10francs: “Africa is on our map”


Broadcast, Film and Convergence interviewed Guy Knafo, General Manager at 10francs, one of the largest independent documentary and art film distributors with a library of more than 1700 films.

Q: Are you distributing films made by African directors:

A: Yes we are. We are also looking for new talents and doors are open for African film directors. For example, we have been supporting a new documentary made by a Franco-Malian director Kal Touré. “Victims of our Wealth - Heavily Indebted Plundered Countries” (2008) is a 60' documentary. It tells the story of young deported African men and women who bear witness of their unfortunate attempts to cross over to Spain. The trailer is on our site, and our site search engine will point you to other African-related features.

Q: How was Discop?

A: I have been truly impressed by this first media/audiovisual trade show in Africa. About 400 participants from all over the World were present. The event was well set up, and I was delighted by the positive energy of the people I met there. I have found them precise, efficient and enthusiastic about doing business. I am truly confident that these meetings will be fruitful very soon. The next Discop Africa event will be held in Nairobi in September 2009, which I find too early. As I am engaged with about 15 other events per year, I won't be attending. I feel that a second yearly event on the continent could kill the business. There is no more than one NATPE per year for all the Americas. Nevertheless, Discop Africa is another sign of the growth and maturity of the African TV market.

Q : Are you talking to France Telecom which is now present in 15 African countries with its Livebox product?

A: We have met but I am not yet convinced by the revenue-sharing model that was suggested to me, but I have no doubt that we will come to an agreement.

Q: Are you also producing films?

A: We have indeed but distribution is our core business.

Q: Which film festivals do you go to?

A: We primarily focus on documentaries and Art programs, so we do not tend to go to Movie festivals. Instead we attend about 15 International audiovisual-Content trade shows such as MIPTV and MIPCOM.

Q: Which TV broadcasters are you doing business with in Africa?

A: We mainly work with Morocco and South Africa. In Morocco, Medi 1 Sat - the country's first private satellite television channel - and 2M are clients whereas in South Africa, we work with SABC - the state broadcaster, which operates three national TV networks and two pay-TV channels - and M-Net, the pay-TV with a pan-African audience. I would like to reach out to more African countries and TV channels. Africa TV is a booming and interesting market.