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Patrick Zuchowicki Jucaud, DISCOP Patrick Zuchowicki Jucaud founded the DISCOP markets in 1991. DISCOP markets facilitate content production and distribution business in fast-growing marketplaces where the entertainment and media sectors are fueled by young demographics, fast adoption of new technologies, rising disposable income and the popularity and abundance of content from different cultural backgrounds.

Broadcasters to take centre stage at DISCOP Johannesburg

Over 120 free-to-air television stations, including public broadcasters from 15 African countries, are expected to take part in the upcoming Johannesburg edition of the DISCOP film, television, and digital content market, and co-production forum that kicks off from 20 November for three days of intense networking and deal building.

At the event, these public broadcasters will be acknowledged and celebrated for their role as the dominant force in the African market where 85% of audiences still actively watch free television. While the launch of a range of new SVOD services across the continent may dominate discussions, behind streaming’s tech dazzle, the more mundane business of selling content to Africa’s ordinary linear networks is high on DISCOP Johannesburg 2019’s agenda.

Contrary to popular belief, advertising-driven TV remains strong. According to recent reports, the market share of linear ad-supported television, currently 36.7 percent of the overall global market, would actually rise to 40.1 percent by 2025 and more than half of the industry’s global revenues will still be in free-TV six years from now.  

“All the major streaming and pay-TV services will be attending,” noted Patrick Zuchowicki, General Manager and Founder of DISCOP, who adds, “But pre-market reports point to strong demand for programming from commercial and public broadcasters. The bulk of the business for the vast majority of content suppliers is still in traditional television.”

135+ global and regional content sellers and 150+ African independent content producers will take part in a reconfigured market that will go beyond content selling and buying, and also cover the co-production of original content. A total of 250+ programmers, acquisition, commissioning, production and marketing executives from 35+ African countries are also expected to attend seeking both finished content, adaptation rights and projects in development.

DISCOP Johannesburg 2019’s sidebar conference programme will feature focussed thematic sessions that will provide an opportunity for a more dynamic, hands-on learning experience. Topics to be covered will include content monetisation strategies, the booming animation industry, bringing eSports to television screens, the importance of dubbing, the export of original African content, branded content, and how to tackle disinformation.

“There is no question that pay-TV penetration, access to mobile television and VOD adoption is on the rise.” says Andrew Boozer, DISCOP’s conference director, who adds, “This is why we have designed a conference programme that will help ad-supported TV channels stay at the top of their game and build stronger ties with local talent, up-and-coming producers and advertisers who still think that linear television is the most powerful ad-medium on the continent.”

DISCOP Johannesburg presents The Africa Channel masterclasses

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. 

DISCOP JOBURG 2019: Promoting African Co-Productions

A newly revamped and focused DISCOP Johannesburg programme will see a scope that goes beyond content buying and selling. In line with DISCOP Market’s vision to promote the commerce and co-production of multi-screen entertainment content across Africa, the upcoming edition, to be held from 20 to 22 November, will put a strong emphasis on African television projects in development, partnerships with South Africa, the booming animation sector, and the export of content produced on the continent.

As co-production in international television expands, Africa can play an increasingly influential role in getting projects off the ground. Competitive incentive programmes are already available in countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Senegal, and this year’s edition of DISCOP JOHANNESBURG will focus extensively on African content producers, with solid works in progress, to reach out to key players in Africa and beyond who could bring added value to projects in development.

“Not since the invention of television has Africa exercised such an influence on the creation of original multi-screen content.” Says Patrick Zuchowicki, President of DISCOP, who adds, “This year’s DISCOP JOHANNESBURG will see three times more projects with cross-border potential brought to the market by African producers than in 2018.”

The renewed focus on works in progress and fostering co-productions will be brought to life via the side-bar DISCOPRO programme that will see more than 50 speakers, including many intrepid disrupters, on stage for panel discussions around the eight key pillars of the industry’s current transformation: What buyers actually want; Exporting African content; The content monetization challenge; Stop fake news; Empowering women in media; The united world of animation; The nascent and super fast-growing video gaming competition sector; Why dubbed content is so important.

In an important addition to the programme, sixteen works in progress of international standard and with a set delivery date will be pitched by their producers in front of key regional and international industry players that can help these projects take off. They will be regrouped into four categories: TV series, Formats, Documentary, and Animation.

Sponsored by The Africa Channel, a series of masterclasses and a panel discussion led by experts from around the world will 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.

