Pratiks calls Africans to use and post their videos on its web portal

With the arrival of new submarine fibre optic cables in Africa, enabling broader internet access at lower cost, Pratiks participates in the joys of broadband on the continent.
Pratiks.com is the first video encyclopaedia on practical issues. More than 2,000 practical videos posted on its website provide solutions, know-how, instructions and tips on almost everything!
Experts from all nations can share their expertise and talents for a simpler world, more caring and more “practikal”! Fashion, DIY, health, sexuality, mechanics, sport and gardening, there are solutions for all problems on Pratiks.

Gaël Pollès, Pratiks’ director said: "Africa is in the starting blocks of high speed internet access. As a provider of innovative audio-visual content, we want to be among the first to offer our online videos to Africans so that they can benefit from tips that will save them time and money. Africans also have many talents to teach the world; They are already very strong in many areas on the international scene and many have a lot of imagination; Creative, resourceful, some Africans are kings of recycling. Thanks to Pratiks, they will be able to share their knowledge...and get more exposure. What's better than African light and landscapes for filming videos ... We call on the talents of all Africa! “

Anyone can freely access Pratiks’ videos by visiting www.pratiks.com, but it is also possible to submit your own videos to freely share knowledge and enhance it. The goal is to simplify people’s lives but also to allow know-how and knowledge exchange. «Westerners should stop believing they have nothing to learn from Africa; Africans will surely bring some surprises!" Gaël Pollès adds.
Current Pratiks’ members are from across the Francophone world - France, Canada, Belgium of course - but also Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon and many other African countries.

Regarding African content, Gaël Pollès confirms that "If African users are becoming more numerous on Pratiks, rare are the videos sent from the African continent. It is very simple to share knowledge and get global visibility using Pratiks: An amateur camcorder, a computer with film capture or even a good phone or a digital camera with video capability are enough to make a film for Pratiks. It is not necessary to be Spielberg to make a short film: keep your camera steady, speak slowly and repeat your scene in front of your friends before filming so that people will understand your message. Then send your video in just a few minutes after opening a free member account.
Pratiks members and companies who have their own website can use Pratiks to enrich it: an active link referring the video on their site is easy to set up."
Topics such as “travel” and “cuisine” await videos from Africa on a dish, a place, a restaurant, a beach, a village or a monument to discover.
Pratiks also offers broadcast TV channels in Africa the “best Pratiks videos” and a contest for African countries.
Visit Pratiks at: www.pratiks.com,
Contact: contact@pratiks.com

Call for “Africa First”

New filmmakers across Africa are invited to enter their short film projects into Focus Features’ Africa First Program, now in its third year. The five winning applicants will each receive $10,000 a piece in film funding for their films. Entries close on 3 August and only filmmakers of African nationality and residence are eligible.

Past short films to come out of the Program have been showcased at the Sundance, Toronto, and Berlin Film Festivals and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, among other venues worldwide. Africa First is supervised by producer Kisha Cameron-Dingle (Sometimes in April), whose Completion Films company has a first-look and consulting deal with Focus, and who coordinates the Program’s submissions and evaluations with Focus director of production Matthew Plouffe.
Apart from awarding $10,000 for pre-production, production and/or post-production for the selected films, the Program also brings the filmmakers together with each other and with a renowned group of advisors, major figures in the African film world, for support and mentorship. More details and application information – can be accessed through www.focusfeatures.com/africafirst.
The winning filmmakers of Africa First will visit New York City in the fall of 2010 for a weekend of one-on-one workshop discussions with each other; members of the advisory board of experts in African cinema; such Focus executives as CEO James Schamus and president of production John Lyons, covering topics like international distribution and the economics of studio financing; and Cameron-Dingle and Plouffe.
Said Schamus, “The entry period for the Africa First Program is when we seek out the next generation of filmmakers and seek to help them bring their dreams and visions to the screen.”
Cameron-Dingle added, “Whether a thriller, musical, or sci-fi tale, films from the Africa First Program have generated audience and industry attention, and we want to
keep cultivating that diversity of material and new talent.”
The five filmmakers selected will be notified in late September 2010 and will retain the copyrights and the distribution rights to their completed shorts, with the exception of
North American rights; Focus retains those, as well as the right of first negotiation to productions derived from the shorts, such as a feature-length expansion.