All posts by Gary

NBC appoints new director general

The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has appointed Balarabe Shehu Ilelah as the new director general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Balarabe Shehu Ilelah

The move follows the recent dismissal of the former director general of the NBC, Armstrong Idachaba, by the president. Idachaba was appointed on an acting capacity following the suspension of Modibbo Kawu from the position for alleged financial impropriety in February 2020.

This new appointment was announced by the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement on Instagram.

Shehu Ilelah is a graduate of Bayero University, Kano and a veteran broadcaster who worked with NTA Bauchi before leaving Nigeria for the then Soviet Union as a journalist. His appointment as NBC director general is for a tenure of five years.

tagged in: , , , ,

Netflix, Realness unveil writers’ lab

Global streaming service Netflix and African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute have selected 12 Africans with scripted projects who will take part in the three-month Netflix Episodic Lab (EPL) and Development Executive Traineeship (DET) programmes.

The move is aimed at producing more original local content from creative writers in Africa.

The six candidates chosen for the EPL are Ayoade Adeyanju with the series Agent 419 (Nigeria), Kehinde Joseph with Osupa (Nigeria), Andile Ngcizela with Drummies (South Africa), Dominique Jossie with Fafi (South Africa), Kudakwashe Maradzika with Bad Influencer (Zimbabwe/South Africa) and Mary Waireri with Sheitain (Kenya/UK).

At the end of the EPL, each writer will have an opportunity to pitch their incubated concept to Netflix to have their series further developed for production.

The six selected DET candidates include Ololade Okedare (Nigeria), Anneke Villet, Antionette Engel and Thandeka Zwane (both South Africa), Damaris Irungu Ochieng’ (Kenya) and Lara Sousa (Mozambique).

Announcing the aim of the traineeship on Instagram, the Institute said: “They will accompany the incubation of the six potential Netflix African original series. The purpose of this traineeship is to build a critical missing capacity in the local media ecosystems with the hope of expanding this expertise across the continent to help bolster the quality of work produced. This skill creates opportunities for professionals to work with national film bodies, film commissions, funders, story consultants and critics.”

The EPL will take place remotely until September 5, when selected participants will receive about US$2,000 monthly stipend so that they can focus entirely on their development.

tagged in: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Industry group calls for NFVCB Act repeal

Nollywood stakeholders gather to approach the committee

Nollywood stakeholders including Adedayo Thomas, executive director of the National Film & Video Censors Board (NFVCB), and others in the Nigerian film industry are seeking to repeal the NFVCB Act.

The NFVCB announced the move on Instagram, saying the executive director of the NFVCB, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, management staff and stakeholders in the industry had appeared before the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Value, chaired by Honorable Odebunmi Olusegun.

It stated that this was to ask for a public hearing on a bill to repeal the NFVCB Act 2004 and to enact the National Film & Video Classification & Exhibition Regulatory Commission Bill for the classification of films, video works, musical videos and video games, and for related matters.

The new bill seeks to redefine the film industry regulating body while the proposed law will reduce the sale of unclassified and unapproved films and piracy to the barest minimum, bring more return to investors and ensure that the motion picture industry contributes more to GDP.

The new law will prohibit in stronger terms the sale, distribution and exhibition of uncensored and other illicit local and foreign films.

tagged in: , ,

Canal+ takes FightBox to Ethiopia

International pay TV player SPI/FilmBox has partnered with France-based pay TV operator Canal+ to launch its sports entertainment service FightBox in Ethiopia.

Alexandre Gruner

FightBox will join the Canal+ platform to be broadcast in English and will be made available to subscribers in the basic package. It will feature combat sports, live events and multi-discipline mixed martial arts (MMA) coverage, including Fight Exclusive Night, Cage Fury Fighting Championship, King of Kings Hero’s World Series, Makowski Fighting Championship, Superkombat and Oktagon.

Georgina Twiss, MD for Western Europe and Africa at SPI, said: “I am very happy to be supporting Canal+ Group in this new adventure. We have a strong partnership across many territories and it’s always great to be there at the start of a new platform launch. MMA enthusiasts in Ethiopia can now tune in to some of the most exciting combat sports live events on FightBox with Canal+ and feel the rush of the ring from the comfort of their own homes.”

“Our new Canal+ Ethiopia offer combines quality and diversity through popular thematic channels and varied contents. In this context, we are very pleased to bring to the new Ethiopian subscribers FightBox, which perfectly meets their expectations. This unique fight combat sports channel will offer them great moments,” added Alexandre Gruner, senior VP of channels, acquisitions and partnerships at Canal+ International.

tagged in: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Afenfia novel to be adapted for TV

Nigerian author and social commentator Michael Afenfia is to have his 2020 novel The Mechanics of Yenagoa adapted for television.

Michael Afenfia

The novel, published by Lekki-based Masobe Books, centres on the life of a hapless mechanic but is also an exploration of the dynamics between working-class people as they undertake a colourful tour of Yenagoa, one of Nigeria’s lesser-known cities.

