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Broadcast, Film and Convergence in Africa - Issue no. 2045 26 August 2016

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  • OpenView HD will cancel four channels as part of its “annual content review”, the company announced. ASTV, Spirit Word, Wild TV Africa, and Ekurhuleni TV will no longer be available on the platform.

    “These channels will start to go off air at the end of September through to mid-October,” said the company.

    “The decision to terminate the four channels’ contracts came after careful consideration of their performance and the overall OpenView HD strategy going forward,” said Ziyanda Mngomezulu, Channel and Acquisitions Executive.
    Decoder availability

    OpenView HD Managing Director Patrick Conroy also announced that the company was addressing problems with the availability of its decoders.“Our retail partner, Game, has pumped tens of thousands of boxes into the market with a further 70,000 decoders destined to be in stores next month,” he said.

    “Two additional retailers will also be stocking OpenView HD decoders over the festive period, to cope with the high demand we are experiencing.”

    OpenView HD added that it will announce a new channel launch in October.
    Source: My Broadband 17 August 2016

  • The South African Broadcasting Companys (SABC) move to suddenly dump international content and flush the SABC3 schedule with locally produced shows from July 2016 has seen SABC3s ratings collapse.

    An article published on channel24, written by Thinus Ferreira, states that viewership for all the new shows are so low that not a single one of the new programmes managed to even make last months top 20 most watched shows.

    After an abrupt order for his plan of 90% local television by the SABC s chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng that was hastily implemented in July, the plunging ratings for SABC3 spells disaster for August and beyond since some foreign films and the weekday soap Days of Our Lives were still shown in July.

    Despite collectively costing the SABC a lot of money to produce, all the new local SABC3 shows are viewership flops according to South Africas TAMS TV ratings.

    The fact that not one of the new SABC3 local shows rate in the top 20 - meaning that very few viewers are watching these - means that the troubled SABC3 must adjust advertising rates for timeslots down due to the fewer viewers its getting. That means less income.

    By having replaced popular shows with local shows that has lower production values, higher income TV households - those that advertisers want to reach - have abandoned SABC3.

    It also means that SABC3s overall ratings - its combined audience figures for August - will be lower, a problem for SABC3 that is already struggling in the viewership race as the SABCs only commercial TV channel.

    When the top 20 programmes list, now made up out of less of the more-watched international content, consists out of more lower-rated local shows that people dont want to see, it means that SABC3s combined viewership tally will be lower in August.

    In early July ad agencies warned the SABC that the public broadcaster is going to experience huge losses in terms of advertising revenue if the sudden new slate of programmes doesn t manage to lure viewers and rate.

    The American soap The Bold and the Beautiful - the type of content that Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the SABC will dump - is still by far the most watched programme on SABC3, number one in the channels ratings in July with 1.55 million viewers (4.6 AR / 16.9 share).

    Its followed by the Chinese science fiction comedy film, CJ7 in second place with 1.2 million viewers (3.6 AR / 12.2 share) and then the weekday local soap Isidingo remaining in third place with 1.17 million viewers (3.5 AR / 10.1 share).

    While Hlaudi Motsoeneng in June and again in July said that viewers dont watch Days of Our Lives, it remained a perennial solid performer in July for SABC until it was removed from the schedule, with 1.07 million viewers in 7th place (3.2 AR / 17 share).

    International movies in July helped to prop up the SABC3 schedule with Jinxed, A Knights Tale, Click, The Sorcerers Apprentice, Spanglish and Fired Up taking six places out of the top 20 most watched content on the channel above any of the new local shows.

    One better performer on the SABC3 schedule, after being moved to a later afternoon timeslot from July, was Afternoon Express, now ranking 13th and managing a place in the top 20 for the first time.
    Source: channel24

  • A South African film based on real-life stories of people who have experienced the harsh realities of big city life will be screened at the 41st annual Toronto International Film Festival. By Charl Blignaut

    The film, directed by Akin Omotoso, brings together three powerful interwoven stories of people arriving in Johannesburg, the economic hub of South Africa, in one surprising and bloody climax.

    Nhlanhla has no money to pay for his girlfriend's dowry. His problems seem to be solved when his cousin Xolani, from the big city tells him he has a job for him that will solve his financial troubles. Nhlanhla is relieved and excited. Until he finds out what the job is.

