of Gold and Silver medals at the New York International TV & Film Awards."

    Al Jazeera’s interactive documentary Life On Hold won Gold in the Online News category as well as the UNDPI medal, a special award decided by a United Nations jury. "We are pleased with the two Gold medals won for our innovative web documentary project, Life on Hold, that tells the personal and poignant stories of some of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon in an engaging and non-linear manner,” says Trendle.

    101 East won five Golds medals overall. Afghanistan’s Billion Dollar Drug War won two Golds as Best Investigative Report and for the Human Concerns category; Myanmar's Jade Curse won a Gold medal in the National/International Affairs category; and Murder in Malaysia won a Gold medal for the Best Current Affairs programme. 101 East presenter Steve Chao won his second consecutive Gold medal for Best News Reporter/Correspondent. 101 East also won three Silver World Medals for the episodes Murder in Malaysia, Myanmar's Jade Curse and Becoming Pacquiao.

    "The five Gold medals won by our weekly 101 East strand are a testament to the quality of our journalism and the importance of our mission to tell compelling stories from around the world,” says Trendle.

    Faultlines, which was a joint Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera America programme, won three Gold World Medals for Mexico's Disappeared and Death of Aging, while Ferguson: Race and Justice in the U.S won a Silver World Medal. Faultines also picked up a Bronze medal for Forgotten Youth: Inside America's Prisons.

    Al Jazeera English news was awarded a Silver World Medal for Best Coverage of a Continuing News Story for Desperate Journeys, which covered the refugee crisis in Europe. "The silver medal for our Desperate Journeys news coverage on the refugee story highlights how we have set the news agenda on one of the defining stories of our time,” says Trendle.

    Broken Dreams: The Boeing 787 won Gold Medal Awards in Current Affairs and a Silver World Medal in the Business and Finance categories. Broken Dreams: The Boeing 787  was a hard-hitting programme made by Al Jazeera's Investigation Unit, which revealed the deeply-held safety concerns of current and former Boeing engineers, while allegations were uncovered of on-the-job drug use, quality control problems and poor workmanship. 

    Phil Rees, the manager of the Al Jazeera Investigation Unit, said: “It is fantastic for the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit to be recognised once again for dealing with this commercially sensitive subject with such persistence and bravery. In the tradition of the finest investigative journalism, the production team spoke truth to one of the world’s most powerful corporations.”

    Al Jazeera English also picked up eight finalist certificates for a variety of programmes from Faultlines, 101 East, Women Make Change and People and Power.

    The New York Festival's World's Best TV & Films competition honours programming in all lengths and forms from over 50 countries. Dedicated to both the television and film industries, categories mirror today's global trends and encourage the next generation of story-tellers and talent.

    Watch on the links below:

    My Nigeria – Basketmouth: Trash Talking

    My Nigeria – Kate Henshaw: Playing a Part

    My Nigeria – Gbenga Sesan: Connecting A Million

    My Nigeria – Sandra Aguebor: Lady Mechanic

    My Nigeria – Femi Bamigboye: Local Man

    My Nigeria – Deola Sagoe: Top Drawer

    Al Jazeera Investigates – Inside Kenya’s Death Squads

  • Sean Penn's The Last Face about aid workers in Africa will compete at the Cannes Film Festival this year along with movies about interracial marriage in 1950s America, illness and poverty in working-class Britain and cannibal fashion models in Los Angeles.

    The festival's high glamour yet socially conscious line-up, announced Thursday by organizers, features 49 films harking from 28 countries, including Iran, Brazil, Egypt, Israel and South Korea. Twenty of the entries will be running for the Palme d'Or, the top prize at the French Riviera festival, which is being held under heightened security after deadly Islamic extremist attacks on France and Belgium.

    Even though the festival takes place in France, it is not a French festival. It is an international festival, said Cannes director Thierry Fremaux, who said the festival sifted through a record-breaking 1,869 feature entries this year.

    Top stars expected to grace the famed red carpet from May 11-22 include Marion Cotillard, Shia LaBeouf, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster and George Clooney. This edition - the festival's 69th year - will also see the return of old Cannes favorites such as directors Pedro Almodovar, Ken Loach, Jim Jarmusch and the Dardenne brothers.

    Like previous years, the 2016 Cannes festival has a markedly American flavor, and opens with Woody Allen's 14th picture, the 1930s Hollywood film Cafe Society, starring Stewart and Eisenberg. It's showing out of competition.

    Penn's latest directorial effort, featuring his ex-partner Theron and Javier Bardem, is likely to get top attention, alongside the festival's wackiest entry, the Danish horror film The Neon Demon by Nicolas Winding Refn about beauty-obsessed flesh-eating models.

    American director Jeff Nichols is showing Loving, the powerful true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a white man and an African-American woman who married in June 1958 and were subsequently arrested, thrown into jail and exiled from Virginia.

    The interracial couple, played by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, took their civil rights case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and won - affirming their right to marry.

