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e.tv Press

e.tv Press
e.tv is South Africa’s biggest independent, free-to-air television channel. With over 16 million viewers, e.tv appeals to all races, ages and income groups and is the most viewed English language channel in the country.

e.tv calls for eKasi scripts

In South Africa’s television commissions-challenged environment, it’s encouraging to hear that free-to-air channel e.tv has called for the submission of scripts for its one-hour feature film strand, eKasi: Our Stories. Twenty-six films will be produced in this new season and a whole new crop of writers, directors and film practitioners will be trained in the process.

To date e.tv has produced 18 dramas under the eKasie brand, all filmed in various locations in Johannesburg townships, ranging from Soweto to Westbury to Leeuwkop. eKasie’s popularity is attributed to the fact that the films reflect life in the townships, thereby connecting directly with the target audiences. The stories are focused on the pragmatic, yet humorous aspects of gritty township life.  In 2010 four production teams were roped in, all drawing on the expertise of young fresh players in the industry from different regions in South Africa.

Familiar faces such as Backstage’s Katlego Ramaphakela (who played Neo) and Charl Timotheous (who played Ziggy) are some of the young writers involved.

Big names leading the production of these dramas: director and Tribecca Short Film award winner, Bheki Sibiya; Jika Majika director, Neo Matsunyane; and actor, director, and entrepreneur, Thokozani Nkosi of Eclipse Productions and veteran writer, director and producer, Vusi Twala of Seleke Communications.

The Programme is open only to scriptwriters of South African nationality who are 18 years and older.
Sponsor and Completion Films, along with their directors, officers and employees, and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, agents or
representatives (collectively “Promotion Entities’) and the immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are not eligible to apply
for or be awarded the contract.
Anyone – from first time writers, to professional writers – may submit. All applications must be typed and applicants must have access to the Internet and a computer. The
script must be a contained story based in the township, or urban areas of South Africa. Selected submissions will be notified and are expected to attend at least 3
days of workshops.

SUBMISSION DOCUMENTS CAN BE DOWNLOADED FROM http://www.etv.co.za/pages/submissions

1. Submission form
2. Disclaimer form*
3. 2 page synopsis/summary of the plot, characters, world of the story (i.e. the
4. 10 – page sample script
5. Your CV


Submissions may be sent to

Or dropped off, in a clearly marked envelope at the headquarters in the various
5 Summit Road
Hyde Park

Longkloof Studios
Darters Road
Cape Town 8001

214 Ninth Avenue

Seven SAFTA noms for e.tv adult drama

Written and produced by Johannesburg-based Curious Pictures for Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), the e.tv adult drama 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls, has garnered seven South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) nominations. This is the most nominations for any television drama in this year’s competition.

The nominations include Best TV Drama; a Best Actress in a TV Drama nod for Mbali Maphumulo; Best Ensemble in a TV Drama; Best Director in a TV Drama for lead director Amanda Lane; Best Editor in a TV Drama for Melanie Janks; Best Art/Production in a TV Drama for Marlene Ming; and Best Cinematographer in a TV Drama for Trevor Calverley.

The series follows the lives of four thirty-something Johannesburg professional women as they navigate sex, love and relationships in a contemporary, honest and often funny way. It focuses on the hair and beauty salon of single mother and entrepreneur Noma (Portia Gumede), and her loquacious girlfriends Nox (Kgomotso Christopher), Danny (Tiffany Jones) and Amira (Maphumulo). Each of the women has her own unique approach to love, sex and surviving in the city.

JHHESA is affiliated to the prestigious Johns Hopkins University which is very active in the HIV/AIDS sector in this country. The series was funded by USAID and the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“These seven nominations are a wonderful achievement, of which we are very proud,” says JHHESA Chairman and Managing Director Patrick Coleman.

Coleman, who brought more than 30 years of international experience in health communication to 4Play: Sex Tips for Girls, says the nominations are testament to the confidence the show’s funders placed in non-traditional health education programming such as this – and of the value and impact of what he terms “entertainment education’.

“This is a different series when it comes to spreading serious health messages; it’s aimed at an adult audience, and is more specifically focused on women – but its titillating-but-tasteful nature, and its great entertainment value, has meant that it has appealed to a wide variety of viewers.

4Play: Sex Tips for Girls has been far more out there than comparable series, and it has taken many risks. I would especially like to pay tribute to its funders, USAID and PEPFAR, for being prepared to take the chance on it. Their confidence in what we had set out to achieve is now paying handsome dividends.

“I would also like to laud e.tv for the sterling support it has given to 4Play. Without it, the series would not have reached the heights it has,’ says Coleman.

For Bronwyn Pearce, who was part of the JHHESA team that provided the show with technical guidance, the seven SAFTA nominations highlight the superior quality of the production, the cast and the storylines, which have resonated with audiences.