    Zanele must bring a young girl Zodwa to the city to be with her mother. Coming to the city might offer her the opportunity to fundamentally change her own life, until she realises that she's placed Zodwa in terrible danger. Nkulu has a duty as the oldest son to fetch his migrant worker father's dead body.

    He doesn't understand his mother's anxiety at what on the surface is a simple enough task. Until he discovers that he might not be the only one interested in his father's body.

    Speaking to City Press, Omotoso said it is a great honour for Vaya to be selected to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

    It's been eight years in the making and on behalf of the team, we are thrilled and look forward to sharing it with the audience in Toronto and soon after bringing it back to the continent, said Omotoso.

    Vaya will make its premiere with the best of other international and Canadian films.

    The festival will be held from September 8 - 18.

  • Trace Africa channelsModern Times Group-owned youth music and lifestyle broadcaster Trace has unveiled plans to launch three new regionally-focused music channels in Africa.

    The channels are targeted at southern, eastern and western sub-Saharan Africa respectively.

    Trace Africa will be aimed at southern Africa, serving viewers with a mix of music videos, specials and documentaries covering genres including Kwaito, House, Coupé-Décalé, Afropop, Rumba and Ndombolo.

    Eastern African service Trace Mziki will be, according to Trace, the first channel made in Swahili and English. Trace Mziki will provide music including Ugandan and Tanzanian hits and genres such as Bongo Flavas.

    For western Africa, Trace is launching Trace Naija, spanning genres including Afrobeats, Afropop and Hip Life. The channels will be carried by MultiChoice’s DStv platform.

    TRACE’s CEO, Olivier Laouchez, said: “Trace is already the leading music brand in Africa. These three new localised music channels will help promote more artists from the three biggest music hubs of Africa and they will better serve the strong need of the local audiences for great local content.”
    Source: DigitalTV Europe 24 August 2016

  • ShowMax has, in South Africa at least, been giving streaming services like Netflix and Hulu a decent run for their money since launching just over a year ago.

    At the same time, it launched a feature to provide expats with kykNET content, so that they could still enjoy local television series while living outside South Africa. It proved to be so successful, that ShowMax expanded the content into 28 countries.

    Now, ShowMax wants to go one step further by broadening the content that’s on offer.

    Alongside kykNET, subscribers can now watch their favourite television shows from Mzansi Magic, M-Net and Vuzu.

    “Shows like Our Perfect Wedding, The Wild, Isibaya, Binnelanders and Suidooster are as uniquely South African as bunny chow and biltong. Our plan is simple – put all the best South African shows in one spot and give expats a taste of home wherever they’ve ended up. In total, we’ve got around 14,000 TV show episodes and movies,” explained Jeanne van Zyl, who heads up the expat service for ShowMax.

    The additional service cost $9 per month and is available in Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

    “The challenge for South Africans abroad isn’t so much about fitting in; we’re a confident and resilient bunch who thrive almost anywhere. Where expats, especially those with kids, can struggle is keeping the language and cultural link to home. This is where ShowMax comes in,” concluded van Zyl.
    Source:,za 18 August 2016

  • Scott Eastwood is poised for a breakout year with a string of high-profile projects scheduled for 2017 and set to star in Wayne Kramer's Ecstasia. He will be joined by Italian actress Matilda Lutz (The Rings) as a couple who live in a world where love no longer exists during their final days together before their love expires. Kramer (The Cooler, Running Scared) also wrote the screenplay.

    The film marks a reteaming of Eastwood and Sentient Entertainment's Renee Tab and Christopher Tuffin, who recently completed the heist thriller Overdrive with the actor and Ana de Armas. Tab and Tuffin are producing Ecstasia alongside Matthew Chausse and Eastwood.

    Production is scheduled to begin in spring 2017 in South Africa. Ingenious, Film Afrika and Red Sea Media will finance.

    The project will be introduced to buyers at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. UTA, which reps Eastwood, is handling domestic rights, while Red Sea will sell international rights.

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    After playing supporting roles in Suicide Squad (as Lieutenant GQ Edwards), Oliver Stone's Snowden and Ben Affleck's Live by Night, Eastwood — the son of Clint — has graduated to studio movie leading man. He recently wrapped Fast 8, where he plays a newly created character who fills the void left by the death of the franchise's Paul Walker. Eastwood also will star in Pacific Rim: Maelstrom alongside John Boyega.