“Broadcasters, premium cable channels and streaming platforms from around the world are starting to recognize the value of African content,” says Narendra Reddy, General Manager, The Africa Channel, who adds, “however, producers on the continent need to be proactive and actively participate in creating opportunities for distribution. Furthermore whilst production should continuously evolve to a global standards in terms of technical quality, producers should endeavor to develop stories that are authentic, local and culturally specific”

With many high-profile international TV series being shot in South Africa, a tutorial track will put under the spotlight the country’s rebates system and examine the benefits available through co-production treaties that exist between South Africa and The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada and Australia.

Intertwined in the general agenda, presentations by the likes of SES, ITV, Pomegranate Media, Agence France Presse, Al Jazeera, Ubongo, Shoot Cameroon and Vubiquity will explore future opportunities and deliver further insights on the state of the industry.

Animation du Monde 2020 in Francophone Africa

The pan-African Animation du Monde pitching competition has, in its short history, come to represent a window of opportunity for creators of animation content on the continent. DISCOP Abidjan is gearing up to welcome the best and brightest for the 3rd edition of this prestigious competition. These partnerships and related opportunities are aligned with the African Animation Network’s (AAN) cornerstone principles of creating a sustainable creative industry in Africa by providing producers with market access as well as opportunities to build relationships within the industry that will help turn ideas into content.

“The value of entering a pitch competition like Animation du Monde goes far beyond winning or losing. Through it you build relationships, your confidence to sell your project, and most of all the insight of industry professionals with years of experience with projects from around the world.” says Nick Wilson, Head of Projects & Content at AAN.

Wilfrid Paré, general coordinator of Association Burkinabè du Cinéma d’Animation (ABCA), describes his Animation du Monde experience: “Initiating ABCA’s partnership with AAN in 2017, was one of the most beautiful things that happened to me professionally. I have seen Africa express itself in its diversity and beauty through enthusiastic and creative young people who proudly carry their uniqueness. Uniqueness that they try to communicate to the world at the DISCOP Markets and ultimately, if they are successful, at Annecy. The Regional and Continental phases of Animation du Monde, which I took part in, accelerated my skills development. I met people that are convinced that it is possible to tell beautiful stories on the continent. It moved me and made me aware that another Africa is possible, a creative Africa.”

Animation du Monde’s mission is to give animation projects in developing animation industries from across the world the opportunity to participate at the highest level internationally during the MIFA Pitches. The MIFA Pitches are arguably the biggest animation-focused pitching forum in the world, taking place against the backdrop of the Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA (Annecy/MIFA).

Africa’s animation industry is still developing. In recognition of the challenges that creators face in being able to reach a market there is a strong focus on animated short film and series this year. These formats have created opportunities in the past for African producers to forge continental and international partnerships to produce their content.

The variety of stories that exist in Africa is a testament to the diversity of its more than 1.2 billion people. Animation du Monde is creating a platform for the world to learn more about this population. The most widely spoken languages across the continent might be English, French, Arabic, and Portuagese, but story is creating a new means to understand who we are as Africans. Something our two African finalists, Nildo Essa (Mozambique) and Dami Solesi (Nigeria) hope to achieve at the  Animation du Monde MIFA pitches finale taking place at the Annecy/MIFA 2019.

DISCOP Abidjan is the second of five preliminary rounds of the Pan-African Animation du Monde 2020. Through the DISCOMICS footprint – an initiative run by DISCOP Markets and AAN – and which includes partnerships with three of Africa’s longest running comic conventions, AAN will be hosting four regional prelims in Johannesburg (at ICON CGC), Abidjan (at DISCOP Abidjan), Lagos (at Lagos Comic Con), and Nairobi (at Nairobi Comic Con). Because, the partners are always looking to create new opportunities for creators across Africa, AAN has partnered with the Accra Animation Film Festival (AAFFia) to add a 5th regional prelim.

At the Continental Finals held at DISCOP Johannesburg 2018, all the finalists got to work on their projects with industry heavy hitters who were both judges and mentors. These included names like Alexis Ducord & Arthur de Pins (co-directors of Zombillenium), Mike de Seve (creative director at Baboon Animation), Rathan Sam George (COO of Toonz Media Group), and Géraldine Baché (head of Projects at MIFA). As part of the Annecy – MIFA Animation du Monde – Skills Programme, a programme of workshops, masterclasses, one-on-one project evaluations and pitch practice sessions were run at DISCOP Johannesburg ahead of the continental final. Participants were given valuable insights into both improving their projects and their pitching techniques.

