Technology & Convergence In Brief


- ICASA’s public hearings on digital migration have revealed concerns that the launching of multiple digital channels will see the market oversubscribed.With so much new air time to choose from, advertisers may migrate from existing channels, namely’s single channel, SABC’s three channels and M-Net’s three pay-TV channels, to the glut of new channels that will result from the commercial launch of DTT in the second half of next year. And this in an economic environment where adspend is already declining. According to ICASA’s draft regulations, when DTT is a reality, will have two channels and M-Net four, while the SABC would have five channels for public service broadcasting, two for commercial services and another for community broadcasting.At the hearing ICASA was urged to conduct a review of broadcasting policy before allocating any new channels.

- Telkom is currently streaming a reality show called Do Band Up through their dedicated broadband portal which is akin to Big Brother. After a national search, 20 musicians were placed in a house in Pretoria for five weeks, living, eating and working together.

- Sadly, veteran Nigerian journalist and ace broadcaster, Alhaji Ahmed Abba Zoru died over Christmas. He was 75 years old.

-The General Manager (GM) of a Kano-based independent radio station, Freedom Radio also died over Christmas in Cairo, Egypt. A statement by the station's Board of Directors' Chairman, AVM Mouktar Mohammed (rtd), said Malam Umar Dutse Muhammad died in Cairo after a brief illness.

- On a happier note, the rising star of Cameroon’s STV Constantain Mbom got married to Mercy Ngahene Assama on December 27 in the sea-side resort town of Limbe.

African Movie Academy Awards calls for entries

Organizers of the AMAA have released guidelines for the 2009 edition of the awards billed to hold in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, Nigeria on April 4, 2009. Addressing the media at the Protea Hotel, Maryland, Lagos venue of a press briefing, Chief Executive Officer of AMAA, Mrs. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe said the rules were posted by the academy early for better participation in the 2009 AMAA entries.

Still on the issue of entry submission, chairman of AMAA 2009 screening panel, Shaibu Hussein, said producers must ensure that they completely fill out the space provided for synopsis and credits on the application form.

He said all submissions must be in triplicate and films should be submitted before the set deadline, as any film submitted after the deadline shall not be reviewed.

"AMAA is an international award thus our criteria’s meet the minimum standards required by the international norm of film submissions. Therefore all films produced other than in English must be fully subtitled in English including pidgin, songs, proverbs, chants and expressions

Address for Submission:

AMAA Secrtariat: ATT: Tony ANIH ,10a Obaladejobi St gra Ikeja lagos Nigeria

Attention: Ms. Nerissa Solomon

3 Ferry Street – Unigray – South Hills – Johannesburg – South Africa - 7405

Filmmakers must guarantee, should their films be selected, that permission from the rights holder are secured. Short films, features and documentaries are accepted for the AMAA,

AMAA will accept films made by Africans in Africa or the Diaspora, with a particular focus on Africa,"Films must indicate year of copyright and the academy would only accept director’s cut of not more than 120 minutes for entries in 2009," he said.

Broadcasting Frequency Planning and Associated Technical Activities of the Sector in Ethiopia

Danish ICT Management is presently searching for individual experts for the Broadcasting Frequency Planning and Associative Technical Activities of the Sector in Ethiopia. Please indicate to us if you are interested in this project. Also, and if not, please distribute this to personal contacts and networks where you believe that experts could find interest in this. Thank you kindly in advance.

Application deadline: 12 January 2009

Contract duration: 80 man-days of total input

Objectives of the Assignment: To plan the frequencies assigned to stations of the broadcasting service in accordance with agreed planning principles and policy to provide a well designed, interference free service which is adequate for the current and future needs of national and regional broadcasting services. It should also be noted that the new plan envisages the intricacies of digital radio/TV broadcast migration. It is intended that assignments will be compatible with the allotments and assignments of neighbouring countries included in the various internationally agreed broadcasting plans of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The frequencies and other technical criteria relating to stations proposed by the Consultant will also be notified to the ITU for coordination with neighbouring states in accordance with the rules and procedures of the ITU. The Consultant will also address other related technical activities related to the planning and licensing of stations operating in the broadcasting service.