    Lutz also is having a moment, most recently having toplined Paramount's third installment of The Ring franchise, this time titled Rings (the horror film opens Oct. 28). She also recently starred in Gabriele Muccino's Summertime.

    Eastwood is additionally repped by attorney Rick Genow.

    Lutz is handled by TT Agency, Silver Lining Management and attorney Karl Austen.
    Source: Hollywood Reporter 16 August 2016


  • Loeries Creative Week Durban 2016 drew to a close on 21 August at the Durban International Convention Centre with a raft of awards honouring the best creative work in the Africa and the Middle East being presented, along with four special awards.

    A total of 316 awards were handed out over the two nights selected from 3112 entries from 22 countries across the Africa Middle East region. There were eight coveted Grand Prix winners with Nando s, the big winner of the awards, scooping two.

    The full list of Grand Prix winners are:

    Nando s Global Visual Identity System by Sunshine Gun

    Tusker Lager s Team Kenya by Net#workBBDO

    Channel O s Youth Day by Black River FC

    Nando s Chicken Run and Heartfelt Celebration of South African Design

    KFC s The Everyman Meal by Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg

    Saudi Telecom Company STC, 1st Branded Online Entertainment Hub by J.Walter Thomspon KSA

    Chicken Licken s Kung Fu by Network BBDO

    Ster-Kinekor s #OpenEyes by Fox P2

    Commenting on the standard of work, jury president Laura Jordan-Bambach, creative partner, Mr President London said: We have seen some beautiful pieces of work that have the spirit of a very modern Africa and the broader region; very different to what you see elsewhere and it doesn t feel like it was made in London or New York.

    Judged by 160 local and international experts in their fields, including international jury presidents Bridget Jung (Sydney), Susan Credle (New York city) Jimmy Smith (Los Angeles) and Laura Jordan-Bambach (London), the coveted Grand Prix, Gold, Silver and Bronze Loeries statues remain the industry benchmark for creative excellence.

    Of the special awards, the head of Facebook South Africa Nunu Ntshingila-Njeke became the first woman inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame and Yegs Ramiah, chief executive of Brand at Sanlam and Santam was given the Marketing Leadership and Innovation Award.

    The Adams and Adams Young Creatives Award went to Katie Mylrea, art director at Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town and Amori Brits, head of design at Shift Joe Public who each received R60 000 and a South African Airways flight to New York City. The Loeries Creative Future Scholarship went to four young Kwa-Zulu Natal Grade 12 students, Londeka Gumede, Roxanne Schoon, Mali Khuzwayo and Samkelisiwe Faku to study at Vega School of Brand Leadership and the Design School South Africa.

    Suhana Gordhan, creative director at FCB Africa, was named the Loeries chairperson, taking over the reins from Neo Mashigo who completes his two-year tenure this year.

    Comedian John Vlismas and Radio and TV personalities Unathi Msengana and Zizo Tshwete hosted the two nights of awards ceremonies to a packed auditorium of senior creatives, marketing leaders and well known personalities.

    For a full list of winners visit the Loeries website.
    Source: 4RVF 22 August 2016

  • Leading Children Television series, ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things’ powered by Cliqlite from Etisalat Nigeria, is set to commence nationwide airing from the 20th of August of the season 2 edition for the viewing pleasures of families, reports ITRealms.

    The nationwide airing, ITRealms gathered will be on both terrestrial and satellite TV stations and will provide a gateway into the minds of children, featuring enthralling views on topical issues, rib-cracking imitation of parents’ mannerisms and insights into their future among others.

    Among the terrestrial and satellite TV Stations on which Kids Say the Darndest Things 2 will be aired include NTA Network (Sat.9 am), STV (Sat. 9.30am) and Africa Magic, Channel 154 (Sun. 4 pm and 5pm on Wednesday). Others are WAPTV (Sat. 9.30 am) OGTV (Sat. 5.30pm), PRTV (Sat. 7.30pm), ABS (Sat. 5.30 pm) and Royal Roots TV (Sat. 9 am & 4 pm on Sunday).

    Speaking at a premier of the 2nd season of KSDT held at Genesis Deluxe Cinema, Lekki, Manager, Sponsorships, Etisalat Nigeria, Orah Egwu, promised that this new season will be a blockbuster of exciting moments. She also spoke about the introduction of a new segment primarily dedicated to celebrating exceptionally talented children.