    Veteran British director Loach's I, Daniel Blake looks at a working-class man in northern England struggling with poverty and injury. Festival director Thierry Fremaux joked that Loach had backtracked on his announcement that the 2014 film Jimmy's Hall would be his last and called Loach's 2016 entry his final, final movie.

    Canadian director Xavier Dolan's new entry, It's Only the End of the World, about a dying author, is the second time the rising star has been selected for the Palme d'Or shortlist. It stars Cotillard and Lea Seydoux.

    American auteur Jarmusch returns to the Rivera with Paterson - a yarn about a bus driver and a poet set in New Jersey. It stars Adam Driver, who's moving back to a smaller film after his breakout role as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars blockbuster The Force Awakens.

    Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven is in the lineup with his first French-language film Elle, a psychological thriller starring actress Isabelle Huppert. Spanish director Almodovar's Julieta is also competing.

    In a mysterious reference to the Panama Papers offshore accounts leak, Fremaux said there might be a late entry from Panama for those who follow current affairs. He did not elaborate.

    Of the 20 films running for the top prize, three were made by women: Germany's Maren Ade with Toni Erdmann; the U.K.'s Andrea Arnold with American Honey, starring LaBeouf; and France's Nicole Garcia with From the Land of the Moon, starring Cotillard alongside Louis Garrel. The festival has previously been criticized for its limited offerings of films by female directors.

    For the first time there will be no closing film. Instead the festival will rescreen the winning film as an experiment, Fremaux said.

    The Cannes jury is led this year by Mad Max director George Miller. Other jurors will be announced later.

    Festival president Pierre Lescure said 500 security personnel were assigned to the festival and would be working with France's national security authorities.

    The maximum has been done to strike a balance between security and ensuring that the festival remains a place of freedom, Lescure said.
    Source: Filmcontact 18 April 2016

  • The first-ever Berlinale film from Ghana, Nakom was shot with no running water or electricity, with a crew of people entirely from the village.

    Nakom was actually made by two Americans: T.W. “Trav” Pittman and Kelly Daniela Norris. Inspired by Pittman’s time in the Peace Corps stationed in the titular village, the film follows a promising college student who returns to his rural home in northern Ghana after the sudden death of his father. Newly in possession of the family property and saddled with his father’s burden of debt, the hero (first-time actor Jacob Ayanaba) attempts to modernize his family’s onion farm, all the while struggling with village dramas and pondering his newly uncertain future.

    Ahead of the film’s premiere in Berlin’s Panorama track, NFS caught up with Pittman and Norris to talk about viewing Africa through Western eyes, being influenced by Ozu and the challenges of making a movie in the “developing” world.

    NFS: Can you talk about your own relationship to Ghana, and to the Nakom region in particular?

    Pittman: I was living in Ghana in Nakom for two years. It’s a place that I consider my second home. It was a warm, welcoming experience, and a totally different way of living, outside of my own experience as an American mostly living in urban spaces. It opens you up to the whole possibility of the way a human being can make a living, make an existence. And that kind of struggle, of this more traditional lifestyle and a more modern, Westernized, globalized ideal, is really the main thrust of the story.

    I was lucky to collaborate with a Ghanaian filmmaker from the village, Isaac Adakudugu, who co-wrote the script, and he’s a producer on the film as well. He was totally instrumental in bringing all the pieces together… It’s hard to get resources. I guess it’s hard to get resources anywhere for making a film. There is, of course, a fairly thriving Ghanaian film industry, kind of like Nollywood. [But] he likes to tell stories that have a meaning, that have substance, and what he feels like has a value to people.

    Norris: Trav and I have been collaborators for the last ten years, with filmmaking ambitions. I got to visit Trav when she was in the Peace Corps, so I was in Nakom five years prior [to the film] for one week of my life. I did not know that we were going to return in five years because we were going to make a film there. My role was very much in support of seeing the script through, but really the faithfulness to the region and to the culture, I was very much reliant on both Trav and Isaac.

    NFS: How did your background as Americans inform your approach to both the story and also the physical production of the film?

    Norris: Well, I think the story itself is very critical of Westernization. And that’s very much inflected by our own experiences as Westerners. Also, stylistically, at least for me, it’s very important to not have a raw, shaky, handheld aesthetic that is often used to characterize [air quotes] “developing” regions.

    Pittman: Those air quotes aren’t going to be on the recorder.

    Norris: Oh, sorry.

    Pittman: Yeah, the idea of prosperity or even piece – these aren’t images we associate with really the continent as a whole. Having lived there for two years, I know this is a frustration that Isaac has and that our lead actor, Jacob, has: that the narratives, that especially the West is told about West Africa in particular, tend to be negative, pejorative, violent –

    Norris: Homogenous. They homogenize the area. I mean, Nakom is very different from even the neighboring towns, let alone when you’re treating countries like they’re the exact same.

    NFS: You did a Kickstarter campaign. Did you also have Ghanaian producers? Ghanaian cast and crew?

