Technology & Convergence In Brief


- - Newtec, the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) and Arabsat, have announced the official launch of MENOS (Multimedia Exchange Network over Satellite). MENOS is a revolutionary concept that for the first time allows the Broadcasting Union and its 28 members to exchange television, radio and data in a fully automated way. MENOS is a full IP satellite based service that can support all potential transmission applications required by broadcasters. These include DSNG contribution uplinks to studios, primary distributions from studios to headends, international radio and TV exchange between studios and support for archiving video and audio content. It also offers value-add IP-based services such as VoIP, corporate VPNs and an integrated billing system.

- South African President Kgalema Motlanthe has appointed Dan Moyane to the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) board with effect from 20 January 2009 for a term of office of three years.

- The new marketing manager for Metro FM is Victor Koaho, effective today, Monday, 2 February 2009. Koaho was previously acting media strategy manager at SABC Commercial Enterprises.

- The General Shareholders meeting on 19 December 2008 in Lyon approved the merger between SECEMIE SA, the publishing company, and SOCEMIE SAS, the operating company, in a single legal entity under French law: Euronews SA. The merger also saw the creation of a new governance organisation, consisting of a Supervisory Board and an Executive Committee. Three individuals and nine shareholding public television channels sit on the Supervisory Board: Pier Luigi Malesani (President of NewCo Rai International); Andrey Bystritsky (Chairman of the Broadcasting Company "The Voice of Russia" and Advisor of the Director General of VGTRK) andStéphanie Martin (Director of diversification and thematic channels at France Télévisions).

- Dan McIntyre has been appointed Managing Director of Vislink Services, a newly formed News & Entertainment, Law Enforcement & Public Safety and Marine & Energy business units to deliver the professional and technical services elements of Secure Communications solutions to the TV broadcast, law enforcement, public safety, defence, marine and energy markets. Vislink Services consolidates the professional and technical services resources from Advent Communications, Hernis Scan Systems, Link Research, Microwave Radio Communications and Western Technical Services (WTS).


The 21st edition of the Pan-African Film & TV Festival (FESPACO) will take place from 28 February to 7 March 2009 under the theme: "African Cinema: Tourism and Cultural Heritage". The upcoming edition will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Festival and the 20th anniversary for the African Film Library of Ouagadougou.

In 40 years, FESPACO has positioned itself as one of the major film events across the continent.

A wide range of activities to celebrate the anniversaries include itinerant exhibitions on the years of FESPACO and African cinema, film screenings, conferences on FESPACO and the FESPACO Foundation.

The 2009 edition will pay tribute to Ousmane Sembene, doyen of African film and pioneer of FESPACO, who passed away on 9 June 2007. He was one of the pioneers of African movie industry and a regular of FESPACO having attended nearly all the Festival's editions without a break from 1969 to 2005. Sembene made more than twenty films including 9 features, and always believed in and defended Africa’s cinema all over the world. Sembene the African, endeavoured to promote FESPACO and to unite filmmakers across the continent and the development of African cinema.

Every session of FESPACO includes the official competition, a highlight of this the biennial event of African cinema. The official competition is exclusively reserved for African and Diaspora Films. The competition is open for Feature films, Short films and Documentaries. The Diaspora competition is reserved for Feature films made by filmmakers from the Diaspora. Prizes for these competitions include amounts up to 2,000,000 F CFA

To celebrate its 40th anniversary properly, FESPACO has invited eminent filmmakers, academics, writers, artists and communicators from all over the world. All of the film industry trades will be represented, from fashion, to music, and even politicians will join to celebrate cinema in Africa.

FESPACO remains a major and favourite platform for meeting and networking for film industry practitioners in Africa and globally. Film and audio-visual practitioners worldwide will be participating in the various workshops and panels.

Talent Campus Durban 24 - 28 July 2009 at the 30th Durban International Film Festival

(22 July - 2 August 2009)

The 30th Durban International Film Festival (22 July - 2 August 2009) is proud to announce the 2nd edition of Talent Campus Durban from 24 - 28 July 2009, an intensive 5-day programme of workshops and seminars delivered by film professionals to enhance both theoretical and practical approaches to filmmaking. The 2nd Talent Campus Durban theme Roots and Shoots: Creating a New African Cinema will focus activities towards the development of new partnerships between African filmmakers.

Talent Campus Durban invites filmmakers from Africa to apply to participate in these workshops and seminars, which take place in Durban, South Africa, over five days. In addition to specific activities offered by the Campus, the selected talents will have the opportunity to attend films and events at the 30th Durban International Film Festival.

Deadline for application: 16 March 2009

Talent Campus Durban is produced as a cooperation between the Durban International Film Festival and the Berlinale Talent Campus, and Berlin International Film Festival and is supported by the German Embassy in South Africa, the Goethe Institute South Africa and the Department of Economic Development - KwaZulu-Natal.

The Durban International Film Festival is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) with principle funding and support from the National Film & Video Foundation, HIVOS, SABC, Stichting Doen, Department of Economic Development - KwaZulu-Natal, City of Durban, and the Ethekwini Municipality.

Environmental Film Festival of Accra – Call for films

Environmental Film Festival of Accra is currently accepting films and videos made about the environment or issues around the environment. We also accept films and videos that explore the relationship between the environment and other socio- economic, political and cultural themes. Whilst we give preference to films about Ghana and Africa, we screen highly acclaimed international films. Films should preferably depict positive and realistic images and can be of any genre - drama, comedy, horror, adventure, romance, science fiction, experimental, etc


Dr. Kwesi Owusu
Festival Co - Director
Senchi Street
Airport Residential Area
Accra, Ghana

Tel: +23321 911 840 Office
+233244 715 602 Mobile

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.