USA announced as official guest country for DISCOP JHB 2016


Three years ago, President Barack Obama introduced the US Africa Leaders Summit attended by close to 50 African heads of state. This summit, the first of its kind, represents an increased willingness by the US to engage in trade with Africa, and the most recent DISCOP events have seen more and more US companies follow up on these African opportunities.

In celebration of this growing presence of American companies in Africa, DISCOP Johannesburg believes that the time is therefore right to honour the United States of America as DISCOP Johannesburg’s guest country for 2016.

DISCOP’s objectives with this partnership is to continue to assist and encourage major and independent U.S. companies in the entertainment and tech sectors to build stronger connections with the key players driving the continent’s multi-platform film and television content production and distribution industries.

Additionally, DISCOP will actively push for better collaboration between the U.S. and Africa, thereby expanding the reach of local culture stories with a truly global audience. Collaborations would also see the sharing of Hollywood’s (U.S.) know-how in marketing, financing expertise, global distribution, storytelling, production, directing, and casting with talent available in Africa.

Strategically located on the market floor, set-up in partnership with the US Commercial Service, the American Umbrella will welcome independent U.S. content distributors/producers and raise the visibility of the US’s presence at DISCOP.

Andrea DaSilva, global team leader, Media and Entertainment Industries, International Trade Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce explains the value of the partnership: “The U.S. Department of Commerce is honored to be represented at DISCOP as the United States has been chosen for the first time as the Country of Honor. Our partnership with Patrick Zuchowicki and DISCOP has been dynamic and exciting and we are eager for U.S. filmed entertainment businesses to explore opportunities in the South African and regional markets while in Johannesburg. Our team is very enthusiastic to support DISCOP in 2016 and to bring our expertise to the show via our Trade Fair Certification programme. With more than 100 domestic export assistance offices and with a presence in over 75 overseas markets our trade specialists stand ready to support U.S. exporters. DISCOP offers a unique opportunity for our team to introduce U.S. exporters and licensors to overseas buyers and joint projects in an emerging marketplace. We look forward to meeting with as many business partners as possible in the American Pavilion and connecting you to our programme and buyers.’

The following events will also take part under the American umbrella throughout DISCOP, taking place at the Sandton Convention Centre, 2 to 4 November.

2 November

11h40 to 12h40: The Anatomy of an adaptable scripted TV Show – Case Study: Love that Girl (US Sitcom)

How to write and produce a successful comedy sitcom in Hollywood. Budgeting, casting and shooting multi-cam with time and budget in mind. This session will show how to prepare an efficient scripted comedy sitcom shoot by looking at time and money without relinquishing the highest possible quality.

Trenten Gumbs, Producer, Harvest Studios (USA)
Bentley Evans, Producer, Harvest Studios (USA)
Ettore Botta, President, SpaceWoW Inc. (USA)

13h50 to 14h20: ATARI: Announces TV Strategy

The legendary ATARI will unveil their strategy to turn ATARI from a Video Game company to a top television company with a plan to license its formats all over the world – starting with Africa. Robert Blagman will also reveal how the Atari brand will bring new revenue

Speaker: Robert Blagman, Global Content Distribution, ATARI (USA)

4 November

10h35 to 11h35AM: US Production in SA

The influx of films/television series into South Africa is growing rapidly, how can South Africa prepare for this influx? Training programmes that are undertaken by foreign productions for South African residents and the success of those programs. The financial benefits of foreign productions shooting in South Africa. Discussion on Cast/Crew numbers as well as Terry’s experience with US Productions such as “Dominion’ in 2015 and now “Blood Drive’ in 2016 with respect to comparing the hiring of local Crew/Cast.

Terry Gould, producer, NBCUniversal
Benedikt Sabastian, producer, Motherland Pictures

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Cera-Jane Catton is a writer and journalist with years of experience in community newspapers, blogging and freelance journalism. She has worked in a cache of capacities, often finding herself behind or in front of the cameras, intentionally and less so. She has been a stunt double in two Bollywood movies, has worked in various capacities on a number of natural history documentaries, and other international productions shot in South Africa. Cera is a former Screen Africa journalist.


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