DISCOP Johannesburg presents The Africa Channel masterclasses

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A panel discussion at DISCOP Johannesburg 2018

Africa’s largest content-focused event, DISCOP Johannesburg, taking place from 20 to 22 November, will put a strong emphasis on African television projects in development, partnerships with South Africa, and the booming animation sector.

A newly revamped and focused DISCOP Johannesburg programme will see a scope that goes beyond content buying and selling and that will include a strong sidebar programme of panel discussions and master classes.

This DISCOPRO programme 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 programme director Andrew Boozer discusses this programme further,  “Given the growth predictions of content produced in Africa, this years’ programme 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 programme, 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 Monetisation 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 Programme comprised of real world case  studies emphasizing practical solutions to issues:

1.     The Critical Importance of the Development Phase

2.     The Value of Copyright

3.     Music as a Cross-Border Accelerator

4.     Win-Win Distribution Strategies

5.     How to Shoot a Film Under $10,000 and sell it to Showmax

#3. A Tutorial Track focused on Co-production Opportunities with South Africa.

In addition to proper targeting, original themes, and international distribution, multi-party co-production is increasingly becoming an important factor for success. South Africa – with a rapidly developing content production and distribution sector, competitive advantages and many co-production 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 co-production treaties between South Africa and France, the UK, Canada and Australia.

#4. A Pitching Programme 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 center, 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. 

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Lara Utian-Preston
Lara Utian-Preston is a passionately committed marketer and strategist with a focus on promoting African content and events. Two decades of working across Africa have provided her with insights and experience that she puts to work for the projects she manages. In 2006, Lara founded, and still personally manages, Red Flag Content Relations, a full service below-the-line agency that also focuses on African entertainment and lifestyle brand marketing, strategy, and publicity.