All posts by Ed

MTN rolls out 5G in South Africa

Mobile operator MTN has launched its commercial 5G network in South Africa, which will provide customers with access to the new service in over 100 sites across the country.

Godfrey Motsa

The telecommunication company is stepping up its digital revolution with the next generation of mobile technology, which promises to bring about “exponential improvements” to the country’s economy, according to MTN.

During the company’s live-streamed launch event, MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa said: “Today, from MTN’s birthplace of South Africa, we are stepping up our digital revolution with the next generation of telecommunication technology, demonstrating to all South Africans that 5G is no longer just an idea. It is here, it works and it has the capacity to bring about exponential improvements to our economy, and to the lives of the people we serve.”

The launch of the network is due in part to SA telecoms regulator ICASA’s allocation of temporary spectrum, which currently covers specific parts of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Durban and other smaller cities and towns.

Giovanni Chiarelli, MTN South Africa’s chief tech and information officer, said: “Our 5G strategy has been years in the making and we are confident that we have built a strong foundation to grow and support our 5G ecosystem. One of the key innovations driving the broad roll-out by MTN has been a strategic approach to dynamic spectrum sharing, as these deployments overcome the challenges of lack of dedicated 5G spectrum.”

According to the company, the regulator had allowed certain telcos additional spectrum in order to aid South Africans during the Covid-19 pandemic that has gripped the country tighter than any other in Africa. MTN’s 5G service runs on four spectrum bands, making it easier for network technology to migrate from older tech to 5G as well as cover smaller towns and rural areas.

Since the advent of cloud-based game-streaming, the main drawback for platforms in South Africa was always connection speeds. “Cloud gaming will do to gaming what video-on-demand has done to TV; it’s a complete game-changer only this is a game-changer that will be delivered by 5G,” the company said during its launch event.

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Yanga goes mobile with Vision 247

Yanga! TV, the award-winning channel aimed at the African diaspora, has brokered a deal with UK media tech firm Vision 247 and can now be streamed to smartphones via the VisionTV app.

The two-year-old channel, owned and operated by UK-based Africa MediaWorks and focused on Nollywood content, first debuted in the UK on subscription satcaster Sky, which Content Nigeria exclusively reported here back in 2018.

Now, with Vision 247 onboard as partner, the channel is also available on free digital TV platform Freeview, reaching 17.5 million UK homes, and most recently the VisionTV app, which is freely available to Android and iOS smartphones. To access the channel via Freeview, viewers need a Freeview-compatible TV set and an internet connection.

The channel said it has changed its content in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, pivoting to share relevant and topical information through original programmes. This includes the launch of Y! Community, a programme keeping African communities connected with news, hot topics and life hacks; and Your Voice, a live debate show in which hard-hitting issues are discussed.

“Recent topics on Your Voice have included the felling of historical statues linked to racial oppression and the next steps for the Black Lives Matter movement. This content has proven popular across the UK’s African communities, as the mix of drama and discussion has exposed traditional Nollywood lovers to dynamic debates about the world today,” said a Yanga! representative.

“In the current climate where stark contrasts have been uncovered in coronavirus mortality rates in black and Asian communities, and the UK embarks on an uncomfortable conversation about race, channels like Yanga! are now more important than ever,” the channel added.

Yanga! is run by Africa MediaWorks CEO Lindsey Oliver, the former director of networks at CNBC Europe and founding director of Al Jazeera International. Its programming director is Simon London.

Airing between 9am and midnight, Yanga! offers a mix of original commissions and acquired content across a range of genres, from lifestyle, comedy, music and drama to kids, current affairs and news. The network is the first commercial venture from Africa MediaWorks.

African toon shop to expand into Ireland

The Snail & the Whale was animated by Triggerfish

South African animation studio Triggerfish is set to establish its first international production arm in the city of Galway in Ireland.

Triggerfish is being supported by the Irish government through inward investment agency IDA Ireland and the Galway move is expected to create 60 new jobs over the next three years.

The Galway studio will be headed by Triggerfish’s studio producer Andy Wonnacott, who said: “We need more capacity to keep up with our ambitions and Galway ticked all the boxes for our European base.

“It has a similar time zone to South Africa; is very well connected, with both flights and broadband connectivity; has a thriving creative community; and offers loads of really fantastic business support.”

Andy Wonnacott

Ireland’s minister for business, enterprise and innovation Heather Humphreys TD added: “Galway will be a natural fit for this creative company. They will join a burgeoning list of award-winning indigenous and foreign animation studios already based here, and will be a great addition to this thriving sector.”

