2015 CNN Multichoice African Journalists Awards launched

CNN International and MultiChoice have launched the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2015 Awards – on the event’s 20th anniversary. 
As usual, the competition for African nationals based on the continent welcomes entries from journalists creating content targeting an African audience.
In remarks at the launch, CNN International Executive Vice President and Managing Director Tony Maddox said: “Twenty years of encouraging excellence in journalism across the continent has made these the very best awards honouring the journalistic profession in Africa. I’ve witnessed first-hand the tremendous growth in stature and prestige of the competition, and 2015 promises to deliver another year of outstanding work.”
Tim Jacobs, MultiChoice Africa CEO Tim Jacobs meanwhile said: “We continue to be amazed by the extraordinary talent of our continents journalists, and remain committed to contributing to the development of media in Africa.”
“These awards have reached the remarkable milestone and are recognised as the most prestigious media awards on the continent; this celebration parallels our own celebration of 20 years of MultiChoice operations in many countries. We look forward to another year of great stories which showcase journalistic excellence.”
Greg Beitchman, Vice President, Content and Partnerships, CNN International, said: “CNN is committed to championing and supporting journalism through training schemes, the CNN Journalism Fellowship programme, awards and working closely with our affiliates worldwide.”
He added: “No more is this commitment more apparent than at the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards.
Through our partnership with MultiChoice we feel privileged to play our part in helping new talent across the continent thrive in an age where journalism about and for Africa is as important as it ever has been.”
Since the first Awards in 1995, the competition has grown in size and status to become Africa’s most prestigious media event.
Last year, a ‘Highlights Programme’ of the ceremony, held in Dar es Salaam was broadcast across Africa as well as in the UK, the USA and the Caribbean.
Open to journalists working in any medium, this year the competition will recognise excellence in 13 categories, including culture, dow technology & innovation reporting, economics & business, features, Francophone general news, GE energy & infrastructure, and Mohamed Amin photographic awards.
The others are MSD health & medical, Portuguese language general news, press freedom, sport reporting, African Development Bank environment, and Coca-Cola Company news impact awards.
From these category winners, an independent judging panel will choose the overall winner – The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2015.
Finalists in this year’s edition of the competition will participate in a programme that will include a media forum and networking opportunities with senior journalists, editors, business leaders and media owners from across the continent, culminating in a gala awards ceremony later in the year.
The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2015 will have the opportunity to participate in the CNN Journalism Fellowship at CNN headquarters in Atlanta in the US.
Covering any topic or subject matter, the Features Award category recognises excellence in long-form reporting and can include, but is not limited to, documentaries, extended news stories or a series of articles.
The Dow Technology & Innovation Reporting Award recognises journalists excelling in reporting about technology and innovation issues and initiatives on the continent.
This is with the realisation that economies, communities and individuals are all impacted by innovations shaping people’s lives, with technological advancements affecting every aspect of life.
Source: IPP News 21 April 2015

Jameson First Shot 2015 Winners Announced

The Jameson First Shot competition winners for 2015 were announced on 14 April this year. South African writer Mark Middlewick made the cut along with Travis Calvert from the United States and Stephan Tempier from Canada. The three lucky winners will be bringing their scripts to life with the help of Adrien Brody, Kevin Spacey and Trigger Street Productions. The winners were chosen from over 1,700 entrants from eight countries and will be travelling to Los Angeles to begin production as soon as possible. They will each be filming their short scripts over two days, with the finished products premiering as early as June.

Mark Middlewick is a part-time writer and director, whose film, Mascot, tells the story of a seemingly mundane, normal man with an alter ego who is an exuberant mascot for a basketball team.

Stephan Tempier, a French-Canadian film lover, “epitomises the spirit of Jameson First Shot” according to their official release. “With little training or experience in the film industry, Stephan’s entry Boredom was his first entry into any filmmaking competition. His First Shot tells the story of a man who sees things through a kid’s eyes, seeing interesting things in everyday life that other people wouldn’t even notice.”

Travis Calvert is an aspiring filmmaker from Nevada whose story, The Library Book, tells of an encounter between a librarian and a man with an overdue book –with an unexpected outcome.

The overall standard of entrants this year was above expectations, leaving Trigger Street impressed with the quality of this year’s submissions. “I continue to believe in opportunity for those starting out in this business and have been honored to be a part of the Jameson First Shot,” Spacey told The Hollywood Reporter when the news broke.

Both Adrien Brody and Trigger Street Producer Dana Brunetti hope that this helps give emerging filmmakers a fighting chance. “We’re giving people the opportunity to come in and work with a professional crew, get attention and exposure from the competition and also work with a high-calibre actor, which is going to amplify that exposure even more,” Brunetti said.

The application process required entrants to submit a seven-page short film script, which Trigger Street used to narrow down the applicant pool to around 20. The remaining group was then required to film and submit one of three predetermined short scenes and a video bio. The First Shot team then took all these components into consideration and whittled it down to the final three.

“The first thing I do is look at the story,” Brunetti says. “Is this something that keeps me engaged and makes me want to keep turning the page? Is it something that I would want to see on-screen? Then I go into producer mode. Is it going to be possible for us to make this with the limitations and resources that we have?”
Source: The Callsheet 22 April 2015

SABC’s Made in SA looking for young achievers

The popular youth reality series Made In SA is back for a third season. This inspirational and factual entertainment reality series celebrates young people of excellence by bringing them closer to their dream through a mentorship challenge. Made in SA gives them an experience of a lifetime and helps them understand more about their life goal.