DISCOP Johannesburg 2018 – nurturing emerging talent


As I sat amongst about 50 very patient (and some very anxious) people in the Bill Gallagher Room at the Sandton Convention Centre on the last night of DISCOP Joburg 2018, I was struck by the realisation that this is what the industry was actually all about.

We were awaiting the judge’s decision in the Annecy Animation du Monde pitching competition, which was run across five territories in Africa and in the major cities of Abidjan, Johannesburg, Zanzibar, Nairobi and Lagos.

Most of the 10 finalists, two from each territory, were at DISCOP Johannesburg to compete in the continental final. The two winners of the continental final, identified by the panel of international expert judges, will now go on to represent Africa and compete against their global counterparts during the Annecy International Animated Film Festival & Market 2019.

This award ceremony was very low-key, with only those really passionate about animation in attendance; however, as the winners were announced, it became clear to me that I was witnessing a life-changing moment for the two young finalists, who were overwhelmed by the announcement.

After three days of both watching and taking part in intense networking, deal-making and various cocktail parties and events – the activities that define a DISCOP Market – I was exhausted. However, as the winners of the competition were announced, I felt re-invigorated and I understood why it is that we all do what we do.

There are so many people that work tirelessly behind the scenes at any film festival or market such as this – and yes, of course everyone is getting paid – but trust me, most of the time that payment does not come close to compensating people for the time and commitment they put into making these events happen.

The force behind these particular animation events is Nick Wilson, the founder of African Animation Network (AAN) and a tireless advocate for African animation.

In addition to the partnerships with Annecy and MIFA, Nick has managed to secure the support of other major players within the global industry, who were also in attendance at DISCOP and at this awards event. Mike de Seve, the director of Baboon Animation (the multi-award-winning animation studio out of the US) and Rathan Sam George, director of Operations for India’s Toonz Media Group (along with Toon Boom), have also joined forces with AAN to develop a long-term incubator and accelerator project for African animators.

DISCOMICS IQEMBU, launched at DISCOP Johannesburg, is a multi-faceted project aimed at incubating young talent and accelerating production in order to develop the animation industry across Africa. These global partners will ensure a sustainable model into the future.

Based in India, the Toonz Media Group is a world leader in animation production, producing over 10 000 minutes of animation per year. Baboon boasts a peerless animation IP development team, who have produced Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated writing, directing and design for over two decades. Toon Boom, meanwhile, is the leading 2D animation software in the world today.

The two winners from 2018, who will travel to France for the final round of the competition, are Dami Solesi of SMIDS Animation in Lagos – the studio behind The Makerbolts project – and Nildo Esso from FX LTD Animation Studios in Maputo, who is behind The Troublemakers project. Nildo, and this project in particular, have been represented at several competitions in the recent past, including Digital Lab Africa and Durban Talents at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). Furthermore, his pilot was part of the selection for the FUPiTOONS FESTiVAL 2018.

For all the participants in this pan-African pitching competition, the opportunities have been life-changing. While often it is the large deals and acquisitions that make the headlines after international markets such as DISCOP, to me, the real and enduring value is to be found here – in these developmental moments.

During DISCOP, I also had the chance to chat with a number of the volunteers on site, many of whom are film students, and some of the younger producers also in attendance. Through these conversations, many of which were with young women, I realised the importance of networks, mentoring and internships. The enthusiasm and ambition of these young people needs to be channeled into career paths with sustainable futures.

The DISCOMICS IQEMBU initiative, therefore, must be seen as a model that can be replicated in other production sectors: cinematography, documentary filmmaking, etc.

While many businesses and larger companies boast about major deals that were signed during DISCOP – my eye is going to remain firmly fixed on the talented youths who are just starting their industry journeys.

DISCOP Joburg 2018 wrap-up

Wrapping up their seventh Johannesburg edition of the DISCOP content, adaptation rights and project markets, organisers announced a steady growth in year-on-year attendance – 1188 delegates representing 783 companies from 69 countries in 2018 versus 1155 delegates representing 772 companies from 63 countries in 2017.

Despite economic turbulences hurting Sub-Saharan Africa’s entertainment and media marketplace, 487 independent film, television, digital and animated content producers from 35 Sub-Saharan African countries attended the 3-day market – twice as many as last year – proving the importance of homegrown content for the 156 African broadcasters, premium cable channels and other content delivery platforms who came to Johannesburg for the continent’s leading content production and distribution industries gathering.

