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Programmers, animators, designers invited to join Vega Game Jam

Vega Game Jam 2018 is set to put aspiring young game developers to the test. The annual 48-hour Global Game Jam will be taking place from 26 to 28 January 2018 at Vega’s Johannesburg and Cape Town campuses.

The event is part of Global Game Jam (GGJ), the world’s largest event of its kind, taking place at various locations around the globe. Considered a ‘hackathon focused on game development’, the event sees some of the greatest young minds coming together to share their creativity and create unique video game experiences.

While it is compulsory for second-year Vega students to attend, the school also invites programmers, animators, artists and designers to take part in the event.

The school will also host a series of workshops to provide insight into some of the mechanics of the development process, including helpful how-to tips on creating the various complex components that make up a game.

For more, go to the Global Game Jam website.

Africa’s film industry gets a boost

NAIROBI, Kenya – Structures endorsed by the African Union have been finalised to promote the audiovisual and cinema industry in Africa which accounts for US$5 billion in continental GDP.

The African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) has been formally established and will be responsible for the promotion of the African audiovisual and cinema industry. Ministers of youth, culture and sport of the African Union member states meeting in Nairobi endorsed the Draft Statute of the African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) at the Extraordinary Session of the Specialised Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sport (STC-YCS2).

The AACC was established in June 2016 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia as a specialised agency of the African Union. The Ministers also approved establishment of the AACC Temporary Secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya.

The establishment and the endorsement of the statutes is the result of concerted efforts led by the Government of the Republic of Kenya; the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), currently hosted by the Government of Kenya; the African Union Commission (AUC); and leading film producing countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others.

Establishment of AACC was first called for by the AU Executive Council in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2003.

African cinema

The African Audiovisual and Cinema Commission (AACC) will be responsible for the promotion of the rapid development of the African audiovisual and cinema industry and shall encourage creation of appropriate structures at the national, regional and continental levels; strengthen cooperation between African States in the area of audiovisual and cinema; and promote the use of audiovisual and cinematic expressions as factors of job creation, integration, solidarity, respect of values and mutual understanding in order to foster peace, a positive image of Africa, and prevent conflicts. The audiovisual and cinema industry accounts for US$5 billion in continental GDP, employing an estimated 5 million people. With the current push for its development, this industry is expected to grow to over 20 million jobs and US$20 billion in annual GDP contribution.

The AACC is part of a four programme ecosystem that is mobilising US$410 million in programme funds for the promotion of this industry over the next five years. These resources will be raised from both the private and public sector and will be implemented primarily by the private sector.

The National Governments and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) shall have the responsibility of incorporating sectoral activities of the audiovisual and cinema industry into their economic and social priority strategies to give the right signals for resource mobilisation.


This renewed effort will have following benefits for African countries:
1.Grow the sector from 5 to 20 million jobs in the medium term.
2.Grow the sector from US$5 billion to 20 billion in annual GDP contribution, in the medium term.
3.A robust audiovisual and cinema industry capable of projecting a positive image of Africa.
4.Facilitate attainment of Agenda 2063, the Africa We Want, and be a good base for the export of African film products and services to international audiences and customers.
5.Enhance capacity of the continent to meet its foreign policy objectives particularly peace building, integration, and Pan-Africanism.

The meeting also took note of FEPACI’s proposal on Regional Centres of Excellence in Film Production and Post-Production for the promotion and development of the audiovisual and cinema sector in Africa. Members were requested to support the creation of these centres across the continent to enhance production of more quality films.

It also took note of the initiative by FEPACI and AUC to develop cinematic expressions on African Union’s Agenda 2063 that will encompass all players in cinema production. This will also enable better domestication and popularisation of the AU Agenda 2063.

The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers, founded in 1969, is the “voice’ of the African filmmaker. The FEPACI Secretariat moved to Kenya in 2013 and began its work of facilitating, strengthening, and promoting the interests of the African Filmmaker through creation of structures and programmes.

Source: Bizcommunity

Africa’s best documentaries are available to stream


In an African first, AfriDocs Anytime is now available as a free streaming platform on www.afridocs.net with a catalogue that includes nearly 40 films available for viewing
at any time.