    The 2nd season of KSDT will be anchored by actor, producer, Disc Jockey and America's favorite sidekick on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Tony Okungbowa. Okungbowa starred in, and produced the film, "Mother of George", "Restless City" and the soon to be released, “Echo Park” which was an official selection at the Los Angeles Film fest 2014.

    The television show, which has enjoyed popularity and rave reviews in various markets like Australia, Singapore, India and Italy, was launched in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2015, with the original format adapted to the Nigerian market. The theme of the show is “Let Your Little Star Shine Bright”.
    Source: ITRealms 18 August 2016

  • Mozambican filmmakers Mickey Fonseca and Pipas Forjaz have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to produce their first feature film, Resgate (which translate as Ransom). Set up on Indiegogo, a tool still mostly unknown in the southern-African country, their goal is to raise $150K over the next 38 days.

    The film tells the story of Bruno, a young ex-con looking for redemption who suddenly sees himself embroiled in a web of kidnaps, a form of crime which Mozambicans have seen rising dramatically in recent years. The story is set in Maputo, the bustling Mozambican capital, but is a universal one.

    Fonseca will direct from a screenplay he also wrote, while Forjaz will serve as the director of photography and editor. Both are also co-producers of of the film via their six-year-old local production company, Mahla Filmes.

    Over the past four years, the filmmakers say that they have saved around $40K working on TV commercials, music and institutional videos. They have also invested in buying 90% of the equipment they need for the film from a modern RED Weapon camera, to tracking vehicles. But it s still not enough to make the film they envision.

    If the campaign is successful Fonseca and Forjaz hope to help open new paths for Mozambican and African filmmakers and, through their experience, inspire young filmmakers around the world to not give up on their dream of making films.

    The filmmakers put together a sales trailer and a pitch by the director, hoping to share their vision for the film with audiences worldwide and garner support for its production.

    Visit the campaign page for more information here:
    Source: Shadow and Act

  • Johannesburg-based filmmaker Xolelwa ‘Ollie’ Nhlabatsi’s Lost in the World shines a necessary light on the issue of corrective rape in South Africa through the story of a Johannesburg police officer seeking vengeance following the brutal rape and murder of her longtime girlfriend. The cop, played by actress and stylist/designer Honey Makwakwa, loses her mind and soul in the process.

    A Blackweather and Hand Drawn House production, the film made its online debut earlier this month as part of the New Queer Visions Film Festival’s shorts compilation, Lust in Translation. More recently, it had its Johannesburg premiere last Thursday at the National Film & Video Foundation.

    Okayafrica’s South Africa Editor, Alyssa Klein, moderated a Q&A after the screening with Lost in the World‘s writer/director/producer Xolelwa ‘Ollie’ Nhlabatsi, star Honey Makwakwa and producer Brendan C. Campbell.

    What follows is an edited version of the conversation. Head here to read the full transcript of the Q&A.
    Read the full article on Okayafrica here:

  • A new deal with Monster Entertainment will see telecom giant Econet Media air the animated series in 17 African countries.

    A new agreement with Irish distributor Monster Entertainment will see telecom giant Econet Media broadcast Jabu’s Jungle in 17 African countries.

    Targeting children ages four to seven. Jabu’s Jungle features the animals and scenery of Africa. It is produced by South African studio Pixcomm in Cape Town’s Masiphumelele Township, and young local animators and illustrators are receiving training and internships through the series as they work with industry professionals.

    Monster Entertainment previously struck a deal with Gulli Africa for Jabu’s Jungle, which has also been picked up by South African pubcaster SABC.

    The 13 x 22-minute production follows the success of its fellow Monster Entertainment-distributed series Jungle Beat, another South African show that has sold to 190-plus territories.

    Jungle Beat—a non-dialog CGI-animated series—launched its first mobile game app last year and is currently working on additional digital and licensing activities. 
    Source: Kidscreen 18 August 2016

  • Shooting on Asinamali!, the film based on the multi-award-winning South African musical hit of the same name, began on 8 August.  The 1985 theatre production by famous playwright Mbongeni Ngema was his first major stage musical, followed by Sarafina! Which was released as a film in 1992.

    A local and international success, Asinamali! is a show of immense vitality, sadness and humour, combining exhilarating dance and acting with awe-inspiring choral music.