“It is fantastic that educational drama such as 4Play: sex tips for girls can hold its own against the best television drama this country has to offer, in the process breaking through AIDS messaging fatigue to deliver vital health messages via the medium of first-class entertainment.

“These seven SAFTA nominations are in themselves a tribute to the quality of all the people who have brought their considerable skills and talents to the series, from the production team at Curious Pictures to the wonderful cast who vividly brought the characters to life. I would like to wish all the nominees the best of luck,’ says Pearce.

The 2011 SAFTA Awards (fiction categories) will take place on 27 February in Johannesburg.

e.tv Ghana one year old


The fast growing free-to-air channel e.tv Ghana recently celebrated its first birthday and seized the opportunity to reflect on the successes of its debut year on air.

The Accra-based private operator, a joint venture between Ghana’s Global Media Alliance (GMA) and Sabido Holdings of South Africa, the proprietors of e.tv, went live on 15 October 2009.

“We feel that we have just begun, that we are still growing; and we can’t say we have arrived. It’s like being a parent, when when your child turns one and starts walking, you see the changes as they come along, and you are very happy but you also anticipate more change,” states John Osei-Tutu Agyeman, e.tv Ghana station manager.

He adds that highlights include the introduction of local content programmes, the systematic search for excellence and also seeing the growth of talent at the station regular staff that have been transformed into competent producers, anchors and directors.

Current affairs on e.tv – it’s a laugh

e.tv and the eNews Channel will launch the Late Nite News, a satirical show that puts a completely different spin on current affairs and breaking news on 29 September. It will be hosted by Loyiso Gola known for his no-holds-barred comedy.

True journalism relies on facts and verified information but Late Nite News or LNN, will rely purely on speculation and most times, absurd hearsay. Late Nite News has a particular formal look about it and features some of South Africa’s most exciting comedians as “field-reporters”, such as Riaad Moosa and Jason Cope.

The show will follow a very professional structure, set in a formal news studio, the latest news is interspersed with non-stop tongue-in-cheek one-liners offering viewers a hilarious take on some current political and international stories.

Each episode will be ended off with a “Morale Index”, narrated by the show’s host. Using an animated graphic interface, this segment measures the country’s milestones and failures in the week using a graph diagram.

The show is produced by Diprente Productions.

e.tv’s 13-part drama series

South African free-to-air channel e.tv began broadcasting its second series of eKasi local dramas on 9 August. The new 13-part series was filmed in and around various locations in Johannesburg townships, including Soweto, Westbury and Leeuwkop.

With the new series e.tv is building on the success of eKasi’s first season, which was broadcast last year and which focused on the authenticity of township life.

Big names lead the production of the new dramas: director and Tribecca Short Film award winner, Bheki Sibiya; Jika Majika director, Neo Matsunyane; and actor, director, and entrepreneur, Thokozani Nkosi of Eclipse Productions.

For the new season e.tv roped in more production teams and more young fresh players. Backstage’s Katlego Ramaphakela (who played Neo) and Charl Timotheous (who played Ziggy) are some of the young writers involved.

“The regard for authenticity and relevance was crucial to filming, not only in the scriptwriting but in the choice of locations, the use of richly textured language, and the casting. It is through capturing the intricacies of day-to-day township life that we will tell stories of ordinary South Africans’ daily character-testing moments. We were inspired by irreplaceable memories of township life across the entire South Africa and the stories of people around us,’ says e.tv’s Local Productions Manager, Lynn Gaines.

This new season tackles the tougher side of the characters’ lives and focuses more on the pragmatic, yet humorous, aspects of gritty life in the township. The characters put together are real and captivating. The dramas tell stories of women born and raised in abusive situations, and characters tested by difficult trials. Viewers can look forward to vibrant performances by actors such as Rhythm City’s Ding Dong, Ronnie Nyakale, and former Generations actress, Palesa Mocuminyane.

Vusi Twala, who was behind the production of last year’s dramas and four dramas from the new series says, “The viewer’s response proved that South Africans are hungry for content that is relevant and mirrors their day to day experiences. This new season of eKasi proves that e.tv recognises that giving viewers a platform to tell their stories is a great step towards cultural development. The new series will showcase fresh talent as well as bold and authentic concepts that are all well executed.’


e.tv syndicates to Africa

South African commercial free-to-air channel e.tv is now available in 12 countries across Africa in a syndicated 24-hour version.

E.tv Africa can be seen in Kenya on Nation 2, Namibia on One Africa Television, Zimbabwe on ZTV2, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Guinea, Burundi and the Central African Republic on Star TV, Nigeria on MITV, Ghana on eGhana, e.tv’s sister channel, Botswana on eBotswana – which is also a sister channel to e.tv.