Investment in animation in Ireland has tripled since 2015 to €180m (US$202m) annually and employment figures have doubled to over 2,000, thanks to incentives including the Section 481 tax relief.

IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan said: “This is a great investment for Ireland and Galway is a great choice of location, given the availability of highly skilled creative talent there. The 60 new roles being created are a welcome boost to the economy of Galway and the West region.

Mama K’s Team 4 was Netflix’s first original animated series from Africa

“It is a huge vote of confidence in Ireland and demonstrates our continued strong value proposition and our agile and adaptable business environment at a time of unprecedented global flux due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I wish Triggerfish every success with its operations here.”

The South African studio is behind Netflix’s first original animated TV series from Africa in Mama K’s Team 4 and also animated the Oscar-nominated Roald Dahl adaptation Revolting Rhymes.

Its other work includes the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler adaptations Zog, The Snail & the Whale, Stick Man and The Highway Rat, all of which were produced by Magic Light Pictures.

“To keep up with demand, we started outsourcing work to Irish animators in 2019 and were quickly won over by both the quality of the work and the dedication to the craft,” said Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest.

“In many ways, the Irish creatives seem very similar to what we always look for in South Africa: a passion for animation, a love of story and the deeply felt ambition to create award-winning and entertaining work.”

Founded in 1996, Triggerfish was instrumental in the birth of the South African animation industry, co-founding the country’s official animation association, AnimationSA, as well as an ongoing monthly screening and networking event.

Mama K’s Team 4 is set in a futuristic version of Lusaka, Zambia, where four scrappy teen girls join a retired secret agent on a quest to save the world – on a budget. Triggerfish is also in production on its third feature film, Seal Team, an action-comedy about a brave, reckless seal who forms a rag-tag team to save his home from Great White Sharks.

OurTV offers FTA, DTH services

A new direct-to-home (DTH) satellite TV service called OurTV has launched in Nigeria, offering free-to-air TV channels to its viewers.

Lagos-based telecoms and data company Trefoil Networks is behind the new service.

With no monthly subscription fee but a one-time payment for the decoder, the OurTV service gives viewers access to watch YouTube and other over-the-top (OTT) services on their TV sets.

In addition, the satellite service has launched on NigComSat 1R, enabling access to content ranging from news to movies, music, kids channels, sports channels, religious and health channels and also Nollywood series channels.

Channels on the service include Channels TV, AIT, Al Jazeera, Catholic TV, The Church TV, Health & Wellness, Zamani TV, Smilie TV, Speed Factor, Yotomi TV plus several of OurTV’s own channels OurMovies, OurMusic, OurSports and OurKiddies.

Braide Sayaba, head of TV at Trefoil Networks, said: “We started our first transmission in 2015 but today, Trefoil Networks is flagging off sales of OurTV decoders nationwide. OurTV is the first and only H265 DTH satellite TV in Africa with 18 exciting channels.

“OurTV is the definition of local content: homegrown content, aggregated by Nigerians, transmitting on a Nigerian satellite and being received through decoders made in Nigeria. The contents of the channels are safe for both children and adults. These channels cut across all demographics and genres.”

OurTV is a division of Trefoil Networks, which is licensed by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to provide a mix of services including ICT, broadcast, network and internet solutions.

FG unveils strategic plan for NCC

Nigeria’s minister of communications and digital economy Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has unveiled the strategic management plan for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for 2020 through 2024.

Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami

This directive was given by President Muhammadu Buhari and is aimed at creating a seamless strategy to actualise digital economy in the country, leverage on the national digital economy policy and strategy as well as the national broadband plan and also ensure all parastatals and agencies of government are efficient and effective in service delivery to Nigerians.

According to Pantami, the NCC as the regulatory body needs to drive developmental regulation in Nigeria. He also identified the five components needed in the implementation of a strategy – People, Resources, Structure, System and Orientation – and called on the commission to provide his office with a monthly report on progress made.

Executive VC of the NCC, Umar Danbatta said: “The roadmap is in line with the objective of creating a seamless strategy to augment the commission’s effective management and regulation of the telecommunications sector.

“The SMP will leverage on the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) as well as the new National Broadband Plan (NBP) 2020 – 2024 and will cover the guiding principles and act as the operations manual for the commission towards actualising the digital economic agenda of the federal government in the next five years.

