Mnet launched its African Film Library in VoD with 100 titles so far

Distribution

AFL online has been on beta test for about a year. Mnet finally and officially announced its launch just on time for MIPTV.

On 26 March 2012, M-Net – the multi-channel Pan-African content provider – has brought the best of African cinema to the world with the launch of the African Film Library , a video-on-demand service, offering the world’s largest ever collection of award-winning African film content. The launch is the culmination of a project which began more than three years ago and has seen the digitisation and restoration of the continent’s finest cinematic titles.

Managed by DStv Online – Africa’s multi-channel digital satellite online TV service, part of M-Net’s parent company MultiChoice – the AFL features films and documentaries from across the continent. The aggregation of this content makes it accessible to viewers worldwide in a move which aims to drive the growth and development of African and African Diaspora film markets across all media platforms. The AFL also delivers an important new digital source of revenue for catalogue content and filmmakers, where in the past there had been limited exposure opportunities for African films that had completed their commercial cycle.

The catalogue currently has 110 titles available, which users are able to download or rent by registering and purchasing credits. They are then able to watch the film multiple times within the 24-hours. Following the initial launch the catalogue will expand to include around 700 titles and will focus on various themes and profile renowned African personalities and directors. The AFL has been given endorsements from top African cineastes and film talent who have entrusted their films, and the selection of influential directors includes:

Legend of African film, Ousmane Sembene - Borom Sarret, La Noire De…

Egypt’s Youssef Chahine - Le Destin and Alexandrie encore et toujours

Senegal’s Djibril Diop - Badou Boy, Hyenes, Le Franc and Touki Bouki

Mike Dearham, Head of Sales & Library, M-Net says: “We have been working on building and developing the AFL for three years, and to now see our labour of love launch to the world feels incredible.

The AFL is a testament to the work M-Net has put in to making these films available and also to the strength of the African production industry. Without a doubt, the advent of digitisation has catalysed the pace and quality of our documentary production and the AFL is an important step in supporting our industry’s continued growth on the world stage. In making this content digitally accessible we are able to reach audiences right across the African Diaspora as well as to individuals with an interest in the continent’s wealth of culture, history and film – showcasing the quality of African film to the global audience and challenging preconceptions.”

In October 1986 the face of South African television changed forever when Electronic Media Network (M-Net) launched the country’s first terrestrial pay-television channel. As broadcasting technology has developed over the years, M-Net has evolved from its analogue broadcast beginnings into a multi-channel Pan-African content-provider, delivering top programming on a variety of platforms. M-Net has become renowned for its diverse programming and groundbreaking television content, featuring a mix of international series and movies with high-quality local programming.

In recent years, M-Net has embraced new technology and has continued to be a pioneer in content development for new platforms. With the 2006 launch of DStv mobile – a digital video broadcast of live TV channels to enabled mobile phones – and M-Mobile, which provides 3G content on-demand to mobile phones, M-Net and its channels started to venture down new broadcast avenues. Since December 2007, M-Net viewers on DStv have also been able to enjoy the benefits of Catch-up TV with the launch of DStv on Demand, a free video-on-demand service to PVR and PC. From 2008, M-Net has produced a number of local shows for DStv’s High Definition channels.