The TV adaptation rights have been acquired by Lagos-based film and TV production and distribution company Marturion Media, a company set up in 2015 by entrepreneur Michael W Ndiomu and is affiliated with the Marturion Cinemas chain.

Content Nigeria interviewed Afenfia to find out the inspiration behind the novel, what societal issues it addresses and why it will be suitable for TV.

“The title came from my wanting to put the name of the city I lived in at the time on the map. I also wanted to generate positive conversations around the city and its people. At the time I started writing the story it was a weekly series on my blog,” Afenfia said.

“The novel addresses a lot of issues. There’s definitely a bit of politics and the quality – or lack thereof – of leadership in our country. You will also find something about religion and how it is often used as a tool for exploitation. There’s drugs, unemployment and criminality. Above all, the book speaks to our common humanity and how people sometimes find themselves doing things out of peer pressure or greed.”

“The adaptation for TV came about [thanks to] the producers of the series, who liked the book and the stories in it. We were contacted and the rest, like they say, is history. I have been told the adaptation would take the form of a series but that is all I can say for now.

“The Mechanics of Yenagoa was released June 15, 2020. To think that this is happening within less than one year of its release is mind-blowing. This is a moment of gratitude and humility.”

Other books written by Afenfia include Don’t Die on Wednesday (2014), A Street Called Lonely (2011) and When the Moon Caught Fire (2010). The production date for the series is yet to be announced.

tagged in: , , , ,

Triggerfish honoured with MIFA award

South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios has received the MIFA Animation Industry Award at Annecy 2021 in celebration of African animation.

Stuart Forrest with Triggerfish’s award

The Cape Town animation company was recognised for its contribution to African animation, its vision to grow both locally and globally, its mentorship scheme for African creators as well as its academy and online courses.

“This is to highlight the pioneering role that the company has played in animation in South Africa, and Africa most widely,” said Véronique Encrenaz, head of MIFA, who handed the 2021 award to Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest.

“We have decided to award Triggerfish this year when African animation is celebrating in Annecy. This is to highlight the pioneering role that the company has played in animation in South Africa and Africa most widely. To highlight its non-stop contribution to develop and to produce, to structure and to share, to encourage and to mentor African professionals and artists. These are values we share at MIFA.

“Triggerfish has played a role to structure an industry and convince all public and private partners of the necessity to build an eco-system that will serve a whole community of professionals in animation in SA and across the African continent.”

Forrest added: “Thank you for acknowledging Triggerfish this way. We are really privileged to be collaborating with some top African talent to bring new stories to the world and we are very excited over the next two years to bring you more amazing work.”

“We’ve been very fortunate to come of age in a time when the world really is looking for other voices. We know animation has a unique ability to cross boundaries, so we’re so excited to share the new wave of groundbreaking African creatives with the world.”

Triggerfish productions Khumba and Stick Man are two of the closing night films at MIFA, on Saturday June 19.

In 2016, Triggerfish won the Cristal award for best TV production at the Annecy/MIFA awards for Stick Man. It also received accolades at the Banff World Media Festival, the Shanghai International Film & TV Festival and two British Animation Awards.

tagged in: , , , ,

BON appoints new executive secretary

Industry body Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has appointed Oluyemisi Bamgbose as its executive secretary.

Oluyemisi Bamgbose

The move was revealed at the organisation’s 74th general assembly meeting which was held recently in Abuja, where BON is based.

Bamgbose has vast experience in broadcasting and advertising. He started his broadcasting career in Ogun State Television in 1983 and was the national president of the Radio, Television, Theatre & Arts Workers’ Union from 2008 to 2016.

He has also served in various capacities in international organisations such as the International Union of Media & Entertainment and UniGlobal.

BON said it was confident that with his wealth of experience, Bamgbose was well placed to address the challenges of the organisation. “We believe Dr Oluyemisi Bamgbose will further strengthen the secretariat and will always be available to address your concerns,” said BON chairman Sa’a Ibrahim.

tagged in: , ,

MultiChoice Talent Factory seeks applicants

MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) has started accepting applications for its film and TV training programme scheduled to take place in 2022.

Yolisa Phahle

About 60 emerging filmmakers with either industry experience or a relevant post-school qualification in film can apply to be a part of the programme.

MTF is taking applications from 13 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Angola and Mozambique. To apply, click here.

The selected students will take part in the MTF Masterclasses, backed by industry partners including Dolby, CBS Justice and Jasco Broadcast Solutions. The top-performing student from each region will be awarded a scholarship by the New York Film Academy of Visual & Performing Arts.

Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO of general entertainment and connected video, said: “The MTF Academy is our commitment to the future of our industry and gives young Africans the chance to hone their television and film production skills through a world-class training programme. After two successful years, we’re proud to announce a new call to entry to and look forward to meeting the next generation of African filmmakers.”