“It will be resident in the corporate planning, strategy and risk management department which will ensure that the contents of the document become the guiding principles for the commission in the next five years.”

TV among most admired brands in Africa

Television services have emerged among the most admired brands in Africa, joining a number of other globally revered brands on Brand Africa’s list of the top 100 most-admired brands in Africa.

Martin Mabutho

The list for 2020 compiled by Johannesburg, South Africa-based Brand Africa includes Nigeria’s Channels TV, Silverbird TV, NTA and MultiChoice-owned video entertainment platform DStv.

The list was revealed in a virtual event co-hosted by Brand Africa, represented by founder and chairman Thebe Ikalafeng; Feyi Olubodun, founder and managing partner of Lagos-based marketing agency Open Squares; and Martin Mabutho, chief customer officer at MultiChoice Nigeria.

Compared to last year’s list, DStv moved up nine places from its #45 ranking in 2019 to #36 in this year’s top-100 brands list and up one place from #4 to #3 on the list of most-admired African brands.

Speaking at the virtual event, Mabutho said: “It is our honour to be associated with Africa’s best brands and we are delighted to co-host this session in conjunction with Brand Africa and Open Squares.

“I believe that as Africans, we have what it takes to launch our brands to the next level and even compete favourably with global brands. It is what drives us at MultiChoice Nigeria to continuously create and enhance our platforms to showcase these excellent African brands. Congratulations to all winners.”

TNT Africa to debut movie catalogue

WarnerMedia-owned regional pay TV broadcaster TNT Africa is gearing up to launch its first slate of original productions on July 4.

Escape From Pretoria stars Daniel Radcliffe (right) and Daniel Webber (left)

The channel’s line-up will feature a slate of new movies produced or acquired by Particular Crowd, Turner Latin America’s original movie company, which was launched earlier this year.

The pan-African channel will premiere Escape From Pretoria, a true-life story of Tim Jenkin (played by Daniel Radcliffe) and Stephen Lee (Daniel Webber).

The young, white South Africans were branded ‘terrorists’ for working covert operations for Nelson Mandela’s banned party ANC. Incarcerated in Pretoria Central Prison’s maximum-security wing in 1978, they decide to send the apartheid regime a clear message by escaping.

Other titles include Buffaloed, directed by Tanya Wexler; Human Capital, a thriller starring Liev Schreiber and directed by Marc Meyers; and Guns Akimbo, also starring Harry Potter star Radcliffe.

Guillermo Farré

Guillermo Farré, head of general entertainment channels at WarnerMedia Africa, said: “With this launch, we are expanding our TNT Africa’s channel offering. We’ve been extremely successful with our selection of American blockbusters to become the second most-watched movie channel in South Africa.

“We’re always obsessed with creating unique experiences for our fans, and with the new TNT Original Movies, we’re providing our audiences with an exciting, wide-ranging and consistent flow of high-quality programming across all genres. Our subsidiary Particular Crowd’s creators bring it all, building a slate of originals that is nothing short of amazing, aligned with international standards.

“Escape From Pretoria will resonate with the local audience while acting as a hook to introduce the new editorial strategy of TNT Original Movies. The race-against-time thriller, with an international cast, is exciting and captivating. We think this is timely wherein the current climate staying at home is our new routine.”

Netflix takes on next African original series

Jiva! is from Cape Town-based prodco Blue Ice Africa

Streaming giant Netflix has commissioned an original drama series from Cape Town-based prodco Blue Ice Africa.

Jiva! follows the life of a talented street dancer who, while juggling the demands of a dead-end job, family responsibility and a rocky love life, realises her dance moves could be her ticket out of a working-class neighbourhood in Durban, South Africa.

The series, which was created by Busisiwe Ntintili, is a local African production from script to screen, and will showcase an all-African cast and crew.

Ntintili will act as showrunner on Jiva! and will exec produce with Adam Friedlander and Tebogo Maila. Scottnes L Smith, Mandla Dube and Mmambatho Montsho will direct.

Dancer, actor and radio personality Bontle Modiselle and Tom London, founder of South African dance crew Soweto’s Finest, join the creative team as choreographers.

In March, Netflix teamed with Star Wars actor John Boyega’s production outfit UpperRoom to develop non-English-language films drawn from Africa.

Earlier this week, the streamer renewed its first African original series, Queen Sono, for a second season. The six-parter, starring Pearl Thusi in the title role, was Netflix’s first script-to-screen original production on the continent.