    Asinamali! is inspired by events surrounding the 1983 rent boycott in Lamontville township, Durban. It was led by activist Msizi Dube, and the rallying cry was ‘asinamali’, isiZulu for ‘we have no money’. Asinamali! was revolutionary for its time and became a rallying cry for the poor and oppressed.

    The play had a sold-out run at The Market Theatre before appearing on Broadway in New York, and throughout the world, winning numerous awards along the way. Ngema is seeking to preserve the classic play by turning it into a film that will be available for generations to come.

    Produced by Ngema and Dual Films, the film version of this seminal musical is in the hands of a crew headed up by Oscar nominated director Darrell James Roodt and an all-star cast. Roodt directed the smash hit film version of Sarafina!. Ngema himself is the most seasoned theatrical, writer, director, choreographer and composer to come out of South Africa. In this latest collaboration, Roodt has taken on the role of technical director, sharing his directing knowledge and skill, and working alongside Ngema who is at the helm of a production to which he has dedicated many years of his life.

    The narrative follows a group of prisoners as they think back on their pasts and the events leading to their arrests. The hardship of prison life is told through the experiences of the inmates, whose lives are made even more difficult by sadistic prison warder Sergeant Mgwaqaza. At the same time, the prison authorities are under pressure to accommodate Comrade Washington, an exiled MK soldier working for Amnesty International, and mandated to run drama workshops with the inmates at the notorious Durban Central Prison. He is thwarted at every turn by Mgwaqaza, who makes it impossible for him to carry out his duties at the prison.  Comrade Washington has an additional agenda, to see the love of his life. Her name is Soweto and she languishes in the Female Section of the prison, soon to be transferred to death row in Pretoria for her MK cross-border activities.

    Washington believes in the power of music and theatre to transform the lives of people: the political activists, the criminals and even the hardened racists of the apartheid regime. Through sheer determination he outsmarts the prison authorities, manipulating those around him into allowing him to create a play which depicts how they came to be in prison. It represents triumph over adversity, with the theatrical musical explosion becoming their ticket to freedom from incarceration. 

    Ngema has already recorded the film's sound track at Downtown Studios. It comprises 12 hit songs from the show, with notable contributors including the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, together with singers and dancers from Committed Artists, Mbongeni’s theatrical company based in Durban.

    The shoot is set to last four weeks and post-production will be completed by the end of the year. The producers hope to release the film and CD for New Year in South Africa and globally.

    Asinamali! will be distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution.
    Source: Press Release

  • Inspired by an Annie Leibovitz portrait of William Burroughs buried in a desert up to his shoulders, Lina and Leo is a quirky 20-min film, written and directed by Yolande Botha and produced by The Brave Cartel. The film is about struggling middle-aged journalist, Leo (Jeroen Kranenburg), who is hot on the trail of a hugely successful, but recluse surrealist artist for his next big story. Known only as NJ, the artist clearly doesn t want to be found and Leo experiences one bizarre thing after another in the strange little town where his search has taken him.

    Says Botha: Even though the film is offbeat and has elements of surrealism at times, its theme is universal. It s really about survival and what different people are willing to do to survive.

    The film was shot in and around the Karoo town, Barrydale, with a small crew. Cinematographer on the film was three times SAFTA winner Felix Seuffret, who s graphic composition gives the film its artistic look throughout. Features editor Paul Speirs edited the film. Its bluesy, laid-back soundtrack was provided by Riaan Smit and the Crimson House Blues band for which the film won Best Use of Music at the Independent Mzansi Short Film Festival (IMSFF) 2015. It was at the IMSFF that it also received nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Short Film, Best Editing, Best Production Design and Best Sound Mixing and Editing. Morn Marais of Sound Surgeon is responsible for the rich sound scape that adds humour and drama to the film.

    The film screened at various festivals including the Durban International Film Festival, the Indie Karoo Festival, Short&Sweet, the Cine Pobre festival in Mexico and will be screening at the upcoming Jozi Film Festival. It was also screened in Barrydale at its neighbourhood Smitsville, to share it with the community that was involved. Due to festival requirements, the film was not available online until now.
    Source: Screen Africa


  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 16 August 2016: Yahlive, the Abu Dhabi-based satellite joint venture between the world leading satellite operator SES and UAE satellite company Yahsat, today announced that it has signed a contract renewal with the BBC World Service. As part of the ongoing agreement, the BBC will continue the broadcast of its Persian and Arabic television channels as well as the radio programming from its Arabic and Afghan services to audiences across Yahlive’s wide and culturally diverse footprint.