“For DISCOP to remain relevant in these fast-moving ecospheres, we must constantly pursue innovative services that provide more value to our delegates. For us there could be no greater value than empowering young and creative producers from Africa and providing them with a business platform that meets their true needs,” said Patrick Zuchowicki, CEO of DISCOP Markets.

Many challenges have faced the industry, with more platforms, pay TV operators, and broadcasters than ever competing for the same revenue sources, there have been a number of casualties throughout the year. However, there is still overall confidence in the upwards growth trajectory of the sector across Africa. The increased competition amongst broadcasters, SVOD, OTT and mobile platforms has been a boon for African producers who have seen more demand, and hence higher prices being paid for content made in Africa.

This year’s DISCOP Johannesburg also saw a number of major announcements taking place, with a focus on co-productions and international deals.

Global Content Hub by Zee announced a co-production deal with Nigerian agency MACE and Multimedia Group, a broadcaster from Ghana whose channels Joy Prime and Adom TV will air the new drama series Deceptive Measures. The series is currently in production and is a remake of popular Indian series Pavitra Rishta, one of the most successful ever Indian drama series with both Indian and international audiences. The filming takes place across Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria and the first season will have 52 one-hour episodes. Popular actors from Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria will star in the series such as Michael Godson, Joy Jasmin Aygeman (Adomaa) and other actors from the 3 countries.

America’s GRB studios and South Africa’s Black TV announced a deal that will see will GRB studios distributing more than 200 hours of programming per week to Black TV. The deal was announced in a press statement by Mr. Benz at the start of DISCOP Johannesburg 2018. The partnership is key to Black TV’s launch and will immediately provide the service with hundreds of hours of programming. Future plans include co-producing original content for the platform.

Additionally, THE CANAL+ Group announced the launch of THEMA DISTRIBUTION, a new business activity of CANAL+ INTERNATIONAL, in charge of the distribution and sale of audiovisual content in Africa and internationally. THEMA DISTRIBUTION will focus on the development of African content on all media, and in particular content produced or acquired by Group channels. Indeed, CANAL+ channels and A+ in Africa are playing a key role in the African production and co‑production of a number of programs — including movies, African TV series and short comedy TV series — that THEMA DISTRIBUTION will now spread throughout the continent and beyond.

Further exciting news for the region was the intense interest in the  African adaption of  Ugly Betty after the announcement that KNOWN ENTERTAINMENT ASSOCIATES has bought the rights from RCN, Columbia’s Public Broadcaster. Ugly Betty is considered as the one of the world’s leading television properties.

Patrick Zuchowicki explains further his view on solutions for the challenges facing the industry, “Accelerated growth is what we work towards at all DISCOP events – for local and regional film, television, digital and animation content in particular, and for the whole African Entertainment & Media Marketplace as a whole.”


Global Content Hub by Zee announces drama co-production in Africa

Global Content Hub by Zee has announced a co-production deal with Nigerian agency MACE, and Multimedia Group, a broadcaster from Ghana whose channels Joy Prime and Adom TV will air the new drama series Deceptive Measures.

Deceptive Measures, currently in production, is a remake of popular Indian series Pavitra Rishta, one of the most successful ever Indian drama series with both Indian and international audiences. The original programme has travelled across more than 20 countries. The story revolves around a middle-class girl, who is not highly educated and yet handles her house impeccably. Everyone is dependent on her however its only her brother and her mother who one really value her. Her mother has a sole aim of finding a good alliance for her daughter.

The filming takes place across Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria and the first season will have 52 one-hour episodes. Popular actors from Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria will star in the series such as Michael Godson, Joy Jasmin Aygeman (Adomaa) and other actors from the 3 countries. The series will be directed by Uduak Obong.

This is the 2nd African co-production from Zee. Khwaabon Ke Darmiyaan a sophisticated drama series about real estate tycoons,starring African actor Ahmed Souane from the Ivory Coast. This 2016 co-production between Zee in Dubai and India with RTI from the Ivory Coast aired to great success, breaking ratings records in the United Arab Emirates.

Sunita Uchil, chief business officer, International Ad Sales, Global Syndication and Production of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) said, “Global Content Hub by Zee is thrilled to announce our special partnership with Nigeria’s MACE and Ghana’s Multimedia Group for the remake of our Indian programme Pavitra Rishta, sharing this beloved story with new audiences across Africa. It will be exciting to see how they adapt the series into their own identity. With this, we mark for our foray in creating local programmes for local audiences. We also look forward to creating more partnerships throughout this continent.”