Netflix will soon debut another African original globally, Blood & Water, a young adult drama series set in Cape Town, South Africa. The streamer has also previously announced its first Nigerian original series, from Nigerian director Akin Omotoso, as well as an animated project, Mama K’s Team Four.

South Africa’s e.tv takes Turkish drama

South African free-to-air channel e.tv has picked up a Turkish drama series from Istanbul-based distributor Global Agency.

Evermore is from Turkey’s O3 Productions

Evermore, from Turkey’s O3 Productions, follows the love story between two people from different backgrounds and the struggles they face due to their differences.

Having also recently been sold into El Salvador, the drama is now available in 30 territories worldwide. Other countries to have aired Evermore include Poland, Romania, Kosovo, Ukraine, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Honduras, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Angola and Mozambique.

The series has also been adapted locally in the Middle East, while further sales deals are currently being negotiated, according to Global Agency.

Izzet Pinto, founder and CEO of Global Agency, said: “It’s a big challenge to be asked to wait patiently for weeks at home. In these difficult days, we try to help our clients by providing good content. We are eager to be a part of it until the end. We’d like everybody to maintain their positive attitude. We say stay home, stay safe, be with your loved ones and watch TV.”

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Africa Channel lands in Canada

Ethnic Channels Group-owned US cablenet The Africa Channel has launched in Canada via national telecoms and broadcast company Rogers Media.

Narendra Reddy

The Africa Channel has a slate of English-language pan-African series, specials, documentaries and feature films and is currently available in about seven million homes throughout the US and the Caribbean.

The channel will be available to viewers in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland via Rogers’ online channel aggregator Ignite TV.

Narendra Reddy, general manager of The Africa Channel, said: “We are confident the breadth of our content will appeal to both the African and Caribbean diaspora as well as audiences with an interest in global travel, lifestyle and culture.”

StarTimes receives GFA commendation

Chinese-owned digital terrestrial TV company StarTimes has been applauded by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for successfully covering the Ghana premier league games so far.

GFA president Kurt Okraku commended the pay TV company for the improvement in its coverage as well as having a strong African presence of the league games during the 2019/20 season.

He said: “Discussions are underway with the national broadcaster and other TV stations in the country to make them partners in broadcasting the games, via the StarTimes channel.”

A five-year agreement has been signed with StarTimes giving it the rights to broadcast live matches of the Ghanaian premier league as well as broadcast selected matches of the first division league and the women’s football league.

NCC to create innovation hubs in Nigeria

Abuja-based Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) has revealed the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) will soon embark on creating innovation hubs in six geo-political zones in the country.

Mohammed Ajiya

Having trained no fewer than 200 teachers from Niger State last year, DBI president and CEO Mohammed Ajiya said the hubs will be specifically used for the training of teachers and pupils at the grassroots level.

“In each of the geo-political zones, the NCC will very soon be sponsoring creation of innovation hubs where we can use those hubs as much as possible to harness needed talent.

“Very soon, we are going to start talent leadership training, where we are going teach out-of-school pupils and see how to harness their talents, how to become the next Bill Gates,” he said.

He encouraged teachers to improve their knowledge of digital technology and also urged the state government to avail themselves of the training being sponsored by the NCC at the DBI.

ATV secures African deals for drama duo

Turkish drama series Hercai

Turkish dramas Hercai and Love & Secrets have found more TV homes in Africa, after broadcaster and distributor ATV announced deals in Angola and Mozambique.

Patricia Abreu, channel director at Luanda-based Portuguese-language broadcaster Zap TV, has bagged the shows for both territories. The sales were unveiled at the Natpe convention in Miami, Florida last week.

HBO Max picks up Americanah

Danai Gurira (left) and Lupita Nyong’o

The TV adaptation of Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah has been picked up by upcoming US-based streaming service HBO Max.

The series has received a straight-to-series order from the SVoD platform, soon to be launched by AT&T-owned WarnerMedia as a rival to Netflix and Amazon Prime, and will be a limited series with 10 episodes.

The series is based on Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name and will star Lupita Nyong’o. It tells the story of a woman born in Nigeria and her experiences upon moving to the US.

The series has been adapted from the 2013 novel by Danai Gurira, who also executive produces alongside Nyong’o for Eba Productions, Plan B Entertainment, Andrea Calderwood for Potboiler Television, Didi Rea and Danielle Del for D2 Productions and Nancy Won.

Head of original content for HBO Max, Sarah Aubrey said: “Americanah has sparked a cultural phenomenon and is revered by fans around the world. It has affected me deeply as one of the most moving, socially relevant and romantic stories of our time.

