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Broadcast, Film and Convergence in Africa – Issue no. 2042 15 July 2016

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  • The 63rd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity took place between 18 and 25 June 2016 and saw South Africans bring home a whopping 58 wins – nearly double that of last year.

    Sixteen of these awards were in the brand new Print and Publishing Lions category, while 33 were in the Radio Lions. South African agencies also brought home awards in the Promo and Activation Lions, the Outdoor Lions, the Health and Wellness Lions, the Media Lions, and the Design Lions categories.

    Winning agencies from South Africa included Ogilvy & Mather, DDB South Africa, FCB Africa, Native VML, Not Morm, Openco – the Open Collaboration – and TBWA/Hunt Lascaris. Ogilvy & Mather featured prominently, making history with 11 Cannes Lions, while Native VML garnered 11 finalists along with Bronze, Silver and Gold Lions.

    Velocity Films in Johannesburg worked with Not Norm in Cape Town in Scouts SA’s ‘Learn it Young’ campaign, which won them a Bronze Lion in the Health and Wellness Category – the only film from the country to bring home an award.
    Read the full story and view the winners here:
    Source: The Callsheet 12 July 2016

  • Since the Victorian era in which The Legend of Tarzan unfolds, the overall population of elephant species in Africa dropped from 19 million to just 500,000, stresses a new PSA by nonprofit group Stop Ivory featuring the film's stars, Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie. The organization is raising the volume on the plight of endangered African elephants, a magnificent species hunted for their ivory.

    In theaters today, the action adventure The Legend of Tarzan is joining the fight, as much of the movie's backdrop was captured in Gabon, home to many endangered species, including the African forest elephant. The movie is receiving attention for the untapped beauty and diverse landscape of the Gabonese rainforest, home – and last hope – for roughly half of the world's remaining 100,000 forest elephants.

    In the new PSA, launched in partnership with Warner Bros., Skarsgard and Robbie, who play the film's Tarzan and Jane, are raising awareness about the harsh truths of ivory poaching, revealing that, without immediate action, the remaining forest elephant population could be gone in a decade.

    "We're facing an immediate crisis as the population of forest elephants dwindles to a dangerous level due to the continued threat of poachers," said Josh Ponte, a Director with Stop Ivory, who also served as the African technical advisor on the film. "Through this partnership, we are providing an international platform for Stop Ivory's Elephant Protection Initiative, which seeks to stop the illegal trade of ivory."

    The recently announced partnership also aims to promote the successful conservation work being done in the African country of Gabon, where crews spent six weeks shooting scenes for the film – a first for Hollywood.

    "Gabon was a founding member of the Elephant Protection Initiative, recognizing the important role the country's landscape plays in the protection of the majestic forest elephant," said Lee White Director of Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux (ANPN). "Since its founding, ANPN has continued to support initiatives and enforce wildlife laws that will safeguard Gabon's environment and wildlife."

    ANPN is comprised of 13 national parks that safeguard more than 5 million acres of forestry, helping to conserve the diverse ecosystems and wildlife of Gabon. ANPN employs 700 – including a wildlife police force known as ecogardes – tasked with overseeing protection of the national parks and its wildlife. Since 2010, Gabon's ecogardes have arrested more than 6,000 individuals involved in the illegal trafficking of ivory and other natural resources.

    For more information, please visit or connect to @Gabon_Nature on Twitter and @Gabon Nature on Facebook.
    Source: PR Newswire

  • Stigma around mental illness in African communities has detrimentally affected scores of people who have been met with condemnation and scepticism rather than serious and caring treatment. Ledet Muleta, a veteran of behavioral health and now filmmaker, holds hopes to change that with a new psychological thriller aimed at tackling these issues. The film, titled Chula, follows the story of the titular character, a young African woman, played by Selamawit Worku, who is working to becoming a pianist. Yet, Chula’s bipolar disorder stands in her way.

    A dialogue of mental illness in African communities is beginning to take front stage with artists assuming somewhat of a vanguard position in sparking the conversation. The recipient of this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing is the South African writer Lidudumalingani who won for the short story, “Memories We Lost,” published in Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media, South Africa, 2015). The story follows the difficulties, stigma, and eventual expulsion of a young girl with a mental illness.
    Read the full interview and story here:
    Source: Okayafrica  7 July 2016

  • Miguel Llansó’s post-apocalyptic, sci-fi romance, “Crumbs” is set in an unspecified period, amid a deserted Ethiopian landscape that is the a result of a “big war.”

    The resplendent oddity depicts a civilization in which junk of the late 20th century is considered of high value, as we follow the film’s diminutive superhero, Gagano (played by Daniel Tadesse), a junk collector, who embarks on a surreal epic journey, which includes a witch, Santa Claus and second-generation Nazis, to name a few, who exist within this even more peculiar Oz.
    Read the full story here:
    Source: Shadow and Act 13 July 2016

  • The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) announced the Audience Choice Awards for the best DIFF film and the top Wavescape film at this year’s festival.