The Specific objectives and scope of the assignment are:

* Prepare a comprehensive frequency plan for Digital Radio, VHF Digital TV and UHF Digital TV

* Suggest the coordination and registration of the plan

* Develop Policy direction for most convenient digital broadcast migration in Ethiopia

* Suggest timeframe for set of tasks to be done phase by phase during transition from analogy to digital

* Recommend appropriate technological option that suits the Ethiopian context

* Training for EBA, technical personnel on Digital Broadcasting

* Propose additional analogue VHF frequency to satisfy the current need priority of Digitalization

Expected Results:

There shall be three missions to Ethiopia. The first and second missions will be for the preparation of a comprehensive frequency plan for Digital Radio, VHF Digital TV and UHF Digital TV; and to suggest the coordination and registration of the plan. In the final mission: Expert is required to provide training to staff of EBA in Ethiopia.

Report 1: Providing Progress of Work;

Report 2: Final Report and End of Term Report providing all work done and accomplished including all documentation of all required outputs.Language: All documents shall be submitted in English.

Location of the Assignment: Ethiopia and home-based

Skills/Competences and Qualifications:

The Short Term Expert will possess a Masters University degree in communication and broadcasting Engineering. Skills and Specialization: The Short Term Expert must be experienced in RF planning of Radio & Television broadcasting services and must have a proven track record working on digital broadcasting and have familiarity working with Government agencies, broadcasting agencies and broadcasting regulators. The Short Term Expert must have at least 6-8 years of progressive working experience in the Radio and Television broadcasting services. Relevant experience with ITU procedures and working manuals will be an added advantage. The expert must be fluent in English.

Contact person:

Jane Moeller Larsen
Danish ICT Management
Overgaden Neden Vandet 45, 5th floor
DK-1414 Copenhagen K
MOBILE: +45 26847817
skype: janemollerlarsen

ITVS International call – Funding opportunity

ITVS International promotes the exchange of compelling documentary films between the United States and other nations, going beyond stereotypes and headline news to provide television audiences around the world with new insight into the cultures and people that comprise the global community.

ITVS International Call enables independent producers from outside the United States to create documentaries for US television. Through the Call, storytellers from other countries introduce US audiences to their global neighbours, opening a window into unfamiliar lives, experiences and perspectives from around the world.

ITVS International Call seeks films in production or post-production phase and encourages independent producers to submit their projects for consideration.

Call for Entries to the Wild Talk Africa Film Festival

The call for Roscar entries is now open. The competition is open to all wildlife, travel and cultural productions. Building on the success from last year’s Awards, six new categories have been added. The Festival will run from 19 – 23 April 2009.

The categories are now:

Best Editing - Awarded to the production which displays the most creative editing style.

Best Cinematography - Awarded to the production which displays the most exceptional camerawork.

Best Production with a Limited Budget - Awarded to the best production with a budget of less than R5 000 per minute (approximately $650 or £330 per minute).

Best Children’s Production - Awarded to the best natural history production produced for a children’s audience, aged 12 and under, which stimulates an interest in the natural world.

Best Environmental and Conservation/Campaign Production- Awarded to the best production which contributes to the awareness of environmental and conservation issues facing the natural world. The production must convey a conservation message and/or a ‘Call to Action’.

Best Eco-Tourism, Travel and/or Culture Production - Awarded to the best production which promotes tourism of a place, town or country through the use of cultural aspects and wildlife.

Best Use of Music - Awarded to the production which has the best original music score.

Best Script - Awarded to the production which, through the use of original storytelling, creates a captivating script.

Best Series - Awarded to the best series with a natural history theme.

Best Sound Design - Awarded to the production which, through the creative combination of production mixing, sound editing and post-production mixing, displays an inventive use of sound.

Best Newcomer - Awarded to a first-time producer (or filmmaker) in the natural history filmmaking arena. To qualify as a newcomer, a filmmaker should have only been producing films or documentaries from January 2007 onwards.

Outstanding Achievement for African Wildlife Filmmaker - The production shows the unique relationship between Africa’s people and animals. This category can only be entered by a national of an African country.