“With exceptional talent like Lupita and Danai in front of and behind the camera, this series will give viewers a uniquely heartfelt and unforgettable experience.”

StarTimes to boost digital in rural areas

Pay TV company StarTimes is making plans to enhance agricultural development in Africa by enabling access to digital terrestrial content in rural areas through its digital media platform.

At the 10th edition of the African Green Revolution Forum, StarTimes vice general manager for overseas business Zhang Junqi acknowledged the limitation of digitisation in Africa. He said this was caused by a lack of infrastructure, which leads to low penetration of information communication resources.

“We intend to make it our social obligation to make our broadcast platforms available for relevant educational content targeting the rural population,” he said.

“At StarTimes, we have initiated the broadcast of agriculture-related content from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and other relevant resources, which have been localised in each country and broadcast in local dialects,” he added.

The Access to Satellite Television for 10,000 African Villages project, which aims to equip over 10,000 villages with satellite television, will be completed at the end of 2019.

Chinese-owned StarTimes intends to leverage this to not only boost cooperation between China and Africa but also to extend television services in rural areas.

The African Green Revolution Forum, taking place earlier this month, brought together stakeholders in the agricultural sector to discuss policies to achieve an inclusive and sustainable agricultural transformation across the continent.

Pinnacle, GatesAir partner on DSO

Abuja-based digital broadcast technology company Pinnacle Communications has signed a deal with US firm GatesAir to continue digital switchover (DSO) across Nigeria.

Lucky Omoluwa

Pinnacle’s pact with the US firm will enable the expansion of new digital TV services and the DSO initiative, which is expected to reach more than 50 million homes and 170 million residents.

GatesAir produces wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters.

The Nigerian company has had a relationship with the Ohio-based firm since 1998 to launch TV and FM radio systems across Nigeria and recently took a delegation to the GatesAir’s manufacturing facility in the US to see the next-generation product designs and readiness to complete greenfield build-outs.

Confirming the business relationship, chairman and CEO of Pinnacle, Lucky Omoluwa said: “Sometime in 2016, we had 12 weeks to deliver a station. All the transmitters were from here. We didn’t do any site testing. We just plugged them in, and they’re still on.”

According to Gates Air’s MD for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Andy McClelland, GatesAir has been on the digital path with Pinnacle for a short time, but will be on it for years to come.

“A state-of-the-art, digital, terrestrial television platform is being rolled out in the heart of Africa that can by the envy of not only Africa but of Europe,” he said.

Econet Media puts assets up for sale

Econet Media and all its businesses across Southern Africa and Dubai have been put up for sale, including its 20% stake in Kwese Free TV, which was recently granted a commercial free-to-air TV licence by South Africa’s media and communications regulator.

The company intends selling its assets in 29 businesses in South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Dubai, Kenya, Malawi, Lesotho, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Mauritius.

They include Econet Media Botswana (49%), Kwese Free TV Botswana (35%), Econet Vision (100%), Econet Media Ghana (70%), Modern African Productions (100%), Kwese Free TV Ghana (100%), Econet Media Kenya (70%), Kwese Free TV Kenya (70%), Econet Vision Lesotho (80%), Kwese Support Services (99% &40%) and Econet Vision Mauritius (100%).

Other businesses are Kwese Play (100%), Kwese Free TV (100%), Econet Media Namibia (49%), Deque Media Services (49%), MAP Nigeria Productions (100%), Econet Media Support Services Nigeria (49%), Kwese Support Services Rwanda (90%), Kwese Free TV Rwanda (90%), Kwese Media SA (100%), Econet Media Tanzania (49%), Kwese Support Services Uganda (99%), Omni Broadcast (70%), Platinum Communications (25%), Econet Media Support Services Zambia (80%) and Econet Media Zambia (25%).

Although there is no clear indication whether the proposed sale of Econet’s stake in Kwesé Free TV will affect its TV licence in South Africa, the company has put up an offer for sale that reads: “Offers are invited for the purchase of the company’s shares held in the above mentioned subsidiaries/associates or the business activities.”

MultiChoice announces new class of 2019

Pay TV group MultiChoice Africa has released the names of 59 students who have been selected to take part in the second yearly internship of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) academy.

Set to run from three regional hubs in Southern Africa, East Africa and West Africa, the 12-month film academy training programme will start in October at the MTF academies in Lusaka, Zambia, Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos. The students will also attend MTF masterclasses with practical, expert-led industry skills workshops across 13 African countries.