    Under the DIFF banner, the film Nakom (Ghana/USA) took the honours. Directed by Kelly Daniela Norris and Trav Pittman, the feature tells a story of a Ghanaian medical student named Iddrisu, played by Jacob Ayanaba, whose life comes into a halt when his father dies unexpectedly. As the eldest son, he is called to return to his family homestead to bury his father, only to discover family tensions between his mother and his father’s 'junior' wife. The film shows a dramatic portrayal of the enduring conflict between the modern and the traditional in which Iddrisu wishes to move forward without betraying his upbringing. Nakom has been described as a window into a culture and language rarely shown on screen.

    The Icelandic film No Country For Cold Men won the Audience Choice Award from the Wavescape Surf Film Festival at DIFF 2016. Directed by Ryan Mattick, the film is based on a kneeboarder, bodyboarder and surfer who goes on a surf trip to break free of the conflict among their ilk. The film challenges the notion of harmony in a humorous manner while taking a closer look at the surf society.

    For more information visit the DIFF website.

  • DStv Ghana has announced the addition of three local channels, currently on GOtv platform, to the DStv platform, to increase the local content offering in Ghana. Adom TV, Joy News and Joy Prime are therefore now available on all DStv packages.

    Adom TV will be available on channel 280 and will offer authentic Ghanaian programming comprising of news and current affairs, movies, magazine and talk shows, sports, religious programming and a multitude of variety entertainment.  Adom TV…Yewo adze A oye!

    For live breaking news and in-depth analysis, subscribers can tune in to channel 421 for Joy News, a dedicated 24 hours news and current affairs television channel. The channel will provide informative and educational variety content, ranging from foreign news bulletins, current affairs, talk shows, documentaries and magazine shows.

    On channel 281, DStv subscribes will find the popular Joy Prime. Joy Prime provides 24 hours of non-stop, real entertaining action with programmes from the world’s best studios. Programming genres include, award winning Series and Original productions, Movies, Telenovelas, Reality, Lifestyle and Game shows, Documentaries, Animations, Religious and Family shows. The channel delivers programmes for the whole family.

    These three join GTV, Metro TV and TV3 on all DStv packages.
    Source: TelcoTV News 14 July 2016

  • The Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) 2016 kicked off on 9 July at the Old Fort Ampitheatre in Stone Town with ZIFF’s chief guest Kanul Kapur; ZIFF chairman Mahmoud Kombo; guest of honour minister of Information, Culture, Tourism and Sports Juma Rashidi; as well as South African filmmaker Mandla Dube in attendance.

    After the symbolic raising of the Dhow sail that officially opened the festival, the opening night film Kalushi was introduced by festival director Martin Mhando, film director Dube and the films score composer Rashid Lanie. Kalushi is a South African film that tells the story of apartheid hero and activist Solomon Mahlangu. The venue under the Zanzibar stars was filled to capacity and the audience was enrapt with the film.

    Guests spoke about the uniqueness of ZIFF and Zanzibar as a location for what has become East Africa’s largest festival of its kind. Along with the screening there was a range of local entertainment including the Miss Tourism Fashion show, Maha Artista, Kilua Ngoma, and Baby J. The evening continued well into the night with live performances at the Mambo Club.

    The event, supported by Zanlink, was also broadcast live across multiple TV channels including Azam TV and ZBC TV.

    Earlier in the evening the festival had its corporate launch at the Park Hyatt Hotel that was attended by all of ZIFF’s corporate sponsors and also chief guest, the minister of Education Rizidi Juma Pembe

    The following day Dube and Lanie attended a press conference where, on what would have been Solomon Mahlangu’s birthday, they spoke about the resonance of his story for today’s South African youth. Dube also detailed the eight year journey that it has taken to make the film, starting from an exhibition and stage production. Dube explained that Mahlangu’s story continues to be relevant to those in South Africa and across the globe.

    The film will be screened again at ZIFF along with a number of other South African films including Davison Mudzwinga’s Lost Tongue and Jarryd Coetzee’s The Suit.

    The festival runs through to Sunday 17 July with a full schedule of film screenings, exhibitions and performances.

    For more information visit the ZIFF website.
    Source: Screen Africa 11 July 2016

  • Cartoon Network, the satellite television channel airing children’s programmes owned by Time Warner through the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary, and Urban Brew (the African content creator owned by Kagiso Media) are partnering together to launch ‘Pop Up Party’. The new programme will kick off on Cartoon Network, channel 301 on DStv.

    It is a children’s programme, produced regionally, to be broadcasted in South Africa. Primarily, the show will revolve around fad dances that have been the most popular on the internet during the past few years. The home-grown series are short inserts that aim at entertaining the very young audience in Africa.

    Confident about the launch’s success, Pierre Branco, the vice president and managing director of Turner Africa said: “Over the last couple of years, the Internet has seen many viral dance fads that have taken the Internet by storm and got the world moving, but this will be on a whole other level as it will be aimed specifically at kids on the African market, which has not experienced this directly”.

    He also added that: “Turner is proud of our audience on the African continent and to show our commitment to Africa, Cartoon Network will be producing more local inspired shows, using some of Africa’s best and most inspiring talents”.
    Source: NexTVNews 11 July 2016

  • Turner is launching high definition and dual language options for its Cartoon Network and Boomerang channels in the Middle East and North Africa.