Each episode showcases a young achiever between 16 and 24 years old who has a passionate dream. Viewers are introduced to him or her in their own environment, allowing them to meet the people in their world and find out what she or he has done to make things happen for them. The candidate is then paired with a Made In SA coach, a career professional in the candidate’s career field. The Made In SA Coach gives the candidate a challenge, assists where necessary with guidance and reflects on the successes and challenges still to come.

SABC Education is looking for amazing young people between the ages of 16 to 24, who’ve taken an initiative in pursuing their dream careers. If successful, these young people will be profiled on the show and through their stories other young people can be motivated to make their dreams a reality.

68th Cannes International Film Festival : NFVF Call to Register

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, will once again host a South African Pavilion at Cannes International Film Festival.

This year the NFVF is spearheading the Cannes Film Festival campaign in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission. The festival, which takes place from 13th - 24th May 2015 in France (Cannes) has been recognised as the most prestigious film festival on the global calendar and the participation in it through exhibition or competition is considered a "must".

The NFVF on a yearly basis leads the SA delegation and facilitates the country's presence at the festival. Therefore all filmmakers and delegates attending Cannes are requested to register with the NFVF in order to be included in all South African activities, marketing and promotions of SA films.

To register your festival attendance with the NFVF please email your full details (full names, email address and mobile number) to Naomi Mokhele naomim@nfvf.co.za and/or Carla Dias carlad@nfvf.co.za

Call for applications: SAMRO Overseas Scholarship

The SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition has produced a gallery of illustrious singing alumni over the past 50 years. Applications for the 2015 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships for singers are now open, but the 15 May 2015 deadline is fast approaching. Music students and young professionals aged 32 and younger are eligible to apply for these prestigious music study awards.

The two main overseas scholarship awards are currently valued at R170 000 each, with a number of subsidiary prizes also available for exceptional candidates. The total prize pot for this highly regarded annual music competition amounts to almost R500 000.

The scholarships competition takes the format of three rounds, adjudicated by a panel of music experts and culminating in a public gala concert at the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg. There, the two top candidates in each category will be required to perform a number of prescribed and individually selected compositions, accompanied by professional musicians.

Prospective candidates for the 2015 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships for singers are invited to download the regulations and the application form from the SAMRO Foundation website. Applications should be submitted to: SAMRO Foundation, 20 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, 2017, before Friday 15 May 2015. Enquiries may be directed to anriette.chorn@samro.org.za.

Hot Docs announces more film subjects and guest directors to attend 2015 festival

Hot Docs has announced a number of special guests, in addition to those previously announced, including comedians Will Durst and Johnny Steele, renowned photographers Massoud Hossaini and Farzana Wahidy, musician Nick Koenig aka Hot Sugar, actress Stephanie Allynne, and the cowboys from Unbranded, who are featured in films at the upcoming festival, 23 April to 3 May. In addition to guest subjects, 190 directors will be in attendance at the festival to introduce their films and participate in post-screening audience Q&As.

Featured guests are listed below. In most cases, the guests will be present at one or more screenings.

Will Durst and Johnny Steele from 3 Still Standing (D: Robert Campos, Donna LoCicero | USA | 2014 | 90 min) – Two American comedians who were contemporaries and close colleagues of superstars Robin Williams and Dana Carvey.

Ted Patrick from Deprogrammed (D: Mia Donovan | Canada | 2015 | 90 min) – An anti-cult crusader and deprogramming expert.

Massoud Hossaini and Farzana Wahidy from Frame by Frame (D: Mo Scarpelli, Alexandria Bombach | USA | 2015 | 84 min) – Internationally renowned Afghan photojournalist Farzana Wahidy and Pulitzer Prize–winner Massoud Hossaini.

Steven Plotnicki from Foodies (D: Henrik Stockare, Thomas Jackson, Charlotte Landelius | Sweden | 2014 | 94 min) – A New York-based food blogger.

Nick Koenig aka Hot Sugar from Hot Sugar’s Cold World (D: Adam Lough | USA | 2015 | 85 min) – A Grammy-nominated music producer.

Zack Little and Cason Troutman from Jesus Town USA (D: Julian Pinder, Billie Mintz | Canada, USA | 2014 | 80) – Two performers in the USA’s longest running ‘Passion Play’.

Nancy Prebilich from On Her Own (D: Morgan Schmidt-Feng | USA | 2015 | 80 min) – Farmer and co-owner of Gleason Ranch in Washington, USA.

William ‘Dub’ Lawrence from Peace Officer (D: Scott Christopherson, Brad Barber | USA | 2015 | 109 min) – A former sheriff who established and trained Utah’s first SWAT team.

Amy and Ryan Green from Thank You For Playing (D: Malika Zouhali-Worrall, David Osit | USA | 2015 | 77 min) – Ryan Green, an indie video game developer, and his wife Amy.

Stephanie Allynne from TIG (D: Kristina Goolsby, Ashley York | USA | 2014 | 95 min) – Stephanie Allynne is an actress and writer.

Ben Masters, Ben Thamer, Thomas Glover, Jonny Fitzsimmons and Val Geissler from Unbranded (D: Phillip Baribeau | USA | 2015 | 105 min) – Four friends who travelled from Mexico to Canada on wild mustangs, and cowboy Val Geissler who supported their journey through Arizona.

Erich Hahn Jr. from A Woman Like Me (D: Alex Sichel, Elizabeth Giamatti | USA | 2015 | 84 min) – Husband of director and subject Alex Sichel.
Source: Screen Africa 23 April 2015