Fans of African cinema now have two ways to watch some of the best documentaries from across the continent and beyond. Africa’s well known documentary film broadcast stream, AfriDocs, is now available for viewing anytime from your computer, laptop, or from any mobile device.

There is also an exclusive catch-up opportunity, featuring the past week’s BET schedule available to view for a limited period of time.

AfriDocs, an initiative of South African documentary production and distribution company, Steps, in partnership with the Bertha Foundation, brings the best African and international documentaries to television audiences weekly across sub-Saharan Africa via BET Africa and now to online audiences anywhere in Africa.

AfriDocs Anytime is a like having a film festival on your screen, with access to powerful, quality, award-winning documentaries that have shown at some of the most prestigious festivals in the world, as AfriDocs executive producer Don Edkins explains.

“The launch of AfriDocs Anytime heralds a new era of distribution for the continent, with the combination of a prime-time broadcast opportunity, followed up a by a free online streaming mechanism, means new opportunities for filmmakers, as well as the chance to develop audiences for the best in African film.’

AfriDocs Anytime already includes a full catalogue of high-profile African documentaries including classics such as South Africa’s Mama Africa and The Cradock Four; Kenyan films including, For Kibera; Ghana’s Accra Power and Homegrown; as well as international documentaries such as, CitizenFour, The Act of Killing and Gulabi Gang.

Source: Bizcommunity

Tanja Lategan appointed as Creative Spark’s new MD

Creative Spark has announced the appointment of new managing director, Tanja Lategan (former Primedia Online CEO), who will steer the digital agency through its next phase of growth and ramp up the company’s integrated marketing offering.

Creative Spark, acquired by the M&C Saatchi Group in 2015, is a Johannesburg and Cape Town-based specialist digital agency partnering with clients Philips, Kimberly-Clark, EOH and Gautrain. More recently the agency has been appointed the digital transformation partner for Medscheme and full-service digital agency for the Danone stable of brands which includes NutriDay, Ultramel and YogiSip. Lategan will oversee the delivery and continued growth of the seven-year old agency comprising of about 60 people that provides strategic digital solutions, creative digital design, web and app development to clients in both South Africa, across the continent, and within the M&C Saatchi network.

Lategan will oversee the delivery and continued growth of the seven-year old agency comprising of about 60 people that provides strategic digital solutions, creative digital design, web and app development to clients in both South Africa, across the continent, and within the M&C Saatchi network.

Brilliantly simple solutions

Lategan comes with 14-years’ digital experience – most recently heading up Primedia Online, where she was responsible for the launch of sales agency Dash of Lime and founded the content marketing business Juice Content, which subsequently grew into a fully-fledged digital marketing agency, servicing the likes of Adidas, Old Mutual, Cell C, Yahoo! and Telkom. “I am very excited to join such an inspirational group of creative companies,’ says Lategan. “As a member of the M&C Saatchi Group, Creative Spark is in a position to provide brilliantly simple solutions for their clients, delivered by their diversity of talent, range of services and ability to innovate.”

“I look forward to continuing to build on Creative Spark’s reputation as an industry leader in innovation, and to ensure that it will not only be regarded as one of the most sought after digital agencies in South Africa but also contribute to M&C Saatchi Abel’s mission to be one of the most desired creative companies on the continent,’ she says. “In an increasingly complex world digital has become more than just a medium. It has become an enabler. Adopting an omni-channel customer centric approach, driven by insights, inspired by world-class creative and enabled by digital technology will be a key focus to driving the company’s integrated marketing solutions.”

Delivering powerful ideas for a digital world

Matthew Buckland, the outgoing managing director and founder of Creative Spark, moves into a group role as founder and chief executive for digital, with a focus on key Creative Spark clients and group digital clients. “We are very pleased that someone of Tanja’s exceptional digital talents will be joining the agency management team. Our agency and Tanja have had a close relationship for a number of years, and we have tracked Tanja’s impressive career in the digital industry for some time now, including her entrepreneurial endeavours at Primedia Online. We are excited for this next phase of our incredible growth story,” says Buckland.

Founding partner and chief executive of the M&C Saatchi Group in South Africa, Mike Abel says: “Delivering powerful ideas for a digital world is core to our strategy as we focus on our vision of becoming the most desired creative company on the African continent. Tanya is a key hire, bringing both huge depth and breadth of experience, an entrepreneurial orientation and the all-important practical know-how to deliver both to clients and on our vision.”

