South Africa: ICASA to license mobile TV for World Cup
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has asked interested parties to to submit applications for digital mobile television licences.
M-Net Cares : New Directions 2010 Entries Open!
M-Net has announced that entries for the 17th edition of the New Directions initiative are open! The widely-acclaimed filmmaking initiative, founded upon the principles of skills development and training, has seen the production of over 50 top-quality short films from the African continent. The films have gone on to generate much buzz through being broadcast on M-Net’s channels across the continent and at film festivals around the world.
2010 sees New Directions working hand-in-hand with another long-standing M-Net development project, the VUKA! Awards. The theme for submissions in 2010 is “Heart”. New Directions Project Manager Bongiwe Selane is issuing a challenge to filmmakers to maximize the potential offered by the open interpretation of the theme. “We’re looking for stories about love, emotion or experiences that touch or inspire. These films can be about someone losing their heart, or gaining it; someone behaving heartlessly, being touched in their heart, or eating their heart out. They can be films about getting to the heart of a matter; speaking from the bottom of one’s heart, or giving heart and soul. In other words, films of real entertainment and magic,” she says.
M-Net will commission 2x 26-minute short narrative dramas and 1x 48-minute documentary after considering all proposals received, with budgets of R300 000-R350 000 and R200 000 respectively. The closing date for entries is Monday 7 June 2010, with commissioned films due for delivery in February 2011.
This year, New Directions falls under the newly-formed M-Net Cares banner, an umbrella project which encompasses all of the company’s CSI (Corporate Social Investment) initiatives. M-Net CSI Manager Palesa Xorile is looking forward to helping develop African filmmaking talent under the M-Net Cares brand. “New Directions is M-Net’s premiere filmmaking showcase – and now we’re looking to take the project to a new level by focusing on skills development for emerging filmmakers,” she says. “In 2010, New Directions seeks to develop skills in the African film and television industry and M-Net is serious about making a tangible investment in the industry in Africa.
Submissions for entry must be delivered in hard copy (no email submissions will be accepted) to M-Net’s offices in Randburg, South Africa, and must contain a synopsis, a detailed treatment and approach and a script for the narrative drama. Short-listed production companies will be invited to present their proposal in person.
For more information, visit www.mnetcorporate.co.za or contact:
Bongiwe Selane or Palesa Xorile
C/O MNET CSI
137 Bram Fischer Drive
+27 (0)11 686 6000
Issued on behalf of M-Net Corporate Communications by:
083 652 7713
West Africa: WAMDEF Boosts Media Capacity in West Africa
Source: Public Agenda (Accra), Roberta Dzifa Kodzitse on 16th. April 2010.
Currently, there is an estimated 5,000 private media enterprises in West Africa, most of which are faced with various levels of critical financial challenges that could undermine their sustainability and growth in the coming years. It was for this and other pertinent reasons that the West Africa Media Development Fund (WAMDeF) was launched to assist such media houses that are not able to access financial and technical resources needed to boost their operations.
An initiative of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), the WAMDeF strives to meet the growing the demand for improved and expanded access to finance and technical assistance by private media organizations in the ECOWAS region by mobilizing resources for lending and investment.
Also, the Fund aims at making available loans at lower commercial interest rates to private and independent media outlets in the region and to lift its limited resource base by lifting up financial and non-financial resources of identified partners that already operate or plan to increase their scale of operation in the private media market segment in order to achieve a greater effect relatively quickly when compared to stand alone alternative.
At the launch of the Fund, Prof. Kwame Karikari, Executive Director of the MFWA, stressed that most media houses churned out poor quality news and broadcast cheap programmes because of the quality of personnel, arising out of their inability to hire the persons with the requisite skills.
"If the media is not strong, democracy is endangered," he stated
Currently, WAMDeF is supported and partnered by the MFWA, a regional non- governmental organization, with the goal of promoting freedom of expression and governance throughout West Africa, Free Voice, a Dutch media organization in Europe that supports independent media organizations around the world.
Others are Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF) which is a non -profit investment fund providing low- cost financing training and support services to independent media companies in emerging democracies situated in some parts of the world, and Southern Africa Media Development Fund (SAMDEF) with the key objective of promoting democracy and good governance in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
Mr. Hans Determeyer ,the Programmes Manger for Free Voice, expressed immense worry over the fact that the number of investors that see media houses as objects of importance is limited and that the cold war between financial sector and the media is still a reality.
He also said that the challenge for WAMDeF is to partner with smaller media houses in the rural areas so that they can also benefit and serve as a bridge for information for rural folks.
The Fund is targeting emerging and already established private media enterprises with real or potentially solid management and financial performance within the sub-region. They are also the targeting media company groups which have the potential to add value to democratic processes in the sub-region by increasing access to information, encouraging political dialogue and catering for a diverse range of viewpoints in society.
The Acting Executive Director of the African Media Initiative, Mr. Amadu Mahtarba, pointed out that the media plays a critical role in society by holding government accountable.
He emphasised that, the media is the oxygen of the nation in terms of good governance and accountability and therefore by initiating WAMDeF, the MFWA has done a lot of good for the over 300 billion people in West Africa.
The range of services offered by WAMDeF includes plain term loans over periods ranging from 30 days to 8 years, co-financing of transactions with the partner institutions to lift up resources and provision of business support and capacity.