RTI puts Ivorian film development plan into action


Among the companies visiting DISCOP Africa 2014 as part of the focus on Ivory
Coast is RTI Distribution, the recently formed distribution arm of the Ivorian public
broadcaster. RTI’s Sandra Coulibaly outlines the broadcaster’s objectives at the

Could you explain RTI’s long-term strategy to expand its portfolio of content under
the recently created distribution arm?

The establishment of RTI Distribution falls under an overall development strategy
for the Ivorian fiction films industry, fostered by the General Manager of
Radiodiffusion Television Ivoirienne (RTI), Ahmadou Bakayoko, towards enhancing
national audiovisual production.

We are launching a catalogue mainly made up of Ivorian fiction series including
RTI’s internal productions as well as independent producers’ programmes.
The long-term strategy is built on diversifying the catalogue’s formats. The
following are the steps in place to this end:
• Strategic monitoring for high-potential projects from private producers to identify
quality products that can be integrated into our catalog.
• An internal production development scheme through training in specific trades,
provision of advanced technical equipment…
• Short films, feature films, documentaries and animated films will form part of
2015’s content offer. Our aim under RTI Distribution is to be positioned as an export
platform for Ivorian productions and our rich and varied cultural heritage. Cote
d’Ivoire will proudly emerge as a sub-regional hub and broadcasting benchmark.

What has the editorial focus been in the creation of RTI’s existing catalogue?
Our catalogue is so far solely made up of programmes that are produced and
directed in Cote d’Ivoire. We obviously intend to highlight the various aspects of
Ivorian culture displayed by our TV series of all kinds: thriller, comedy, drama,
social satire, cartoons. The public service mission vested in RTI allowed a 50-year
history of educating our people, primarily youngsters and women, on issues related
to politics, culture, economics and religion.

Today, the focus is to build on the good perception of African people in general and
the sub-region in particular, for the “Made in Cote d’Ivoire’ productions.

Is RTI considering entering co-production agreements in order to add value to its

Co-production is actually an essential part of our strategy. The majority of
programmes in our catalogue derive from collaboration with local private
producers. In just five months of operation, we have reached four partnership
agreements and selected several high-potential projects which will soon be subject
to co-production agreements, pre-purchase and distribution as well.

Furthermore, we are planning on enriching our catalogue in 2015 with programmes
able to meet the expectations not only of Ivorian young viewers but also likely to be
sold on the international market.

What sort of challenges does a distributor of French-speaking content face in Africa?

This is a large-scope challenge.

We are a French-speaking country expecting to deal with distribution companies
representing the largest European, American and Asian entities and stretching
across the continent.

Moreover, we must conquer an English-speaking market with an established film
industry throughout Africa.

At this junction, what could be considered as a weakness is actually the ground we
intend to build on towards conquering the African market. We are offering a
bilingual catalogue with programmes that display the daily experiences of Ivorians,
reflecting their dreams and hopes, caricaturing their sorrows and sufferings.

Cote d’Ivoire is a cosmopolitan nation, whose culture and language appeals to those
beyond African borders. As a result, Ivorian fiction portrays the whole of Africa in a

Finally, we will also capitalise on the excellent reputation that Ivorian performers
enjoy in Africa.

What are your objectives attending this new edition of DISCOP AFRICA?
The key objective of our participation in DISCOP 2014 is the official launch of our
catalogue and beyond, introducing our activities to the exhibitors from all over the
globe. This is an opportunity to meet with various stakeholders, to share
experiences and build our client portfolio based on fruitful discussions.
Our aim is to put the Ivorian culture on the spot in all its aspects, through its
national television and programmes.


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