    From this month the channels will be available in English and Arabic in the MENA region exclusively on beIN for DTH satellite customers and on compatible IPTV platforms.
    Read the full story here:
    Source: DigitalTV Europe 12 July 2016

  • MultiChoice Nigeria is pleased to announce the addition of Galaxy TV, a popular free-to-air (FTA) channel from Lagos, to its DStv platform from Thursday 7 July.

    Galaxy TV will broadcast current news from Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world and will be on DStv channel 258. The channel will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact, DStv Family and DStv Access customers.

    Galaxy TV, which was previously only available on GOtv, now joins the growing number of Nigeria’s FTA channels on DStv. Other FTA stations on DStv include; NTA I, Channels TV, Africa Independent Television (AIT), SilverBird Television, TVC, Lagos Television and ONTV MAX.

    MultiChoice Nigeria managing director John Ugbe said the addition of Galaxy TV will offer customers more local content options to choose from.

    “We are deeply committed to Africa and support the growth of original African programming. Galaxy TV is Nigeria’s premiere private television station that broadcasts content from not only Nigeria, but Africa and the rest of the world. The addition of Galaxy TV to our FTA genre will complement and boost our local content offering on our platform,” he said.

    The 24-hour channel will feature a wide range of programming and shows ranging from news, business, sports, entertainment and other local programmes.

    Galaxy TV is available to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus, DStv Compact, DStv Family and DStv Access customers on DStv.
    Source: Company Press Release


  • South African Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng has joined the presenting team on The Cure, Al Jazeera’s award-winning medical series. She presented segments in both Liberia and Zimbabwe for the show’s fifth season, which is currently screening.

    Born in the Free State but based in Gauteng, Mofokeng is a sexual and reproductive health doctor and activist, best known locally as Kaya FM’s resident doctor, Dr T.

    Traveling to Liberia was particularly eye-opening for Mofokeng. “Liberia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world,” she says. “It is estimated that three women die every day from complications during childbirth. Many of these deaths are preventable with simple surgery and adequate equipment. However, a chronic lack of doctors here means that many maternity wards are overstretched and understaffed.”

    The Ebola epidemic killed 184 doctors in Liberia, creating a chronic skills shortage. “In the last government report, Liberia had only 117 practicing doctors [in a country of 4.5m people],” says Dr Mofokeng. “This depleted healthcare system is being supported by midwives, who through no other choice, are taking on the risks of surgery to help hundreds of mothers facing difficult and possibly life-threatening births…”

    The process is called task shifting and is run by international charity Maternal Childcare Advocacy International.

    Dr Mofokeng’s first stop in Liberia was the CB Dunbar maternity hospital in rural Bong County, where just three fulltime doctors serve the 65 000 population. She meets one of them, Dr Obed Dolo, who is also the master trainer at the hospital responsible for upskilling nurses. “Dr. Dolo’s aim is to train midwives in months, rather than the years normally required to become a qualified doctor,“ says Mofokeng. The success at CB Dunbar has resulted in the project being rolled out to two more hospitals.

    Mofokeng also visited Redemption hospital in Monrovia, which provides free health care to a large slum area. With the Ebola epidemic, the hospital became overwhelmed with patients and had to be shut down. It recently re-opened but conditions are tough, with basic equipment, few staff and a shortage of drugs.

    Mofokeng witnessed a woman giving birth during an electricity outage, in sweltering heat without airc onditioning, and heard of nurses operating by torchlight, sometimes improvising with a needle holder with a blade on it when a scalpel was not available.

    She also witnessed the birth of two breech twins, which were the wrong way up and had to be taken out via Caesarean section. With neither baby breathing and minutes passing, Mofokeng put on gloves and stepped in to help keep them alive, without incubators or even a stand for the team to use to resuscitate them.

    Visibly emotional afterwards, Mofokeng said, “I just couldn’t bare to watch and do nothing. The babies seem like they will make it but there’s no IV lines, there’s no incubators, there’s no ICU. In any other setting, these kids could have been incubated right then and cared for properly in ICU. To think that there’s so many other kids who don’t make it, every day… My heart’s very sore at the moment.”

    Another South African, Kathy Hearn, is the series producer of The Cure.

    Mofokeng’s segment on HIV treatment in Zimbabwe screens on Al Jazeera English on Thursday, 21 July 2016 at 18h30 SAST/16h30 GMT, with her segment on Liberia screening the following Thursday, 28 July 2016 at the same time.
    Source: Screen Africa 8 July 2016

  • As of today, 01 July 2016, the national broadcaster’s website, along with its new look and feel, will go live to the Namibian nation as well as to the rest of the world.

    The newly modernized website is more responsive, mobile friendly and now comes with an additional searchable and archive function. What is also new is that all upgrades were done internally with the core team comprising of five (5) nbc employees. The staff compliment ranges from radio representatives, branding and advertising specialist, IT staff as well as the webmaster that forms part of the team that put together the nbc’s first ever internally hosted website.
    All technical aspects of the website will be handled by nbc Webmaster Alex Samuel with Web Editors uploading content from the Corporate Affairs, Television License, Sports, Radio and Television as well as News and Current Affairs departments.

    With the website set to go live in phases, the first phase includes publishing the website and the second phase involves bringing the radio aspect of the site more to life! The final stages are set to be completed by 01 September 2016 which will see the finalization of the site. Thereafter, the team sets to unveil the nbc mobile application to follow suit with news alerts to allow the public easier access to television and radio news.

