Thiery Cassuto, the producer of the very popular satirical online puppet series, ZANEWS, is calling for support to help fund Season 4. Cassuto, who created ZANEWS with top South African political cartoonist Zapiro, is planning to go the crowdfunding route for the fourth series.
Says Cassuto: “Inspired by cult shows like Spitting Image and Les Guignols de l’Info, Zapiro and I developed ZANEWS over a period of 12 years because we thought South Africa was more than ready for, actually in need of, such a programme. However, mainstream South African broadcasters thought differently so we decided to take our concept online.
“With the support of kulula and M&G, followed by Summit TV and Cape Town TV, we managed to launch and produce three seasons, gain fantastic support from millions of connected viewers and win several major awards. Despite the accolades and the love from the fans, keeping ZANEWS voice alive has not been plain sailing. In the conspicuous absence of a mainstream broadcaster and in the current economy, sponsors and advertisers are not exactly throwing money at us.
“Although we manage to keep our costs at a tiny fraction of what similar shows around the world cost, ZANEWS still costs millions of rands a year to produce and manage. Current funding does not allow us to carry on, so sadly we have to retire our puppets to their boxes.
“While the show is temporarily on hold, we are going the crowdfunding route to get our friends and fans to contribute to bring it back online as soon as possible. Take a moment to check out www.indiegogo.com/ZANEWS-Season-4 and also please share it with your friends. All the tools are there.’