The three regional academy hubs will be overseen by the three academy directors Berry Lwando (Southern Africa), Njoki Muhoho (East Africa) and Femi Odugbemi (West Africa) while Cheryl Uys-Allie remains the MTF director.

“As one of the few industry players that not only tell African stories but also invest in them, the need for a dynamic training programme such as the MultiChoice Talent Factory academy has been a long time coming,” said Uys-Allie.

“At MultiChoice Africa, we always ask ourselves: what’s next in the industry and how can we better prepare for it? The MTF academy was the answer to that question. By giving young Africans the chance to hone their television and film production skills.”

The MTF has partnerships with the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA), Jasco Broadcast Solutions, the Dolby Institute and Universal Music Nigeria.

While it grows its relationships with the international film and TV industry, the graduating students of 2018 are preparing to have their films screened on M-Net channels across sub-Sahara Africa on DStv, and on MultiChoice’s subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) service, Showmax.

The new class of 2019 will have their course qualification conferred on them by the Pan-Atlantic University in Lekki, Kenyatta University in Nairobi, and the University of Zambia in Lusaka as soon as they complete the academy programme.

Animation du Monde 2020 prelim ends at LCC

The pan-African Animation du Monde 2020 preliminary round will wrap at the Lagos Comic Convention (LCC) from September 19 to 21, having held its fourth preliminaries at Nairobi Comic Con last weekend.

The continental finals will take place at Discop Johannesburg in November as soon as the LCC preliminary is concluded. The three finalists that emerged from each of the five regional preliminaries will compete in the hope of being selected as one of two winners that will represent the continent and compete at the Annecy/MIFA in 2020.

For a chance to participate at the LCC convention, click here. Registration ends on September 5.

The announcement by Annecy/MIFA that the focus for 2020 will be Africa is an opportunity for creators from the continent to showcase their content to the world and Nigeria – being the largest comic book market in Africa – has equally produced some of the best talent West Africa has to offer.

Dami Solesi, CEO and creative director of Lagos-based Smids Animation Studios, was one of the continental winners of the competition at the maiden preliminary round of Animation du Monde that held at LCC 2018.

Having pitched her idea at Annecy/MIFA 2019, she had so much to say about her experience. “Going through the Annecy/MIFA pitches has opened my eyes to a new world of content production and how I can bring my ideas to life.

“From the onset at the LCC, my project was constantly being refined at each stage. At Discop Johannesburg, I was meeting with each of the experts and appreciated the contribution that each expert made towards the project. They even provided opportunities beyond the competition and I’m still in communication with many of them as regards updates on my project,” she said.

“I believe every single creative who has an idea should apply for this because going through the process, whether you win or not, your project would be refined. And those lessons are invaluable to any creative as of right now,” she said.

Mbuotidem Johnson, owner of Basement Studios and also a participant at Annecy/MIFA 2018, said: “Whenever I am asked to talk about my experience at Annecy, I say it is Disneyland for filmmakers. I had dreamed of going to Annecy for as long as I can remember, and I am glad this dream became a reality in 2018. My whole perspective of the animation industry changed.”

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 is arguably the biggest animation-focused pitching forum in the world, taking place against the backdrop of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market/MIFA.

DStv airs new reality TV show

One Night With My Ex

Pan-African digital satellite TV provider DStv is set to start airing a new reality show tagged One Night With My Ex.

This is a show that gives people who are desperate for romantic closure the final opportunity to assess what went wrong in their past relationships and also to give room for forgiveness.

According to a statement from the company, each episode features two couples who make attempts to resolve their differences by dissecting matters ranging from infidelity, jealousy, deceit or lack of ambition with the aim of finding answers that could lead to healing and possible reunion.

“These lonely singles need their mysteries of lost love resolved. The reunion with the long-lost ex plays out in a single night in an apartment setting, in the hopes of leaving the experience feeling better than when they entered it. But, bringing former lovers together can be tricky and could result in turmoil for some,” the company said.

Reneilwe Sema, director of local entertainment channels at DStv channel M-Net, said: “One Night With My Ex is a reality show about ordinary people in search of closure. It’s about love, disappointment, heartache and second chances. We believe it will resonate with all our viewers, but for different reasons.”

Produced by South Africa-based Rapid Blue, the first season will debut on TV screens from April 19 for 13 instalments and will air every Friday at 8:00pm WAT on 1Magic (DStv channel 103).