    The website will cater for the live streaming of all ten (10) nbc radio stations to cater for the masses as well as the diaspora of Namibia worldwide. Each radio station will have its own page within the site with the second phase introduction of the site allowing for the uploading of various media content.

    The public can also look forward to consumer based file upload feature, which will allow users to send in news stories and video content onto the website, this will contribute to the ‘News Just In” aspect of the site allowing the broadcaster to keep abreast with events and incidences as they occur. The homepage will also have a RSS feed for the public to have easier access to the news.

    Chief Technology Officer, Aldred Dreyer states, “The reason for the new look and feel is to sell all nbc products and programs. The website will have links from the website to all its social media platforms and with radio being one of the most important communication mediums, we as the broadcaster are proud to take nbc closer to the people, wherever they might be.” He concludes that the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (nbc) herewith aims to be and remain the leading multimedia broadcaster of choice and is thrilled to have this new venture reach new heights.
    Source: Press Release

  • NBCUniversal International Formats today announces the launch of its successful reality cooking completion show, Top Chef, in South Africa. The local version will be broadcast by SABC3 and produced by Urban Brew Studios who have bought the Top Chef format rights in South Africa. The 13 episodes will start airing from 12 July 2016.

    Top Chef is an unscripted show, which sees a number of chefs compete against each other in a number of culinary challenges to escape elimination and win the title.  The Emmy award-winning series first aired on Bravo in the US in 2006 and now spans 21 territories including France, Spain, Poland, Mexico, the Middle East and Vietnam.

    Top Chef has performed tremendously across the world. In France, season seven has just drawn to a close with record ratings; Spain’s three seasons have attracted peak audiences of over four million and in Poland, production is just beginning on season seven. With culinary shows becoming increasingly popular in the territory, SABC3 is hopeful that Top Chef will become a returning brand for the network.

    Yvonne Pilkington, SVP, Format Sales & Production, NBCUniversal International Formats comments: “Top Chef has gone from strength-to-strength in the past year. The international appetite for the show is incredible and we are so pleased to be adding South Africa to our slate. With other cooking shows performing well in the territory, we’re confident there will be a genuine passion for the show.”

    Trish Taylor, Urban Brew Studios CEO adds: “We’re proud to be producing a local version of hugely successful international reality TV series and audiences can expect the same top quality production as the original show.”

    Aisha Mohamed, Head of Bouquet: SABC 3 says: “SABC 3 is excited to bring Top Chef South Africa to our local audiences; a first to market brand new offering to compliment SABC 3’s revised prime time schedule. The show provides a fast paced and very real look inside a professional kitchen and what it takes to be a Top Chef which is a strong compliment to the high production value of the show.”
    Source: NBC Uniformats 11 July 2016


  • The digitalisation process across Africa is ongoing. Focused in Mozambique, the DTT tender will be an international one, this time. The company bagging the contract, will have the task of financing and effectuating the project for the digitalisation process.

    Although the process should have already been started, a re-assessment was considered before taking up a decision for the procurement rights of the project. The completion of the process is expected to be completed by the end of December this year.

    Victor Mbebe, the chairperson of the public operator of the digital television network, TMT said: “Right now, we are working to comply with the rules for hiring services in Mozambique. Our hope is that we will conclude the process by the end of the year”.

    Financed by the public and private entities, the pilot phase of the digital migration process has cost around 3.5 million USD. Eventually, the cost of the final project will be decided and declared once the company acquiring the contract will be known.
    Source: Nextvame  29 June 2016

  • The video-entertainment segment generated revenues of US$3.4bn, down 11% year on year. As customers are billed in local currencies, the rapid weakening of currencies in many African markets, driven by a rout in commodity prices, resulted in lower US dollar revenues. As a significant portion of costs are US dollar-denominated, the combination of lower revenues and a higher cost base (partly due to increased competition), saw trading profit decreasing by 17% to US$610m.

    The South African video-entertainment customer base grew by 325,000 homes, but the weakened South African rand and a poor macroeconomic outlook could reduce growth and profitability in the future. In sub-Saharan Africa, substantial price increases to offset the impact of currency declines plus weaker consumer sentiment resulted in a loss of 288 000 direct-to-home (DTH) customers. To reinvigorate growth, the focus is now on managing and absorbing costs ourselves where possible, to minimise further price increases to the consumer. We are also strengthening content in the mid- and lower segments. At year-end, the digital terrestrial television (DTT) customer base reached 2.4m homes and development spend has declined. Our new subscription video-on demand service, ShowMax, had a good start in South Africa with a deeper and more customised content offering than competitors and a focus on service delivery.

    Consolidated free cash outflow of US$38m was recorded, marginally higher than last year, as lower capital expenditure, a reduction in development spend and higher dividends from associates were offset by weaker cash flow from the sub-Saharan video-entertainment business.