    Commenting on the strength of the partnership, Sami Boustany, Chief Executive Officer, Yahlive said: “Yahlive is one of the fastest-growing regional satellite broadcasters in the region. Working closely with partners such as the BBC is core to our mission to bring viewers a mix of culturally relevant programming. The continuation of our partnership with the BBC is reflective of this and is a significant component of our growing channel portfolio.”

    Nigel Fry, Head of Distribution, BBC World Service said: “The BBC has a strong history of offering a variety of news, business, sport and documentary programming. Since our first signed agreement in July 2014, the continued partnership with Yahlive has given us an opportunity to share our world-class content with more viewers and listeners across the region.”

    The BBC remains a key broadcaster in some of Yahlive’s main coverage regions such as the Middle East and South West Asia. Viewership has significantly increased across Yahlive’s Farsi-speaking viewers in the region.  Between 2014 and 2015 the total number of viewers over direct-to-home and terrestrial networks grew by approximately 45% from 26 million to over 37 million.1
    Yahlive delivers a selective choice of premium television channels through its free-to-air platform and has become the market leader for Farsi-speaking audiences in the Middle East and South West Asia.
    Source: Press Release

  • Good news for Brazilian soccer aficionados dwelling in the African country. Econet Media, the African broadcaster, will bring forward the Brazilian soccer tournament soon on its Kwese branded platforms. The news was announced after Econet Media and Brazilian Globo (the South American TV company) signed a pact extending over 3 seasons.

    According to the agreement, Econet Media will be screening the League’s matches live on its Kwese branded platforms, with English commentary. Kwese will be the unique broadcaster of the Brazilian soccer competition which is kicking off this year, ending in 2018 and will be available in the following countries: Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

    Joseph Hundah, the chief executive officer of Econet Media, commented: “Brazil is a global soccer powerhouse whose world-famous superstars have included the likes of Pelé, Zico, Roberto Carlos, Kaká, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar, among countless other legends of the game. The outstanding skills of their top players have thrilled soccer fans for decades and we are delighted that we have acquired the rights for Kwesé Sports to showcase a new generation of soccer icons in the making. Our website continues to grow and this deal with Globo is indicative of our commitment to give African sports fans access to the best in premium sports content”.

    Raphael Corrêa Netto, head of international sales at Globo, said: “We are pleased to work with Econet Media. It’s an important deal that will deliver the best of Brazilian soccer to more fans around the world”.

    In all, 110 matches of the Brazilian soccer tournament and 43 games from Sao Paulo State League will be aired. Moreover, two shows will be screened each week, namely FootBrazil and FootBrazil Highlights, stretching the relevance of the championship.
    Source: Nextvafrica  17 Africa 2016

technology & convergence

  • OpenView HD surpassed half a million activated households on Tuesday, 23 August.

    Platco digital’s managing director Patrick Conroy says, “500 000 active OpenView HD set-top boxes is significant because the platform now has at least two million viewers. The more popular channels include HD, eMovies Plus, DaVinci Learning, Glow TV and our new addition to the OpenView HD bouquet Trace Sport Stars.”

    OpenView HD will be celebrating its third birthday in October and will be announcing the launch of a new channel to celebrate this.

    Conroy adds, “The mix of content including educational, children and entertainment programming is appealing to our target market. First time buyers of multi-channel television are enjoying the choice that the platform offers.”

    OpenView HD is the only free digital satellite platform in South Africa, powered by
    Source: Screen Africa 23 August 2016

regulation & policy

  • The Democratic Alliance in Parliament has released a statement sating members of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, has agreed with the DA that there should be an inquiry into the "full-scale rot at the SABC as necessary and urgent."

    EWN senior parliamentary reporter Gaye David speaks to 702's Xolani Gwala about these developments.

    Committee chair Humphrey Maxegwana told Davis a tentative meeting had been scheduled for 23 August, next Tuesday, to which the minister, the SABC board, Icasa have all been invited.

    The DA's point about this is that you can have a one day meeting, and try and get some answers, but what they were pushing for was a full inquiry by the committee.

    Davis says in the past ANC members within the committee and never paid much mind the to DA request about an SABC inquiry prior to elections, but now seem to be paying heed. It has agreed to an inquiry into SABC.

