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Growing Africa's fast-paced entertainment and media marketplace

DISCOP Joburg puts strong emphasis on African television projects in development and the booming animation sector.
Image source: Gallo/Getty.
Image source: Gallo/Getty.
Africa’s largest and respected content focused event, DISCOP Joburg, takes place November 20-22, 2019; and sees a newly revamped and focused DISCOP Joburg program to encompass a scope that goes beyond content buying and selling, including a strong sidebar program of panel discussions and master classes.

This DISCOPRO program will see more than 50 speakers, including many intrepid disrupters, on stage for panel discussions headlined by a series of masterclasses and a panel discussion led by experts from around the world sponsored by The Africa Channel.

These sessions will specifically address how independent producers can export their content and best adapt to the fast-paced world of multicultural television. Four sessions will provide a rapid course of study on what makes a project aimed at multicultural audiences actually sell in today’s challenging environment.

DISCOPRO program director Andrew Boozer discusses this program further, "Given the growth predictions of content produced in Africa, this years' program will address how producers, writers, directors can best adapt in this fast-paced multiscreen and cross-border world and highlight how Africa can play an influential role in tomorrow's global content production and distribution industry."

The DISCOPRO speaker line-up includes experts from broadcasters from across Africa such as Ethiopia’s Kana TV, the SABC, Royal Media from Kenya, and others. International companies such as, Côte Ouest, Warner Media, Turner Africa and Fox studios will also be represented in the DISCOPRO line-up.

Narendra Reddy, EVP and general manager, The Africa Channel, added, “We are proud to partner with the DISCOPRO conference program, which presents both an educational opportunity and an information exchange to accelerate growth in the Africa entertainment and media sector. The global technology shifts in content consumption and distribution presents a significant opportunity for producers on the continent to access new markets and the breadth of speakers and the panelists will seek to address any perceived barriers to entry.”

The practical and outcomes driven sessions include the following:

#1. Panel discussions around seven key pillars needed to facilitate unfettered growth in Africa’s fast-moving entertainment and media marketplace:


1.     Exporting Content Produced in Africa – Inside and Outside Africa.

2.     The Content Monetization Challenge

3.     Empowering Women in the Entertainment Industry

4.     Stop Fake News

5.     The United World of Animation

6.     Bringing Video Gaming Competitions to the Screen

7.     Why Dubbed Content is Important

#2. A Masterclass Program comprised of real-world case studies emphasising practical solutions to issues:

  • The Critical Importance of the Development Phase
  • The Value of Copyright
  • Music as a Cross-Border Accelerator
  • Win-Win Distribution Strategies
  • How to Shoot a Film Under $10,000 and Sell it to SHOWMAX


#3. A Tutorial Track focused on coproduction opportunities with South Africa


In addition to proper targeting, original themes, and international distribution, multi-party coproduction is increasingly becoming an important factor for success. South Africa - with a rapidly developing content production and distribution sector, competitive advantages and many coproduction treaties already in place – is becoming an important supplier of talent, stories and production services to the global community. This tutorial track will put under the spotlight projects that can benefit from existing coproduction treaties between South Africa and France, the UK, Canada and Australia.

#4. A Pitching Program showcasing original animation projects


For the third year running, DISCOPRO - in partnership with the African Animation Network (AAN) and the Annecy Animation Festival and Market (MIFA) - will host the grand finale of the Pan-African Animation du Monde 2020 Pitching Competition. This program also includes an additional Pitching Showcase organised under the DISCOMICS banner and in partnership with the AAN. With the world looking to the continent as a growth centre, Africa is expected to play a role in the expansion of the global animation industry and Africa will be the focus territory for 2020 at the MIFA gathering.

#5. The First Look series of innovative ideas


Intertwined in the general agenda, the First Look Series will feature a line-up of inspiring presentations from experts, entrepreneurs, key players and great speakers who have the edge on how independent producers and storytellers can improve their crafts, generate more revenue and expand their reach. 

The Africa Channel and its production arm, TAC Studios, is a showcase for the African continent’s English-language television series, specials, documentaries, feature films, music, biographies, and cultural and historical content. The channel’s mission is to open up a daily window into modern African life and, in the process, help demystify Africa for viewers globally. The Africa Channel is based in Los Angeles and is available in approximately seven million homes in North America and the Caribbean on cable systems such as Comcast, Charter/Spectrum, and the Caribbean Cable Cooperative. In addition, it’s streaming subscription video-on-demand platform, DemandAfrica.com, is available worldwide on the web, mobile and connected devices.

DISCOP assists film, television, digital content production and distribution companies in their efforts to do business in Africa. It also helps companies which are not ready to travel to Africa by putting their content under the sight of key buyers and reporting potential deals to them.
For more information and to register for DISCOP Joburg visit www.discop.com.
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