    “In the year ahead, the focus will be on continuing to deliver topline growth while scaling the more established ecommerce businesses,” said Naspers CFO, Basil Sgourdos. “We’ll invest further in long-term growth opportunities such as ShowMax, letgo and ibibo. In video- entertainment, the loss of DTH subscribers and the effects of weakening currencies in sub- Saharan Africa will have a significant downward impact on earnings and cash flows in the year ahead. It could take some time before the plans to reposition this business will have a positive impact.”
    For more information click here:

    Source: Press Release

  • Pretoria — Communications Minister Faith Muthambi will lead a campaign to raise awareness on the television revolution of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting in Ga-Mothapo village, outside Polokwane, on Friday, July 8.

    The Minister's awareness campaign about digital terrestrial television (DTT) will take place at the Bakgaga ba Mothapo Traditional Council.

    Minister Muthambi said the transition from analogue to DTT broadcasting presents governments, broadcasters, regulators and the general public with immense opportunities.
    Read the full story here:
    Source: SA Gov News 4 July  2016

  • NEW YORK, July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- IMAX Corporation and Ster-Kinekor Theatres, a division of Primedia (Pty) Ltd., today announced an agreement for three new IMAX® theatres in South Africa with locations to be confirmed.  The deal brings Ster-Kinekor's IMAX footprint to 10 theatres with seven currently open in cities throughout South Africa, including three in Johannesburg and one each in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban.

    "Ster-Kinekor entered the IMAX business back in 2013 when there were no IMAX theatres in South Africa and in less than three years, they've expanded their commitment to 10 theatres.  This is a testament to their world-class marketing and operational efforts and the power of IMAX to thrill audiences and deliver results to our exhibition partners," said Andrew Cripps, President of International and EVP, IMAX Corporation. "In Africa, our year-over-year box office is up 125% and we've signed theatre agreements in Nigeria, Angola and Kenya in the past 12 months alone.  As we continue to work closely with exhibition leaders such as Ster-Kinekor, we will capitalize on the many growth opportunities that exist in this underpenetrated market where there is a growing appetite for The IMAX Experience."

    Since the opening of the first IMAX theatre at Gateway in Durban in 2013, the footprint has already increased to seven, with a further three cinemas in the pipeline this year. Ster-Kinekor continues to enjoy support from its loyal customers for this premium cinematic experience. With the cinemas fitted with the latest digital technology and screening the film studios' biggest blockbusters in this immersive format, the country's leading cinema chain is able to deliver on its promise to provide 'great moments at their greatest'.
    Source: PR Newswire

  • By May 2016, fourteen service providers in ten countries in the Arab World offered IPTV services, according to Arab Advisors Group’s analysis. For North Africa, these countries are Egypt and Morocco.

technology & convergence

  • The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has welcomed China's decision to support Nigeria's effort to actualize the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting,

    The minister said Monday while responding to comments by the Vice-President of the StarTimes Group of China, Ms. Zhao Yueqin during a courtesy visit in Abuja, that Nigeria's commitment to meet the June 2017 deadline was irrevocably in order. He assured that it would unlock the creative potentials of Nigerians in technology and content development.

    Mohammed said his ministry would borrow a leaf from China, particularly in the area of national re-orientation, having realized that the Chinese economic boom and development were underpinned by the discipline of its citizens, their patriotism and dedication.

    In her remarks earlier, Ms. Zhao expressed China's willingness to assist Nigeria to realize the digital switch over. She restated the commitment of China to ensure that every household in Nigeria has access to digital television.
    Source: Daily Trust 6 July 2016

  • Nagra Kudelskiuk technology company Inview’s Nigerian subsidiary, Invew Nigeria, has tapped Kudelski Group’s Nagra to supply cardless content security for the Nigerian digital switchover project for which it is the lead supplier.

    Inview, in addition to being contracted to supply technical and operational advice to the Nigerian National Broadcasting Commission, is providing set-top software and integrated broadcast services for digital-terrestrial and satellite TV across the country.

    Nagra will deploy its anyCast content security products to secure free-to-view, pay TV and push VoD services using cardless conditional access and DRM-based clients.

    The company will deploy its anyCast Enable and Protect cardless clients, which use Nagra’s chipset-based NOCS3 security, available on a range of silicon and set-top boxes. While anyCast Enable provides basic protection for free and low-value pay services, Protect runs fully within the NOCS3 hardware to provide higher level protection.

    The Nigerian service launched in the central city of Jos at the end of April and will be rolled out nationally over the next two years.

    Source: DigitalTV Europe

  • StarTimes, one of the fastest-growing operators of digital TV networks in Africa, and Eutelsat Communications have concluded new multi-year agreements that set the stage for accelerated roll-out of digital broadcasting services across Africa.

    StarTimes uses satellites to deliver its multi-channel TV platform to over seven million homes in 13 Sub-Saharan African countries and is gearing up to expand into DRC Congo and Zambia in August. The platform transmits over 200 channels, including international channels, regional and country-focused channels as well as StarTimes’ own branded content. Content is offered both on a Free-to-View and pay-TV basis, with exclusive programming including frontline events such as the Bundesliga and the 2016 Copa America.

    StarTimes has renewed capacity contracts on two Eutelsat satellites as well as agreements for uplinking services provided by a partner teleport operated by STN, in Slovenia. In anticipation of continued expansion of Africa’s TV market, StarTimes has also secured extra capacity and plans to scale up further by the end of the year. This expanded portfolio equips StarTimes to host more services, uplink channels from Europe and Africa and provide the highest levels of service continuity.