    She says now it is up to what is known as the Chair of Chairs Cedric Frolick, to attend to the request by the Communications Portfolio Committee.

    The issues around firing and reinstating of employees who flouted editorial policy, the issues around the flouting of court order to not ban certain protest visuals and other issues are likely to be on the agenda.

    It seems it will look at various issues that have arisen at the SABC.



  • SAFTA's opens call for entries

    The primary objective of the SAFTA Awards is to honour, celebrate and promote and reward the creativity, quality and excellence of South African Film and Television talent and content and to encourage entrepreneurship and the development of new talent within the industry.

    =The 11th edition of the SAFTAs will take place in March 2017.


    A. All SAFTA winners are presented with the Golden Horn, the official SAFTA Trophy.

    B. The creative concept behind the SAFTA Trophy, the “Golden Horn” is built on the strength of the collective effort and community that is inherent in the South African Film and Television industry of today and reflects the collective energy of the team and the recognition of the individual as part of a collective.

    C. The Golden Horn symbolises Circularity as an organising principle in African thought and like a continuous reel of past-present-future speaks to endless creativity. The Golden Horn also symbolizes past and present struggles and triumphs sending feelers into the future, captured by the forward bend of the horns to symbolize pregnant creative forces. Collectively, the figures are arranged in a manner that gives them a 360 degree vision so collectively, they see the now looking into the future as a team together.

    In its own right, the GOLDEN HORN is awarded in recognition of creative excellence, with a view of impacting on our sense of nationalism and the context of renewal in Africa.

    This concept it’s inspired by

    ▪ The significance of “community”

    ▪ the diversity of our different communities

    ▪ the need for partnerships in our society

    ▪ and the strength found in numbers



    A. The SAFTAs are open to all legal South African citizens and official permanent residents of the Republic of South Africa in accordance with the South African Citizenship Act, 1995.

    B. The SAFTAs are open to all companies registered in accordance with the laws of the Republic of South Africa, whose majority shareholding is held by South African citizens.

    C. Film or television content must be submitted for consideration in order to be eligible for the SAFTAs. Only South African film and television content will be considered for the SAFTAs.

    D. In the case of single category awards (TV Non-Fiction), the primary Producer must have South African permanent residency or South African citizenship to qualify.

    E. In the case of a South African Co-production, all the Producers involved must consent/submit for the work to be eligible.

    F. All submissions in which intellectual property rights are jointly owned must be submitted with the full written consent of all join rights holders concerned.

    G. Official Co-productions shall only be eligible if they have been certified as such by the National Film and Video Foundation, and can be eligible for all categories SAFTA ‘Best Production’

    H. Co-productions with Foreign Producers shall only be eligible, if at least 51% of the copyright is held by a South African owned company.

    I. Foreign talent and crew featured in or participating in a qualifying co-production submitted for consideration shall not be eligible for a SAFTA.

    J. Previous or current entrance into another National competition shall not disqualify the entry.

    Please support with membership to keep it up and running.


    A. Content which constitutes an advertorial or commercial shall not be eligible.


    A. All South African television content submitted for consideration for a SAFTA must be produced and publically exhibited or broadcast in the Republic of South Africa between 1 August 2015 and 30 October 2016 should have been produced and publicly exhibited or broadcast in the Republic of South Africa during the 1 August 2015 - 30 October 2016. No re-runs will eligible.

    B. Television content can only be entered once in their lifespan with an exception of a new season or a sequel as per eligibility dates.


    A. All eligible feature film content submitted for consideration for a SAFTA must have been exhibited publically to a paying audience for a minimum of 7 consecutive days in aggregate during 1 January 2016 – 31 December 2016.

    B. Feature length films must open for theatrical general release for the first time in commercial cinemas in South Africa between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016 (not including festival screenings).

    C. Feature length films must be exhibited publically to a paying audience on at least 1 commercial screens in the Republic of South Africa

    D. It is the intention that the contents submitted for consideration should have been screened to the widest possible paying South African audience prior to the ceremony. Qualifying content should not be screened purely to qualify them for the SAFTAs.

    E. Feature length films must have a running time of at least 40 minutes.

    F. Feature length films which have had a non-theatrical release prior to their first eligible South African theatrical release (eg been broadcast on South Africa television, available online or on VOD, or distributed on DVD in the Republic of South Africa prior to opening for South African theatrical release) shall not be eligible.