    Pittman: The Kickstarter was for post-production, so we funded production through private investment – wasn’t a lot of money – from a few different sources. It was just five of us on set from outside Ghana. The rest, cast and crew, were all Ghanaian.

    NFS: What was it like working with them?

    Pittman: It was fantastic. It wasn’t people who had a lot of filmmaking experience generally, so we had the opportunity to shape the production the way that we make films, which is very low-budget, very guerrilla style. Kelly wrote and directed a feature that we shot in Cuba previous to this [Sombras de Azul], which was –

    Norris: In some ways even more guerrilla. Because that was pre-embargo lift.

    Pittman: And faster. So this one, we didn’t necessarily have more money, but we had more time. And we really wanted to allow ourselves to get the quality of performance, of footage. We were there for four months, and we shot for most of that, in part because we wanted to capture this seasonal transformation that happens, which is crucial to the story.

    NFS: Were you pulling from the Ghanaian film industry or were these people coming from outside?

    Norris: We were definitely on the outskirts, for sure. We really weren’t working with the Ghanaian film industry.

    Pittman: Mostly it’s based in the major cities, Accra or Kumasi. We were in this very remote area. But attitude is so crucial as far as putting together a team. It was astonishing to me how much support we got from the whole village in order to make the film happen.

    NFS: Were the villagers also the cast and crew?

    Norris: It was all in the village. It was entirely internal. When we first got there, we had to meet with the chief and follow certain protocols, and the elders blessed the film and gave it their approval. And from that point on we were able to move forward. Isaac had already set up auditions through the churches. Religion plays a very large role in this area. They have one mosque, one Christian church – it’s sort of 50-50, very harmonious. We went through the churches and auditioned for each role. And then we had a network of the villagers who were working with us.

    NFS: In Nakom, there was no electricity or running water. What were some of the challenges of that?

    Norris: Oh, so many.

    Pittman: Oh, it was fine. [laughs]

    Norris: Sitting in the fields, that was always fun. You get used to that pretty quickly, but after the harvest there were very few places to hide.

    Pittman: Yes. She’s talking about using the restroom in millet fields. [laughs] There are latrines, but the more traditional way is to dig a hole.

    Norris: Not having electricity for filmmaking is a massive challenge, and a big stress on Bob [Geile], our DP, as well. We had this system of charging batteries in a neighboring town, having to send them at the end of a really long night -- so sometimes in the wee hours – it was, like, a 40-minute bike ride. And then having to go in the early morning to pick up the batteries, to make sure we had everything we needed for each day.

    Pittman: It worked, somehow. We also had a really amazing production manager, Alicia Sully, who has a foundation of roving filmmakers called What Took You So Long?

    Norris: She knows a lot about how to enter a space [and] turn it into something that’s livable for a small crew.

    NFS: What equipment were you using in order to weather the challenges?

    Pittman: It was pretty minimal. We’re not huge on the technical side, but the camera was a Sony FS100.

    Norris: So very mobile and versatile, less intrusive.

    Pittman: We had three Labs in various stages of workability –

    Norris: One of which crapped out pretty early on, and we had to rely on a stranger to deliver it to us, from the U.S. to Ghana. It was a social media call for help.

        "It was a lot about subverting the Western gaze and trying to combat a type of sensational, headline-driven imagery that is used to portray African regions."

    Pittman: Halfway through the shoot. That was great. Basically, Bob brought all our equipment in just two suitcases. So we had to get a generator for the night scenes, which actually turned out really well.

    NFS: The film itself feels very patient, not guerrilla-style.

    Pittman: We wanted an aesthetic that would give that Hollywood sheen, or Old Hollywood. Our earlier point of comparison in terms of a storytelling perspective was Ozu.

    Norris: As far as intimate family dramas, and focusing on internal politics on a very small scale.

    NFS: Did you have audiences outside of Ghana in mind when you were making it, or were you making it for Ghana?

    Norris: I think in our initial dialogue on this, [it] was a lot about subverting the Western gaze, and trying to combat a type of sensational, headline-driven imagery that is used to portray African regions. So in that way, it was for Western audiences. But I think that started to really shift during the process, because it became intensely collaborative, and the idea of this playing in Ghana seems very important… It’s representing a northern story, where all the stories in Ghana seem to be focused on a southern culture and southern lifestyles, which is the dominant one and wealthier area. I’d like to think it could be for any audience.
    Source: No Film School.com


  • This action packed 16 part series tells the story of a young man, Jongo, who acquires an array of supernatural abilities after his dad left him an alien crystal that he found in a cave at South Africa's Cradle of Humankind.

    Jongo is set to make its free-to-air debut on e.tv on Tuesday 19 April 2016 at 8:30pm, and will also feature on DStv’s channel 194.

    Jongo is a classic story of good vs. evil, with stunts and special effects, intertwined with a love story.  Season 1 stars Hip-Hop singer Pacou Mutombo as Eli King (who becomes Jongo) and is set in modern-day Johannesburg. The series is produced by Johannesburg-based independent film studio, Motion Story.