    For more information about STN:
    Source: Press Release

regulation & policy

  • A new programming code for free-to-air radio and television broadcasting services in Kenya came into force at midnight on July 1.

    Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Francis Wangusi said in a statement the new code set standards for the time and manner of programmes to be broadcast by licensees.

    Licensees had been given enough time to comply with the new code which had been published in the Kenya Gazette in December 2015.

    “To facilitate seamless transition into the new environment, the authority gave broadcasters a grace period of six months to align their operations with the provisions of the programming code before this key regulatory tool came into effect.

    “The development of the code was done in accordance with the provisions of Kenya Information and Communications Act, 1998, as amended, and the Kenya Information and Communications (Broadcasting) Regulations, 2009, which obligate the authority to prescribe a programme code that sets the standards for the time and manner of programmes to be broadcast by licensees,” Wangusi said.

    The grace period lapsed on June 30 and radio and TV broadcasters were now required to transmit programming appropriate for family audiences from 5am to 10pm.
    Read the full story here:
    Source: The Citizen 2nd July 2016

  • The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has informed all interested stakeholders that a questionnaire relating to an inquiry into the subscription broadcasting services market has been issued.

    The aim of the questionnaire is to gather information on the market, and the process will culminate in a Discussion Document published for public comment. All interested stakeholders will have ten business days to review the questionnaire and send their questions in writing to Icasa
    Source: Telecompaper 13 July 2016

  • SA's digital migration process faces further delays, as USAASA confirmed the production of DTT set-top boxes is on hold.

    SA's digital migration process faces further delays, as USAASA confirmed the production of DTT set-top boxes is on hold.

    The Universal Service and Access Agency of SA (USAASA) has instructed manufacturers to suspend the production of digital terrestrial television (DTT) set-top boxes (STBs) until further notice.

    The agency says its decision to suspend production follows the Supreme Court of Appeal's (SCA's) judgement in May, that the use of unencrypted STBs is "unlawful and invalid" and accordingly set aside. The appeal court found the amendment did not follow a process of consultation and was irrational and in breach of the principle of legality.

    In a statement issued to ITWeb, USAASA says it has only suspended the production of DTT STBs, while direct to the home (DTH) decoders are not affected and the production thereof continues.

    As the agency charged with the responsibility of managing the production and installation of STBs, USAASA has contracted manufacturers to produce both DTT and DTH decoders.

    DTH STBs are encrypted as per the SABS standards and have been distributed to qualifying households in the border areas which will not receive DTT signals. Meanwhile, the DTT decoders are not encrypted as per the amendments to the Digital Migration Policy, according to USAASA.

    "This called up on USAASA to analyse the implications of the SCA order and seek legal advice thereof," the agency says.

    It continues: "On the strength of the advice received, USAASA decided to suspend production of the DTT set-top boxes as part of exercising the fiduciary duties of the board of director as per section 50 of the PFMA, until further directive from the executive authority. Please note this only applies to the DTT STBs, which were affected by the judgement.
    Read the full story here:
    Source: IT Web 4 July 2016

  • Africa's largest provider of pay-television services Naspers (NPNJn.J) has kept prices on the continent unchanged to halt a decline in subscriber numbers, its chief executive said on Monday.

    Naspers, the biggest listed firm on the continent, which sells access to popular American series and blockbuster movies in 50 countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean via its Multichoice unit, reported an 18 percent rise in full-year profit on Friday, but flagged pay-TV as a drag on its performance.

    Weaker currencies and lower economic growth in commodity exporting economies such as Angola, Zambia and Nigeria have hurt business, said Chief Executive Bob van Dijk.

    "The currency decline has been massive and that really hurts us because we bill in local currency," he said.

    Though it is not the case in its home market South Africa, Naspers has lost around 288,000 subscribers across the continent, the firm's results showed on Friday.

    Most of Naspers's content costs are in dollars, said Van Dijk, which means it has to absorb the increases or pass it on to consumers who are struggling to afford an entertainment luxury.

    "We've frozen the prices of our products in local currency," Van Dijk told Reuters in a telephone interview, adding that many don't have the disposable income to pay their subscriptions.

    "That's a big deal if you're in a scenario with local currency still deteriorating like the naira just did," he said.

    Naspers' pay-TV business had for decades been the cash cow for a firm that started out a century ago as an Afrikaans newspaper publisher, but the unit has since been dwarfed by the Internet business that accounts for more than two thirds of revenue.
    Read the full story here:
    Source: Reuters


  • NFVF call for national bursary applications for film and TV studies

    The National Film and Video Foundation's (NFVF) bursary programme is aimed at stimulating and developing the skills of applicants who want to enter the film and television industry. The bursaries are awarded to qualifying applicants who are studying or intending to study towards any qualification in the film and television industry at any accredited South African tertiary institution. Live Performance or Acting diplomas/degrees are excluded.

    Qualifying Criteria

    An applicant must:
    -Be a South African citizen
    -Have a good academic record
    -Demonstrate a need for financial assistance
    -Have registered or provisionally registered to study for a full-time under-graduate or post-graduate diploma or degree in film/TV disciplines at an accredited South African tertiary institution

    Preference will be given to students enrolled at public tertiary institutions.