Nigerian Film Corporation and DISCOP announce Business Summit Nigeria 2019

Amidst the busy DISCOP Joburg 2018, the Nigerian Film Corporation managing director Chidia Maduekwe and DISCOP Markets CEO Patrick Zuchowicki signed an MOU to confirm the first annual DISCOP Business Summit in Nigeria. It was agreed that it will commence in December 2019 during the annual ZUMA Film Festival in Abuja.

This landmark partnership reflects the global interest and confidence in the emerging markets of Africa, with a particular focus on Africa’s fastest growing creative economy, Nigeria. This event will incorporate into the creative industries the vital role of banks and financiers who up until now are yet to fully participate in this massive growth sector of the Nigerian economy.

With a focus on finance and the economic imperatives of the content and creative industries, the DISCOP Business Summit Nigeria 2019 will include many players in Nigeria’s strong and forwardly focused banking sector. From the importance of production finance, to the role of micro-payments, banks and financial institutions must be part of the processes that drive the creative industries forward.

The Nigerian Film Corporation has identified this sector’s importance for the overall growth of the Nigerian economy and in partnering with the globally recognised DISCOP brand, will continue to drive the Nigerian film, TV, and digital content industries further.

Based on its decades of experience and networks, DISCOP Markets will leverage its global reach of international players who are all interested in the rapidly expanding West African and Nigerian markets.

Through this partnership, creative producers will be able to engage in focused discussions with their banking and technology counterparts as co-participants. This business focused event will be the first of its kind in Nigeria and will provide unparalleled opportunities for attendees.

The NFC’s Chidia Maduekwe went further to explain, “the importance of this partnership cannot be lost on the present administration’s focus on diversification of Nigeria’s economy away from the fossil dependency towards the creative economy. The collaboration of DISCOP and Nigerian Film Corporation is a welcome development that marks an important milestone in the policy direction of the Industrial Advisory Council on Technology and Creativity under the chairmanship of His Excellency, the Vice President of Nigeria. It should be recalled that HEVP recently lead Nigeria’s creativity team in a visit to California earlier in the year. The continuous development of quality productions in the Nigerian motion picture industry will be given fresh impetus following from this signed MOU between NFC and DISCOP.”

Patrick Zuchowicki CEO of DISCOP Markets also elaborates, “It is time for the banks, financial institutions, and investment funds to take the pulse of the opportunities available in the African Entertainment & Media marketplace. “Show Me The Money” will help lenders understand how important a role they can play in the development of the world’s fastest growing marketplace for film, television, digital and musical content.”


DISCOP Johannesburg 2018: What not to miss

Taking place from 14 to 16 November, DISCOP Johannesburg is the leading content, adaptation rights and project market dedicated to Africa and the Middle East.

As DISCOP Johannesburg approaches, here are some inside tips for getting the best out of the three-day intensive market. As anyone who has attended the event knows, DISCOP is about the business. Meetings, deal-making and networking are the most important elements of the event – especially for independent and smaller production houses.

With a massive focus this year on animation, music rights and synch deals, TV series and Swahili content, as well as the newly launched DISCOP CLUB, opportunities will abound for both sellers and buyers of African content.

The Meeting Service

As a registered delegate of DISCOP, the match-making or meeting service is probably the most powerful tool for anyone attending the market. Especially for producers who may be just entering the market or who operate independently, or for those who are not sure how to get the attention of buyers, the online meeting service is the best way to fill your diary with substantial and meaningful meetings.

DISCOMICS and Animation Highlights

The DISCOMICS Joburg segment, organised by the African Animation Network and DISCOP Markets, will bring comic books, animation and video-gaming talents before international buyers and producers. Twenty creators, graphic artists, game developers and animators have been offered the chance to attend DISCOP and enjoy VIP privileges, including a Producer’s market badge, a meeting pod in the DISCOMICS umbrella, meeting organisation assistance, access to the Next Gen programme, and up to five programmes and projects featured in the DISCOP Club online library for 12 months, among other perks. DISCOMICS will additionally host a talent showcase for key industry players, with the FUPiTOONS Festival also taking place during DISCOP.

Anyone with an interest in animation should also attend the two Next Gen sessions, which will take place on Friday 16 November. At 9am, ‘Wham, Pow, Boom’ will take a closer look at Nigeria’s animation, comic books and gaming industry. Thanks to a growing interest in the country, Nigerian animators are now stepping up to improve the quality and availability of their content. At 5pm, the Africa Animation Network (AAN) will explore the issue of ‘Animation Progeny’.