    Jongo comprises a diverse cast from well-known faces such as Luthuli Dlamini, to newcomers like Katlego Baaitse (Eli’s best friend) and Pauline Zwane (Eli’s girlfriend).

    Eli King is a young man who acquires incredible super powers from an alien crystal. The stone is left to him by his father, an enslaved miner who is murdered shortly after escaping from the cave.

    King tries to deal with the death of his father and is set on finding the men responsible for his death. He also grapples with the powers of the crystal and how it will indelibly alter the course of his life.

    “Season 1 of Jongo has taken us almost two years to complete and we can’t wait to hear what viewers think of Africa’s first ever mainstream superhero TV show. We’re delighted to be partnering with a channel of e.tv’s calibre and hope that this is the start of a long journey together,” commented Gareth Crocker, co-director and writer.

    Said Marlon Davids, GM content strategy and planning for e.tv: “It is very important for e.tv to promote locally produced content and tell authentic South African stories. Jongo is fresh and showcases great production values, it is the first local series to feature an African Superhero.”

    Viewers will get the opportunity to catch all the action in HD on eHD on both OpenView HD (Channel 104) and DStv decoders (Channel 194) from Tuesday 19 April 2016 at 8:30pm local time.
    Source: Bixcomunity

  • Eastleigh, the suburb in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, known as Little Mogadishu because it is home to many Somalis and Kenyan-Somalis, is getting the Hollywood treatment.

    Big-budget thriller Eye in the Sky, which had its premiere this week in Los Angeles, uses the suburb as one of its key plot locations.

    The film follows the story of US and UK military forces trying to foil a suicide attack by using drones.

    But in the real Eastleigh, a group of local filmmakers who were given a special preview of the film say they are disappointed at how the area has been portrayed.

    The group, who refer to themselves as collectively as Eastleigh Wood, say the film is full of negative stereotypes of the area, which has been targeted by the government during raids against alleged al-Shabab militants.

    However, filmmaker Burhan Iman told me he was disappointed that the Kenyan scenes in the film were actually shot in South Africa.

    He said the reason they started "Eastleigh Wood" was so they could tell their own stories.

    However, Mr Iman did admit he was happy at the casting of Barkhad Abdi, the actor who was nominated for an Oscar in his first-ever screen role as a Somali pirate in Captain Phillips.

    He said the actor was born in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and raised in Eastleigh before moving to Minnesota in the US.
    Source: BBC Worldwide

  • Africanews appears on your television screens on April 20. In this article, discover something new about the channel on a daily basis till the launch of sub-Saharan Africa’s first multilingual and independent channel.

    At our head office in Pointe Noire (Congo), Pan-Africanism is an every-day experience: more than fifty African men and women, English speakers as well as Francophones (we’re on target for both gender and linguistic parity) work here, thirty of them in the newsroom, the heartbeat of our organization.

    At any given moment, day and night, news flows in from our 45 correspondents around the continent. The Morning Call team, dedicated to our sunrise program, starts arriving at 2am.

    8 “seniors” – the name of our subeditors, as a homage to Africa’s ancestral noblesse of age – are present, in shifts, around the clock. And so are the two bosses of our newsroom, Veronica Kwabla and Nathalie Wakam (in clear violation of gender balance).
    Source: African News.com

  • Channels Television in conjunction with Deutsche Welle (DW) Television has launched a joint production of an environmental programme called Eco@africa at the Transcorp Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria, on 16 April 2016 and will air Saturdays at 18h00.

    Eco@africa will report on innovations and best-practice guidelines in Africa and Europe and will present ideas on environmental protection from all over the world.

    It will focus on the preservation of biological diversity, the utilisation of national resources, energy sources and the mobility of the future.

    The programme is designed to be interactive, viewers will be able to contribute their own ideas by uploading stories, photos and videos to social media.

    Saturday’s launch followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the chairman of Channels Television, John Momoh and DW s director general, Peter Limbourg in Paris last year. Limbourg said that the programme opens the door to countries with like minds.

    The presenter of Eco@Africa is Nneota Egbe, a graduate of geography, who has spent the past seven years as an anchor, reporter and producer for Channels Television in Lagos, Nigeria.
    Source: 4rfv 20 April 2016


  • The Africa Channel has retained HotHouse Media to handle its affiliate sales and distribution duties, as well as T Media Sales to oversee ad sales for the network, said company officials.

    The network also said it has reached content and channel partnership deals with Africa-based content distributor AfricaXP.

    HotHouse will work closely with cable, satellite and telco distributors to expand the network’s footprint in U.S. markets, while T Media Sales will focus on programming sponsorships and direct response sales, according to network officials.

    "We have evolved our programming to a point where The Africa Channel is a very strong candidate for rapid subscriber expansion and an engaging environment for advertisers to showcase their brands and services,” said Narendra Reddy, executive vice president of content & global operations for TAC. “HotHouse Media and T Media Sales have long track records of success in their respective areas of expertise, and they are ideal partners for us as we enter into an accelerated and exciting phase of our growth."