    G. Feature length films which are filmed versions of theatre or other live performance shall not be eligible.

    H. Feature length films which have previously been entered into the SAFTAs shall not be eligible.

    I. Where a film is released in more than one language, only one language version can be entered and this should be the original language version. Where multiple versions of a film (e.g. extended or reduced cuts) are released, the version which had the widest theatrical release within the eligibility period should be submitted.


    A. All content must be submitted online at

    B. All film or television content submitted to the SAFTAs for consideration must be submitted by the Producers who own the copyright of the content or have a written consent from the copyright owners. Entries submitted by administrators who do not own the copyright in the film or television content submitted shall be disqualified with the exception of an accredited institution of Higher Learning submitting work on behalf of their students. Distributors and Broadcasters are to encourage submission to the SAFTAs.

    C. Next of kin may submit film or television content on behalf of a deceased relative, provided that the deceased relative is the copyright owner of the submitted content. Proof of relation is to accompany submission plus a death certificate.

    D. Producers to select all categories and sub-categories that their content must be considered in.

    E. Student entrants must be registered with a tertiary/ higher education institution accredited by the Council on Higher Education during the eligible time of entry. Professionals who produced material as students during the eligible entry period may only submit student projects under student categories. Any project produced, as a professional must be entered into the professional categories.

    3.6 HOW TO ENTER:

    Register Online at

    Nickelodeon’s Genius is looking for South Africa’s smartest kids

    Flex your mental muscles, outshine the brightest and show your smarts in the fun, educational TV quiz from Nickelodeon and ABSA, Nickelodeon’s Genius.
    Trios of brainiacs aged 11 to 16 (Grades 6 to 10) are clamouring to sign up for the brand new season of Nickelodeon’s Genius, testing their maths and science know how to the limit as they battle for the title of Nickelodeon’s Genius 2017.

    Tasania Parsadh, channel director for Nickelodeon Africa says: “Nickelodeon’s Genius is on a mission to get kids inspired by maths and science at an early age, and to show that learning about these subjects can be both entertaining and rewarding. We look forward to encouraging the nation’s future mathematicians and scientists to achieve their calling.”

    “We want to start educating the youth of South Africa and other young people about managing their finances, from an early age. This is a great initiative to involve the youth in a fun and interactive way that ultimately lays a positive foundation for understanding the way money works and making it work for them” says Yolande Steward general marketing manager for Retail Banking at ABSA.

    Sign up now by completing the Nickelodeon’s Genius quiz. You have just two minutes and three attempts to complete 10 questions to get you through to the next stage. Regional workshops for the top 30 qualifying teams will take place in Gauteng, Tshwane, Bloemfontein, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape starting August 2016 before the top two teams from every region go through to the grand final in Johannesburg in 2017.

    The prize is a R100 000 Mega-U account for each of the winning team members, plus a trip to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA, where the winners will lunch with a NASA astronaut, enjoy a simulated shuttle launch and participate in an astronaut training session. They will also be treated to a visit to the Universal Orlando Theme Park.

    Initial highlights of Nickelodeon’s Genius regional heats and workshops will air on NickToons (DStv 308) from December 2016, while the quiz show will air on NickToons from March 2017.

    For more information on the Genius quiz show visit the Nickelodean website.

    Jozi Film Festival and AFDA announce partnership

    The Jozi Film Festival and AFDA Alumni Community announced that they are partnering for a weekend of film industry talks as part of this year s Jozi Film Festival programme. The talks will take place at the Goethe Institut on Jan Smuts Ave in Johannesburg over the weekend of 17 and 18 September, with speakers including Paul Raleigh (Hollard), Dan Jawitz (Fireworx Media), Ernest Nkosi (director), Jeremy Nathan (producer), Robbie Thorpe (producer), Danie Bester (producer) as well as Lee Hobbs, vice president of Channels, Emerging Business at Discovery Networks in attendance. Read the full article on Screen Africa here:

  • 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.
    23 – 26 August 2016
    Broadcasting Scores Nigeria
    Lagos Airport Hotel
    For full progamme and information visit here:

    13- 14 September 2016
    International Summit on OTT TV and Video on-Demand

    The Pivot Conference Centre at the Montecasino Complex, Johannesburg.
    See the full programme and find out more about this industry event by visiting the Summit website, here:
    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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