There will also be an ‘Animation Du Monde’ pitching competition, the grand finale of which takes place on the final day of DISCOP.

Finally, a DISCOP Conversation session will bring together globe-trotting animation experts to discuss the emerging trends and future outlook of animation in ‘The United World of Animation’. Using their own countries as case studies, panellists will paint a vivid picture of the opportunities, pioneering spaces and potential collaborators in this field.

Connecting Women across Africa: The Ladima Foundation

Following from the highly successful ‘Women of Influence’ Panel at DISCOP Zanzibar, the Ladima Foundation will present another similar panel at DISCOP Joburg. These interactive panel discussions bring together women who have achieved a certain level of influence within the industry and challenges them to brainstorm the tangible ways in which this influence can be used to improve the opportunities for women across Africa.

The conversation will also touch on the recently launched A-List – Africa’s largest searchable database of women professionals from across the film, TV and content industries.

Women producers attending DISCOP are encouraged to attend this session.

Swahili Producers and Content Opportunities 

East African and Kiswahili language content producers can take advantage of their own Swahili Pavilion at this year’s DISCOP market, sponsored by AZAM TV. This meeting space will be the home of a Swahili content-focused press conference, and there will also be a panel discussion on Swahili content taking place as part of the Next Gen programme.

These platforms promise to provide significant opportunities for Swahili content buyers and sellers.

Music Producers – Monetise Your Music through Content

DISCOP Johannesburg is not just for TV and content producers; the DISCORE programme will take place on 15 November with a full day of NEXT GEN discussions, focused on the ins and outs of licensing music for content. Film and TV producers are waking up to the importance of music in their productions, and – with DISCOP’s focus on the African content – this means opportunities for musicians, composers and performers.

The legal intricacies of royalties, publishing and synch deals will be covered and the sessions will provide the opportunity for music supervisors to connect with music producers. For anyone in the music industry looking for additional opportunities – these events are a MUST-attend.

Sign up for the DISCOP CLUB

Independent producers attending DISCOP Johannesburg should also take advantage of the innovative new service being offered. DISCOP CLUB is a digital interface specifically designed to support independent producers with small catalogues of content, with projects in development and with works in progress. Signing up and loading your content on the platform will enable year-round, 24/7 access to buyers, with experts on hand via the website to complement and support interactions between buyers and sellers outside of the physical market space.

The Ladima Foundation: Women of Influence panel discussion DISCOP Joburg

Established as a mechanism to support worthy women filmmakers from across Africa in order to contribute to correcting the major imbalances within the industry, The Ladima Foundation, in partnership with DISCOP Joburg will present the second of its Women of Influence panel on Wednesday, 14 November at 5pm at the Sandton Convention Centre.

These outcomes based discussions are focused on developing positive solutions and interventions that can have tangible impact for women in the industry. With an eye to both structural and policy change, as well as the issues that affect women at the coal-face, the Women of Influence panels challenge the participants to reflect on how, as women with influence and established networks, they can actively participate in the change needed for more women to succeed.

The panel follows the recent launch of the A-List, Africa’s largest searchable database of women professionals. The A-List was launched at the recent Cape Town International Film Market and Festival and already has over 1,000 registered. The A-List was a direct outcome of the first Ladima Women of Influence panel that took place at DISCOP Zanzibar in July 2018.

The discussions will include women from a diversity of backgrounds whose success and influence can be part of collectively building and strengthening the space that women occupy in the industries The essence of this panel is to develop a framework on how women in African Film can achieve influence through improving individual and collective competence and quality of output in the different fields of filmmaking and related areas.

The session at DISCOP Joburg includes a panel of highly successful and influential women and  aims to create a powerful and impactful dialogue where DISCOP delegates can directly engage with women from the entertainment & media industry who have reached the top of their fields.

Moderator: Lara UTIAN- PRESTON – co-founder – The Ladima Foundation

Speakers: Raziah ATHMAN – deputy editor-in-chief – Africanews

Kelly-Anne JOSEPH – head of Operations, SA and Rest of Africa – Kwese

ZeeZee IHE-OKUNEYE – managing partner – How Media & Entertainment

Valentine GAUDIN-MUTEBA – managing director: Media, Sales & Operations – TRACE Southern African Office

Sheila COLE – vice president of Post Productions & Operations – The Africa Channel


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