    AfricaXP will serve as the exclusive agent for supplying content to The Africa Channel from African producers, as well as play a role in content sourcing and development for the network while managing all aggregation, quality control and delivery logistics for the network.

    “By partnering with AfricaXP on a premium channel launch in Africa, and having access to their cloud-based channel compilation and delivery system, we will be able to expand by focusing our investment on developing African content assets, which is where we really want to play,” Reddy said.

  • Government’s quest to migrate all the television stations from analogue to digital terrestrial is expected to be completed in June this year, the Deputy Communication Minister, Mr Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has said.

    This means that television users in the country who do not have a digital terrestrial box by June 2016 will not be able to enjoy their television programmes, since they may not receive signals that transmit to their television set.

    Speaking at the 20th anniversary launch of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr Ofosu said phase one of the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network project had already been completed and it included a central point located at Kanda where all digital television stations would connect their programme.

    “Broadcasting continues to influence our lives in many ways on a daily basis; it has in fact become almost an indispensable factor in our democratic process. We will complete a transition from analogue to digital terrestrial in June 2016,” he said.

    Source: Ghana Web 19 April 2016

  • The power of any media lies in it’s ability of engage with ones audience effectively. And this is particularly key when engaging the cinema going audience. While trying to fight for the attention of the “twitter-generation” relevance and visibility is everything. Building a dedicated and loyal audience through marketing and public relations is key in getting bums on seats for any Hollywood Blockbuster and achieveing this in the local South African space is not easy.

    Being fully aware of this immense challenge Coal Stove Pictures  , a Johannesburg based Film and Television Production house, teamed up with Janine Lloyd from PR Expert to build an interactive and engaging Public Relations campaign to promote the release of the Dance film Hear ME Move ™.

    The PR Campaign took a truly 360 Degree approach to speak to the audience. Deploying

    -Dance Flashmobs

    -Twitter Give Aways

    -Facebook Give Aways

    -In-Cinema Activations

    -Sponsored celeb posts/tweets

    -Streetlamp billboards

    -Brand Affiliated Dance Themed Parties

    The hard work and intense schedules have definitely paid off and the PR industry has taking note. Hear Me Move ™ was nominated in the South African PR Campaign of the Year Category at the pretigous PRISM Awards. The PRISM Awards are Africa’s most sought after awards in the public relations industry.

    Now in their 19th year, the PRISM Awards are presented to public relations and communication professionals who have successfully incorporated strategy, creativity and professionalism into public relations and communication programmes and strategies that showcase a successful public relations campaign.

    Coal Stove and PR Expert and immensely proud of the win last night and believe that this level of creativity and dedication to creating and managing full fledged PR Campaigns is going to be key in growing the South African Film industry.

  • The global music market achieved a new milestone in 2015 as digital sales became the primary revenue stream for recorded music, overtaking physical sales.

    This is according to the latest edition of the the International Federation of Phonographic Industry's Global Music Report, which was published on 12 April. The annual IFPI report analyses official data from music industries all over the world, including Africa.

    The latest report shows that digital sales contributed 45% of industry revenues, overtaking sales of physical formats at 39%. The shift follows last year's report, which found that revenues from digital music services had matched those from physical sales for the first time in 2014.

    After digital and physical sales, performance rights revenues to producers and artists (at 14%) accounted for the bulk of the remainder.

    Growth at last

    The latest report indicates that the industry’s digital revenues rose by 10.2% to $6.7 billion, driving growth in total industry revenues by 3.2% to $15 billion. The last time the global music industry enjoyed significant, measurable growth was in 1998, when it grew at 4.8%.

    Several other factors are driving the rise of music streaming globally. The report shows that worldwide, 68 million people now pay for streaming music services, usually at $10 a month. In particular, the arrival of Apple Music in the second half of 2015 had a transformational impact, raising the profile of streaming and by early 2016 attracting more than 10 million subscribers. Another factors fueling this growth is the substantial contribution music makes towards third-party businesses, such as radio, TV and the hospitality sector. Synchronization revenue – revenue from the use of music in advertising, film, games and television programmes – rose by 6.6%, a slight decline in growth compared to 2014.

    "The music industry’s return to growth has not happened by accident. It is the result of tireless work and adaptation," said IFPI CEO Frances Moore. "Record companies have quite simply transformed to survive and thrive. They have embraced all forms of digital distribution, giving consumers ever-expanding choice of music offerings. Record labels have also kept their focus on their core mission - investing in artists, creating value for music talent and bringing music to a global audience. And they are working smarter and more creatively, using the amazing potential of streaming to better understand and engage with consumers."