These broadcasters have the option to insert local news and content into e.tv Africa. Programming on the channel includes Hollywood movies, WWE Wrestling and the South African hit soaps, Rhythm City and Scandal!. The channel also includes two live half-hour news bulletins from the eNews Africa service, launched by the eNews channel in October last year.

e.tv Group CEO issues statement

e.tv Group CEO, Marcel Golding, issued a statement late yesterday afternoon in support of eNews journalists Ben Said and Mpho Lakaje. This follows criticism against eNews and the journalists by the Ministry of Police, the head of the SAPS, the ANC and National Press Club spokesperson who is also the head of Primedia’s Crime Line. It also follows the issuing of section 205 subpoenas against Said and Lakaje following an undercover report by eNews on criminals threatening to rob tourists during the World Cup.

Golding said: “Mpho and Ben were simply doing their jobs as journalists. This type of story is not unusual and similar stories have been covered by other media, including respected international broadcasters.

“The reaction against eNews from certain quarters has been unreasonable and disproportionate. eNews has a reputation for reporting stories without fear or favour – no matter how unpalatable such information may be. Moreover, eNews has consistently provided high profile coverage of SAPS successes in the fight against crime. To impugn the integrity of eNews or to question its patriotism is disingenuous.’

e.tv gets stylish

Nicky Greenwall, eNews entertainment correspondent and host of e.tv’s popular entertainment news show, The Showbiz Report, is to launch a new programme, The Style Report, which will be written, produced and directed by her.

The Style Report, which kicks off on Thursday 30 April at 9pm, is a 23-minute news programme that covers the latest style news from South Africa and around the world. The show features in-depth reports on the latest trends in fashion, interiors, art, architecture and beauty.

The show will be hosted by Loryn Higginson (nee Van Wyk) and Lutho Somdyala.

Higginson has worked as a professional model for the last 13 years. Her career has taken her from her hometown Port Elizabeth to Paris, London and some of the world’s most exotic island locations. She has appeared on the covers of countless international and South African magazines and has featured in more than a dozen international campaigns

Lutho Somdyala is currently completing his degree in Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. In his spare time, he is also a model, actor, writer and style enthusiast. He has written and produced a number of productions and taken to the runway for several South African designers.

In 2005, Greenwall launched The Showbiz Report on e.tv. As eNews’s dedicated entertainment journalist, she has reported live from the Academy Awards, the Cannes Film Festival, London Fashion Week, Nelson Mandela’s 46664 concert, his birthday celebrations and several other high profile events in and around South Africa.

e.tv launches new teen game show


e.tv is launching a game show, Bend the Rules, aimed at the teen market and sponsored by Sparletta. The production will run for 13 episodes, starting on Sunday 1 March at 6.05pm.

Says Martin Phike, presenter of the show: “Cool, fun and entertaining, this funky line-up is designed for the teen market.

“It involves a variety of sports, such as rollerblading, street hockey, off-the-road quad biking, wall climbing to test physical strength and endurance, skateboarding, skydiving, and much more.”

The show also seeks to give parents and their teenage children an opportunity to bond with each other, but there is a mystery twist to this.

A decade of e.tv

On 1 October South Africa’s first and to date only independent free-to-air television, e.tv, will turn 10 years old. The channel was launched on 1 October 1998 when it began broadcasting for six hours a day. On 17 January the following year, eNews went out on air for the first time.

All was not smooth running in the early days as initial budget estimates were significantly below the requirements of the business and the channel was losing millions every month. An urgent turnaround strategy was implemented by a new management team in mid-1999, together with additional funding from original shareholders HCI and new shareholders Venfin.

AMPS research demonstrated that the channel grew from a regular viewership of just over 2.4 million in 1999 to almost 12 million in 2007 – a growth rate of 384%. By 2000, e.tv had grown to become the largest English-medium channel in the country and by 2002, it was the second largest channel overall, a position it retains today. The channel broke even for the first time in 2004.

eNews is widely regarded as the most reliable and independent television news source in the country and its prime time bulletins are watched by an average of 1.6million viewers each night. The success of the eNews brand spawned the launch of the 24-hour eNews channel, which launched in June this year.

Locally produced dramas and sitcoms such as Backstage, Madam & Eve, Jozi Streets and (most recently) Rhythm City, have provided e.tv with a strong point of difference from its competitors

Says e.tv’s CEO Marcel Golding: “We had some rough times in the beginning but the success of e.tv has outstripped our expectations. Very few people believed that e.tv would survive those first years but now that we’ve reached our 10 year anniversary we have become an indispensable part of South African life.’

Over the past two years, e.tv’s holding company, Sabido Investments, has acquired interests in other television companies on the African continent as well as in content distribution and aggregation and studio facilities.

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