Source: Bizcommunity.com

Cannes Lions open for entries with new 10-point entry checklist

Cannes Lions has announced that entries to its International Festival of Creativity have been simplified this year, with an entry process that ensures it is clear and easy to navigate. Improvements include a new 10-point entry checklist, designed to guide people through the system more effectively.

This year, there are no new Lions, but subcategories have been revised across some existing Lions in 2017 and amended guidelines will help to outline what the jury will be looking for. The changes to categories affect the following Lions:

• Innovation Lions are where ground-breaking technological solutions are born and two new categories are introduced this year: “Technological Craft & Development’ will award the technical prowess behind the ideas, and “Early Stage Technology’ offers a space for prototypes and beta stage ideas, providing more opportunities for start-ups to enter their best work.
• Creative Data Lions now aim to recognise the use of creative insight in a more accurate and meaningful way by introducing new categories: “Data Strategy’, “Data-Driven Targeting’ and “Use of Real-Time Data’ and the existing data section within Media Lions has been refined.
• Media Lions have added a new “Excellence in Media’ section, which recognises how a media campaign delivered outcomes for a brand through outstanding media strategy, planning and execution.
• Promo & Activation Lions introduce a new “Experience’ section for engaging, immersive, face-to-face customer-focused brand experiences with storytelling at the heart.

Simon Cook, director of awards for Cannes Lions, said, “The Lions are developed in partnership with the industry and are in a continual state of review, because it’s vital they continue to reflect current shifts. So this year, there is no new Lion, instead, we’ve focused on our existing awards and made developments to cement their relevance.’

Jose Papa, MD of Cannes Lions, commented, “The work that wins Lions demonstrates the most exciting and innovative progressions in creative communications and sets the standard globally. The awards will always remain the heart of the Festival.’

The Lions are awarded each year at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. A creative community of over 15,000 people from around 100 countries attend the Festival, making it the only truly global meeting place for those working in branded communications to connect, share and learn, and celebrate the best creative work.

For more information visit the Cannes Lions website.

Source: Bizcommunity

NFVF announces changes to the SAFTAs

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) held a media breakfast on Thursday, 26 January to formally announce the changes it’s made to the 11th edition of the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs 11).

NFVF CEO Zama Mkosi opened the discussion by commenting on the growth of the awards over the years. Year on year, overall entries have increased from 416 to over 440. This year, the category Best Feature Film received 23 entries and Best TV Soapie received 17 entries.

“One of the ways we measure growth is the connection the industry has with the SAFTAs,’ said Mkosi, and she believes the SAFTAs ought to engage with the provinces and communities that are contributing to the growth of the local industry, followed by her announcement that this year’s ceremony will be held at Sun City in the North West.

Judging was allocated a large chunk of the discussion, which emphasises its weight in the process. This year there’s a total of 181 judges, with three overall judging chairpersons, namely Jerry Mofokeng, Dr John Kani and Firdoze Bulbulia, to provide guidance and support to the other judges.

To improve the judging process, the public is encouraged to take part in the initial judging of the nominees for the Most Popular TV Soapies (including Telenovelas) by smsing 48430 (R1.50 per sms). The top three nominees will be announced on 16 February.

SAFTAs 11 covers 89 categories, including three new categories: Micro Budget Film; Best Talk Show Host; and a new discretionary award, the Youth Achiever Award. Other discretionary awards include: the Lifetime Achiever Award; Outstanding Person with Disability Contributor Award; and Outstanding Provincial Contributor Award. Disqualified categories due to a low number of entries are: Best Animated Feature and Best TV Animation; Micro Budget Film; and Best Sports Show.

Mkosi concluded the briefing with the reveal of this year’s theme, and that is that SA’s got it, so let’s celebrate it.

Key SAFTAs 11 events to diarise:

• 16 February 2017 – Nominee announcement
• 23 February 2017 – Nominee celebratory dinner
• 16 March 2017 – Awards night 1
• 17 March 2017 – Gold day, industry engagement sessions, community outreach
• 18 March 2017 – Awards night 2 (live event broadcast on SABC 2)

Source: Bizcommunity

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