    Key trends

        Streaming remains the industry's fastest-growing revenue source: Helped by the spread of smartphones, increased availability of high-quality subscription services and connected fans migrating onto licensed music services, streaming has grown to represent 19% of global industry revenues, up from 14% in 2014. Streaming now accounts for 43% of digital revenues and is close to overtaking downloads (45%) to become the industry's primary digital revenue stream.
        Downloads remain a significant offering: Income was down 10.5% to US$ 3.0 billion - a higher rate of decline than in 2014 (- 8.2 per cent). Full album downloads are still a major part of the music fans' experience and were worth US$1.4 billion. This is higher than the level of sales in 2010 (US$983 million) and 2011 (US$1.3 billion).
        Performance rights revenue grew: Revenue generated through the use of recorded music by broadcasters and public venues increased by 4.4% to US$2.1 billion and remain one of the most consistent growing revenue sources. This revenue stream now accounts for 14 per cent of the industry's overall global revenue, up from 10 per cent in 2011.
        Revenues from physical formats declined, albeit at a slower rate than in previous years, falling by 4.5% compared to 8.5% in 2014 and 10.6% in 2013. The sector still accounts for 39% of overall global income and remains the format of choice for consumers in a number of major markets worldwide, including Japan (75%), Germany (60%) and France (42%).

    Value gap

    While the report provides stakeholders with reasons to celebrate, it also notes there is a fundamental weakness underlying this recovery. Music is being consumed at record levels, but this explosion in consumption is not returning a fair remuneration to artists and record labels. This is because of a market distortion resulting in a 'value gap' that is depriving artists and labels of a fair return for their work.

    "The value gap is about the gross mismatch between music being enjoyed by consumers and the revenues being returned to the music community," explained Moore. "Today, music consumption is exploding, driven by streaming services and in particular by the rapidly-growing use of user upload platforms such as YouTube. This should be great news for music creators, investors and consumers. But there is good reason why the celebrations are muted: it is simply that the revenues, vital in funding future investment, are not being fairly returned to rights holders."

    The report calls for an urgent solution to the problem to be placed firmly on the legislative agenda. "The value gap is the biggest constraint to revenue growth for artists, record labels and all music rights holders. Change is needed - and it is to policy makers that the music sector looks to effect change," added Moore.

    Access the full IFPI report here.

  • The Malawian government has announced plans to launch the Malawi Digital Television service at Mzuzu on 23 April following the analogue switch-off being implemented in phases. The government through the ministry of information, tourism and civic education is encouraging all television viewers to acquire the Malawi digital television decoder, also known as "Kiliye Kiliye", which will be unveiled during the launch in order to enjoy better quality television and more free channels, Nyasatimes reported.

    The channels viewers will access include Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Luso, God News Broadcasting Services (GBS), Timveni, Luntha, Channel for All Africa (CAN), Calvary (CFC), Times, Hope, Zodiak, Joy, Matindi, Ufulu, Beta, Ufulu, Angaliba, African Bible College (ABC) and Laura Televisions.
    Source: Telecompaper

  • Local residents will have an opportunity to ask Communications Minister Faith Muthambi questions about the significance of digital migration and its benefits at the planned DTT awareness campaign at the village's sportsground on Sunday, April 17.

    Registration of households that qualify to receive free subsidised government set top boxes (STBs) will also take place during the DTT awareness campaign.

    The qualifying criteria for free STBs has been developed and according to Minister Muthambi, applicants must prove that they are South African citizens; that their household income is less than R3 200 a month and they should also have a valid TV licence.

    Since Minister Muthambi officially launched the registration of STBs in the Northern Cape last year, over 12 000 households have registered with the South African Post Office to receive STBs. The provinces that have already started with the registration process of STBs are Northern Cape, Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga.

    While Minister Muthambi will also brief residents and their traditional leaders about the successes of government service delivery, she is also expected to explain to residents why it is important for the country to move from analogue to digital television as well as touching on the economic benefits that are associated with the digital migration project.

    This is not the first DTT consumer awareness campaign. In the past few months, Minister Muthambi and her team have been visiting rural areas across the country to educate people about digital migration.
    Source: All Africa

technology & convergence

  • When South Africa began broadcasting on digital transmissions last December, kicking off a period of “dual illumination” before it switches off analog signals, it became the latest African nation to sluggishly make the transition to DTT, six months after the June deadline set by the Intl. Telecommunication Union (ITU).

    But the slow implementation of a process that was supposed to begin several years ago for Africa’s most-developed economy underscores the challenges for digital migration across the continent. Nearly a year after the ITU deadline mandated analog switch-off across most of the continent, just six African nations have managed to complete the turnover to DTT.

    Yet in the long run, the digital transition will “revolutionize the African audiovisual and telecoms landscape,” according to a recent report from telecoms, Internet and broadcast consultancy firm Balancing Act. The challenge is getting government and industry stakeholders on board to foot the bill for the transition, educating the public about its benefits and finding a way to finance what many hope will be a production boom across the continent.

    “The good news is … they all understand the issues that are part of the DTT process,” says Sylvain Beletre of Balancing Act. “They all agree on the fact that DTT is the cheapest option … for universal (TV) access. They also understand that there’s got to be agreements with the private sector. Two years back, very few (countries) had a plan.”