    Applications must be accompanied by a detailed motivation letter explaining why the applicant should be awarded a bursary together with certified copies of all supporting documents indicated on the application form.

    To apply, complete an online national bursary application form available on the NFVF website.

    Applications will not be considered if:
    -The application form is incomplete or wrong information is provided
    -Supporting documents are missing or not certified

    Applications sent via fax or email will not be considered.

    Deadline for applications: 31 August 2016 at 00h00.

    For any queries on the application process and qualifying criteria, email Lebohang Khunou at

    Free Film Screenings - Sunshine Cinema Road Show

    Sunshine Cinema, a mobile solar-powered cinema will be hosting a series of free film screenings in Durban and Qunu from 14-22 July 2016.

    The screenings will take place in Qunu with UNAIDS on the 15th of July, as well as townships around Durban during the International AIDS Conference 2016 from 19-22nd July supported by the Open Society Foundations Public Health Program.

    The FREE screening schedule is as follows:

    15 July at 5:30pm in Qunu community hall, screening Themba: A Boy Called Hope

    19 July at 5:30pm in Cato Manor, Durban at the Masibambisane Center, 2658 Droma Road, screening Nothing Without Us, IASYouthVoices short films

    20 July at 5:30pm in Wentworth, Durban at the Blue Roof Wellness Center, 74 Lubbe Road, screening Nothing Without Us, IASYouthVoices short Films

    21 July 10am at Umlazi, Durban Community Hall in Section M, with theatre performance, 1 Mabhuda Drive, screening Nothing Without Us, IASYouthVoices short films

    22 July at 11am in KwaMashu at the Ekhaya Multi Art Center, with theatre performance, 25 Giya Road, screening Nothing Without Us, IASYouthVoices short films

    The Durban screenings will include extracts from the documentary, Nothing Without Us directed by Harriet Hirshorn, which focuses on the role of women in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The screenings will also include a series of short films produced by Makhulu for IAS Youth Voices, an advocacy initiative of the International AIDS Society (IAS) in partnership with the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and the Children’s Radio Foundation. The films provide perspectives from youth from South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania facing the challenges of access to care, social stigmas. These films share the stories of young people and their needs in the HIV response.

    As part of the interactive experience at the screenings, there will be panel discussions with global and local change-makers. At the Umlazi and KwaMashu screenings aimed at high school students, there will be theatre performances from the local youth group Yamanje that is part of a Theatre4Youth program at Assitej SA. The performance will focus on activism and the concept of speaking to be heard.

    The events will provide a platform for engagement and dialogue within communities that may not have access to the international conference in Durban and will challenge community members to consider how they may impact the fight against HIV and AIDS.

    The Durban screenings are funded by the Open Society Foundations Public Health Program.

  • Nigeria: Actors, Producers Who Make Nollywood Interesting

    In this piece, Anthony Ada Abraham examines some top Nollywood actors cum producers who are responsible for churning out great movies around the world.

    The history of cinema in Nigeria dates back to as early as the history of film itself; notably in the late 19th century, with the use of peephole viewing of motion picture devices. These were soon replaced in the early 20th century with improved motion picture exhibition devices. The first set of films shown in Nigerian theatres were Western films, with the first film screened at Glover Memorial Hall in Lagos from 12 to 22 August, 1903. In that year, Herbert Macaulay had invited to Nigeria, the Balboa and Company, Spain to organise an exhibition tour of silent films in Nigeria.

    But today, the story has changed with new technological advancement and well improved sophisticated hi-tech cameras with lenses that capture pictures from all ranges.

    Many don't know the movies Nigerians watch every day for their relaxation are made possible by people's hard work, time and energy. Though some might say 'are they not also smiling to the bank?' Yes they are, but huge funds and energy are also responsible for the award winning movies that come on screen every day.

    The Nigeria movies industry has grown to the extent that strong collaborations have been made between Nollywood and Hollywood. Renowned Nigerian actors have featured in some Hollywood flicks while our movie producers have brought in personalities from Hollywood to feature in Nollywood.

    The second largest producing film industry in the world is no joke and that is why these men and women who have been working tirelessly day and night must be appreciated.

    Some are new to the production scene while others have always been there. LEADERSHIP Friday captures some of the top producers in Hollywood churning out record breaking movies. Read the full story here:
    Source: All Africa 8 July 2016

    ECONET MEDIA welcomes new senior executive in advance of Kwesé EXPANSION

    Top African Media Executive Rhys Torrington Named Group Commercial Director

    Econet Media has confirmed the appointment of highly experienced African media executive Rhys Torrington as its Group Commercial Director, effective 1st July 2016. This appointment marks a significant development in its strategy to establish its Kwesé brand in the broadcast industry across Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Having announced major partnership agreements with the likes of England’s Premier League, America’s NBA, the critically-acclaimed Viceland channel and Bishop T.D. Jakes, the latest news highlights the company’s ability to both acquire excellent programming, and attract influential TV industry professionals into its business.

    As Group Commercial Director, Torrington will be responsible for creating and expanding Econet Media’s commercial operations, specifically the ongoing development and implementation of a comprehensive sales strategy for Kwesé products. These products will be available on both satellite and internet platforms, including on-demand and mobile.

