AFPRO Connect Expo to host international producers


The inaugural AFPRO Connect Expo will take place on 25 and 26 November 2014 in Maboneng Precinct. The aim of the trade show is to showcase the wide range and top-class quality of African and South African production services, from locations, special effects and post production, equipment and camera hire, to crew and catering.

AFPRO Connect Expo will give the creatives behind the hundreds of films, commercials and music videos shot each year in Africa, a platform to grow and network.

AFPRO Connect MD Chakan Hislop commented, “Our mission is to fill the gap in terms of communication, collaboration and promotion of film production services across Africa,’ he says. “We believe it is vitally important to leverage the depth of skills and experience that exist in South Africa to provide a platform for the building of equitable Pan-African and international partnerships.’

On the back of its ongoing international direct marketing campaign, AFPRO Connect has already confirmed attendance of African-American producer Milan Selassie, who has just completed shooting Back to School Mom in Cape Town, as well as Stella Nwimo of Bedlam Productions, a UK company best known for producing high-quality feature films such as the multi-award-winning, The King’s Speech, which went on to make US$400M at the global box office, and factual international documentaries such as JFK’s Secret Killer: The Evidence.

Selassie, a former William Morris talent agent, plans to shoot three more films in South Africa next year, each one in the range of U$2M – U$5M, and will be attending the November expo in order to diversify his range of service providers.

Nwimo will be flying in to participate in AFPRO Connect Expo and aims to explore locations, production services and facilities for the African thriller, 18 Drops.

In addition to the annual trade show, Hislop says that AFPRO Connect will also develop a year-round campaign designed to attract new clients from more established markets. “By helping emerging and established production companies around Africa to diversify their opportunities and revenue streams, we hope to work towards building a more sustainable economy within the production services sector in the world’s most exciting continent in terms of projected growth,’ he says.

The Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) – a body representing a wide range of South African production companies – is fully behind the AFPRO Connect initiative. “We surveyed our members about the need for a trade show like this,’ says the organisation’s Zanele Modiba, “and the majority of them not only welcomed it, but have already indicated their intention to attend.’

AFPRO Connect also aims to shift the conversation on the level of film and production education. Co-located at the November event will be an Education Expo, where service providers such as AFDA, Big Fish and The Animation School will be promoting their courses to prospective students.

“Most film students enter the industry dreaming of being the next Scorcese, Spike Lee or Gavin Hood,” says Hislop. “Very few want to be the best unit manager, props master or production accountant, yet these are among the most sustainable jobs in the industry. Hopefully our Education Expo can give youngsters and their parents a more holistic view of the production industry.”

The AFPRO Connect team are also programming a number of workshops and panel discussions on relevant industry topics that will help production services companies to grow their balance sheets in the mid- to long-term.

For more information visit the AFPRO Connect website.


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