    This is arguably a golden age for the African TV sector, which business event organizer Basic Lead, host of the twice-yearly Discop Africa TV content market, estimates to be a $1 billion-a-year industry — a figure it says has doubled in the past three years. Incomes across the continent have been steadily rising for over a decade, giving rise to a formidable African middle class. Today there are an estimated 110 million TV households across Africa, with more than 9 million having access to DTT at the close of 2015, according to Balancing Act, which says that number is quickly growing.

    Financing the transition has been the greatest obstacle so far. “The problem is that DTT doesn’t really generate money for (governments),” says Beletre, noting that many countries face more basic and pressing needs as they grapple with the high cost of switching over.

    Private players have entered the fray, with Chinese pay-TV provider StarTimes, and GOtv, owned by South Africa’s Multi-Choice, leading the continent’s digital migration efforts.

    In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy, where the switchover will cost an estimated half a billion dollars, the government has entered into a wide-ranging partnership with StarTimes to offset the costs. In countries where the TV market has been liberalized, the additional spectrum space freed up by DTT migration is being sold to 4G mobile networks — a strategy that helped to finance the switchover in many European nations, says Beletre.

    The African market, though, can be volatile. Both the Nigerian naira and the South African rand have nose-dived in the past year, causing a spike in inflation and operating costs while denting consumer spending.

    Legal potholes also remain. Last year, StarTimes took the Ghanaian government to court for breach of contract, after it accused the West African nation of abruptly and unlawfully terminating an agreement for the Chinese company to oversee its digital migration. In Nigeria, courtroom battles over DTT carrier licenses have threatened to derail a process that is already two years behind schedule.

    Still, Beletre notes the slow process of DTT migration in more developed economies, such as France, which has been beset by its own delays and legal squabbles.

    African governments, he says, have learned lessons from “countries where DTT has been deployed, and they’ve looked at the pitfalls and opportunities.”
    Source: Variety

regulation & policy

  • The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) has signed a four-year contract with the African Union of Public Broadcasters (AUB) on a number of issues relating to improving content and programming, capacity building for staff and rights to re-broadcast sports events. According to the Observer, GRTS will provide one-minute air time daily for a period of one year to AUB, as a means to generate income which could be used as a subsidy to access broadcast rights and other benefits for AUB members.

    Charlie Evelyn Faye, head of Marketing and Communication Department of the African Union of Broadcasters hailed the partnership which would potentially transform public broadcasting in Africa and particularly for GRTS.
    Source: Telecompaper 18 April 2016


  • Keynote Speakers, Mentors and Moderators: DISCOP Africa Abidjan 2016
    See here for the list of speakers at this years DISCOP Africa Abidjan.

    The NFVF council calls for nominations for members of its Advisory Panel

    The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) council has announced a call for nominations for individuals to serve as members on the foundation’s Advisory Panel. The Advisory Panel members will fulfil the statutory role to advise the council on the merits of applications for grants and on any matter relating to South African film/television/electronic/media or any other related field which the council deems essential.

    Members can be nominated by any member of the public. Individuals are encouraged to self-nominate, but nominating other individuals and groups is also welcome. Nominees who will enhance the diversity of the advisory panels are encouraged to apply.

    Advisory panels will consist of not more than five people who have each made noteworthy achievements or have special knowledge or experience in the applicable sector. A member of an advisory panel will hold office for a period not exceeding two years and may be appointed on the same or different panel after a further two years has lapsed.

    Criteria for nominations:
    Persons eligible for nomination must prove to be competent, suitably qualified and have proven experience in the South African film, television, audio-visual and/or electronic media industry.

    Advisory Panel members will be expected to assist the NFVF council in the following development areas:
    - Application for individual bursaries and grant allocation for education and training.
    - Grant allocation for the production of film, TV, and/or audio-visual products.
    - Grant allocation for marketing and distribution of film, TV, audio-visual products.

    - Nominees must have an understanding of the film, television and electronic media sector;
    - OR have special knowledge and experience in the fields of television and filmmaking;
    - OR have special knowledge in grant allocation processes;
    - OR have proven experience in the film/television/audio-visual and/or marketing industry;
    - OR have knowledge of broadcast technology
    - OR have experience in education and training

    Appointment of Advisory Panels:
    - Letters of nomination should clearly describe the candidate's specific expertise and qualifications related to the criteria above. Nomination materials should include a letter from the nominee indicating willingness to serve for at least two years, as well as a brief statement of the nominee's qualifications and a current curriculum vitae.
    - Nominations should be emailed to: panel@nfvf.co.za by 3 May 2016 at 12h00.
    Source: Screen Africa

  • South African stars land roles in international feature film

    South African presenter and actress Pearl Thusi and local supermodel turned actress Nicola Breytenbach have landed roles in an upcoming international film called The Blue Mauritius.