    “Rhys is a skilled negotiator, accomplished leader and organisational expert who built his reputation through his tenacity and vision. He recognises the potential of Kwesé products to positively benefit African TV consumers by diversifying their choices. His role gives him cross-functional oversight of our connectivity infrastructure to best meet our core aim of delivering affordable, lifestyle-based, viewing solutions,” said Econet Media CEO Joseph Hundah. “His vast knowledge is deeply valuable, and we’re proud to welcome him.”

    Most recently Torrington was the CEO of the Tanzania-based Azam Media, for three years, steering the company from initial concept to successful launch, and winning the brand a substantial audience across sub-Saharan Africa. Another notable achievement was the construction of a three-studio complex which was opened by the country’s President in September 2015.

    Speaking on his decision to join with Econet Media, Torrington says, “It’s increasingly becoming clear that the Kwesé range of products will challenge for significant market share as they are launched. My primary objective as Group Commercial Director is to engage our third-party partners collaboratively, so as to offer innovative opportunities for Kwesé to become integrated within their environments. Whilst we are well-equipped to resource our products, their insights will be incorporated to engineer a seamless Kwesé experience.”

    Torrington started his career at IBM and then worked at an executive level with corporations such as Groupe Bull and the Gartner Group, where he provided consultancy services to a range of technology companies, including Vodafone and O2. He was also CEO of two internet start-ups in Paris and ran his own firm, concentrating on sales and marketing effectiveness. He’s lived and worked in the USA, The Netherlands, France, China, Brazil and Scandinavia. With a particular interest in broadcast initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa, he was the Chief Operating Officer at Gateway Communications when it launched the satellite DTH service GTV, whose competitive presence brought a new awareness to the African Pay-Tv market. Torrington holds an MA from Oxford University and is fluent in French and Dutch.
    Source: Press Release

  • Introduction:

    Quoting notable nigerian filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, "film festivals help to increase the mileage and patronage of our local movies in the global village and they allow movie aficionados to converge and have one to one interactions, which give room for synergy, co-productions and collaborations.’’(1)

    The Cannes festival and others such as Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance International Film Festival (USA), FESPACO in Burkina Faso and the Nigerian based African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) provide African film producers ample opportunity to showcase their finest cinematic output and potentials.

    The two Discop Africa (in Johanesburg and Abidjan) and MIPTV/MIPcom are the main markets for TV programme sales.

    The Loeries and Cristal are dedicated to advertising mainly.

    Note: This list is not exhaustive, and there is almost one african film festival per year in key countries around the World: in large African countries, the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, etc.

    To advertise your event on this section, please ontact us. You can also rent a banner space.


    16-26 June 2016

    Durban International Film Festival (DIFF)
    Africa’s premier film event, the Durban International Film Festival, which is hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, presents its 37th edition from 16 to 26 June, 2016, in the east coast city of Durban, South Africa.
    Arguably the continent’s biggest film event, which attracts both film-lovers and industry representatives from across Africa and beyond, the DIFF is a ten day celebration of world class cinema which screens new feature, documentary and short films from around the globe with a special focus on African film. The festival also includes the Wavescape Surf Film Festival as well as important industry initiatives featuring a programme of seminars and workshops with notable industry figures, the 8th Talents Durban (in cooperation with the Berlinale Talents) and the 6th Durban FilmMart co-production market (in partnership with the Durban Film Office).
    The festival is a hub for the African film industry and is an unmissable date for both industry representatives and lovers of film.
    We are very busy getting ready for DIFF 2016. The 37th edition will be better than ever, so please check back for more information over the coming weeks. The full programme


    July 2016 : European Championship - ootball 2016

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


    15-21 August 2016
    Durban - South Africa
    The Loeries® are the biggest industry gathering in Africa Middle East that recognises, rewards, inspires and fosters creative excellence in the brand communication space. As the highest accolade in the region, the Loeries focus on rewarding creativity, innovation and relevance across all spheres of brand communication from traditional advertising, architecture to music videos or even service design. 

    30 September to 2 October 2016 (date tbc)
    African Cristal 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>>

    18 - 20 October 2016 Sheraton Hotel and Towers

    Abuja - Nigeria
    Africast was introduced in 1996 by the National Broadcasting Commission, the broadcast regulator in Nigeria. Africast has grown over the years to be the gateway to Africa's broadcast and media market. Africast is the platform on which broadcast issues as they relate to Africa are thrashed out biennially by professionals, academics and policy makers. It is also the market for manufacturers of broadcast equipment and publishers of content who are targeting the emerging African market.

    2-4 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 !

    13-20 novembre 2016 
    The African International Film Festival (AFRIFF 2016)

    Nigeria, Tinapa - Calabar Free Trade Zone
    The main film festival in Nigéria.

    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


    25 Feb. to 4 March 2017
     - The 
    Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou
    The 25e edition of THE main African film festival.
    Burkina Faso.

    June 2017Discop Africa
    Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

    THE main film, TV and digital content market dedicated to Francophone Africa with conferences, networking sessions, projections, local stars and debates. Over 1000 delegates in 2016.

    June 2017
    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. Last year, top nollywood films were shown - e.g. The CEO (2016) - Directed by Kunle Afolayan.





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