    The film centres around five international thieves who are hired by a mystery boss in Mauritius. Their task? Steal the most valuable stamps in the world.

    Channel 24 reports Breytenbach will play the role of Claudia, a talented antiquities curator at a prominent museum and the love interest of the director of the museum where the Blue Mauritius stamp resides. Thusi will play the role of Makeda. She works for a German art dealer who is also out to steal the precious stamps.

    The film will be produced by New York based D Street Pictures and Cape Town’s Kaapland Films. Executive produced by Dexter Davis and the American actor, rapper and presenter Nick Cannon.
    Source: The African. Com 18 April 2016

    Namibia’s Elemotho to tour Germany while his songs feature on US TV

    Elemotho is taking Namibian music to the world. He is soon to embark on a three-month tour of Germany, while in the USA two of his songs will be featured on a leading TV show.

    The good news comes despite Elemotho not picking up any nominations for this year’s Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMA).

    Elemotho was the first Namibian musician to win the prestigious RFI Discoveries Awards in 2012.  He released his third album Ke Nako (it’s time) in 2014 and has performed internationally in over more than 25 African and European countries. He recently performed in South Africa at the inaugural Kgalagadi Jazz Festival on 26 March.

    He will be back in Germany during April, May and June to present his ‘Afro-Acoustic Experience’, alongside his long-time guitarist, Samuel Batola.
    Read the full story here:

    Cannes awaits local award-winning film maker

    Local award-winning owner of Sollywood Films, Senzo Zindela, is heading to France to attend the famous annual event that attracts major film makers in the world, the Cannes Film Festival.

    He brought the Safta Golden Horn Award home last month for establishing the Ugu Film Festival. This award has opened many doors for him, putting the district in the spotlight, leading to his recognition as one of the best film producers in KZN. He will be going to Cannes as part of the KZN delegation. Cannes takes place from 11 to 22 May.

    Film experts, SABC and e.tv series production houses that produce Rhythm City, Skeem Saam, had approached Zindela with proposals to produce a new TV series in the area . Some of the famous faces that star in the South African TV and film industry are now partnering with him to do developmental work in their area as Zindela has done on the South Coast.

    Zindela and the Arts, Film and Video Forum have a long -term plan to transform the South Coast into, not just a tourists destination, but to a preferred film and arts destination as it has all the resources at hand.

    Local businesses that offer accommodation, transportation, suitable scenic locations, make up, casting, camera equipment rentals, editing studios etc. are invited to submit their details to Hilton O'Dwyer at afvf.mail@gmail.com for inclusion in a database to offer the film industry a full range of services.

    A discounted package for film makers coming to the coast will be put together using details received to attract business. Individuals or businesses with suitable filming locations are requested to submit high resolution photos as soon as possible so the chosen locations can be added in the brochure to be utilised to market the area by Zindela on his visit to France.
    Source: www.news24.com

  • 11 to 13 May 2016
    Digital Broadcasting Forum Africa - 2016 - CTO

    Lagos, Nigeria. This year, it is the place to be regarding DTT (digital TV) in Africa.

    31 May to 2 June 2016
    Discop Africa Abidjan 2016

    Sofitel Hotel Ivoire , Abidjan , Ivory Coast
    The TV Market dedicated to francophone Africa: Not to be missed! The largest market in Francophone Africa to buy and sell TV programmes. A creative forum for television programmes, TV channels, industry trends, broadcast technologies and other hot audiovisual topics - more than 500 delegates expected, with conferences, debates, round tables, floor trade stands, networking and much more.

    2-5 June 2016
    Nollywood Week Film Festival

    Paris, France. The place to go re. Nollywood and African films in Francophone Africa. The best festival for Nollywood films in French! Actors, filmakers, distributeurs attend it.



    July 2016 : Championnat d'Europe de football 2016

    Aug. 2016 : The Rio 2016 Olympics (5-21 Aug) and Paralympics (7-18 Sep)


    30 September to 2 October 2016

    African Crystal Festival
    In a region undergoing such tremendous changes and where brands are becoming an essential part of the African identity, the African Cristal stands as the first Summit for Media & Communications dedicated to the African continent. This event aims to bring together the entire media & communication industry to network and to promote regional culture through dedicated competitions, conferences and debates.

    October 2016

    The world's entertainment content market
    Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France

    See more here>>

    November 2016
    SANDTON CONVENTION CENTRE - 161 Maude St, Sandton 2196. Johannesburg, South Africa.
    TV Programs Market: The largest market in Francophone Africa , and creative forum for television programs, TV channels , broadcast technologies and other audiovisual subjects - more than 500 delegates expected , conferences , debates, round tables, floor trade stands and much more ... not to be missed !

    15-17 November 2016
    AfricaCom / AfricaCast / TV Connect Africa 2016

    AfricaCom and TV Connect Africa , two essential events for the digital economy in Africa. Approximately 8,000 participants in 2014.
    Ideal for promoting innovation, sell solutions and seal partnerships with telcos content .
    See more here>>

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