Cheryl Uys-Allie, director of the MTF initiative, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic was undoubtedly a difficult challenge for all involved in keeping the MTF Academy programme going as well as the students. The unwavering support from stakeholders, partners and students has nevertheless been overwhelming. We couldn’t be more excited to have reached our third year as one of MultiChoice Group’s anchor shared-value initiatives directly investing in the next generation of African storytellers.”

The MTF Academy was launched in May 2018 and has so far given 120 students the opportunity to harness their expertise in film and TV and become skilled industry professionals.

The deadline for applications is 17.00 SAST on June 30.

tagged in: , , ,

Tunde Kelani movie Ayinla to hit cinemas

Internationally acclaimed African filmmaker Tunde Kelani’s latest movie Ayinla will be released in Nigerian cinemas on June 18.

Tunde Kelani

Ayinla is inspired by the life and times of Apala music superstar Ayinla Omowura, who was born in Itoko, Abeokuta in Nigeria in 1933.

The movie is produced by Jade Osiberu, directed by Kelani and its cast includes Bimbo Ademoye, Kunle Afolayan, Bimbo Manuel and Mr Macaroni.

Kelani said on Instagram: “The Almighty spoke to me, I am now giving thanks. Ayinla the movie finally in cinemas from June 18, 2021. I can’t wait for you all to see it.”

The movie is sponsored by First Bank of Nigeria and distributed by Film One Entertainment.

tagged in: , , ,

Trace TV unveils training platform in SA

Music video channel Trace has launched a free vocational training platform named Trace Academia in South Africa.

Olivier Laouchez

The platform was launched by Elisabeth Moreno, South Africa’s minister for gender equality, diversity and equal opportunities; Olivier Laouchez, co-founder and executive chairman of Trace; and Trace Academia’s joint MD Prejlin Naidoo.

Trace Academia has been designed in response to the high rate of unemployment in South Africa and the African continent. The platform will educate and empower young South Africans with skills needed to find or create jobs.

Aimed at training over 25 million young people by 2025, the locally produced training courses have been created in collaboration with leading companies, institutions and experts to ensure that the skills provided are well matched to market needs. There will also be trainings on soft skills, entrepreneurship, job acquisition and others.

Laouchez said: “To build Trace Academia, we’ve combined our expertise and experience in entertainment with cutting-edge learning approaches adapted to the realities and cultures of Africa. The young people we have worked with in building the platform find the content highly engaging.

“In fact, in a recent study of 17- to 25-year-olds in SA, Kenya and Nigeria, 96% said the app would motivate them to further their education or improve their employment prospects. We believe that Trace Academia has the potential to positively impact the lives of millions of young people in South Africa and across the continent.”

According to Trace TV, Trace Academia will be launched in the rest of the world by the end of this year, with more courses to be produced with leading companies, institutions and experts globally. The Trace Academia application can be downloaded on the Apple App store and Google Play store.

tagged in: , , , , ,

Linda Ikeji, First Bank prep First Class S2

Nigerian production and broadcasting company Linda Ikeji TV (LITV) has partnered with First Bank of Nigeria to produce and broadcast a second season of documentary series First Class Material.

The series highlights the accomplishments of Nigerians in different sectors of the economy, from the arts to the sciences, and also aims to serve as a beacon of inspiration to young people on career pathways.

Linda Ikeji, CEO of Linda Ikeji Media Group, took to Instagram to say: “The onus is on us to tell our own story and redefine the narrative. This partnership with First Bank creates an excellent platform to showcase Nigeria to the world, as the extraordinary people that we truly are.”

Speaking on LITV, Folake Ani-Mumuney, global head of marketing and corporate communications at First Bank of Nigeria, said: “Spotlighting First Class Material is in line with First Bank’s commitment to enable and empower Nigerians to contribute to societal development and create positive impact.

Folake Ani-Mumuney

“Like the first season, which showcased exceptional individuals, the forthcoming season promises to share truly inspiring stories of great feats and accomplishments by some of the most unassuming of Nigerians, in the country and dotted around the world. Our goal is to inspire our youth and encourage them make informed choices, critical to securing their future whilst impacting mankind and society at large.”

The second season of First Class Material will debut on LITV and on all First Bank digital and social media platforms from July 1.

tagged in: , , , ,

Reyka to premiere at Monte-Carlo

Serial killer thriller Reyka

South African crime drama Reyka will premiere at the 60th edition of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

The 8×60’ series is from Serena Cullen Productions and Quizzical Pictures for M-Net, MultiChoice Africa Group’s flagship channel, with global distribution handled by Fremantle.

It is directed by Zwelesizwe Ntuli and stars Kim Engelbrecht (The Flash), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) and Thando Thabethe (Housekeepers).

Rohan Dickson, the only South African nominated for a Palm d’Or in screenwriting, for his film Husk, is the screenwriter and showrunner. UK-based Jake Riddell (Death in Paradise, Suspects) joins Dickson as story consultant and writer.

Reyka follows the story of a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler who is haunted by her past. She returns to her home town to solve a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer among the sugarcane fields of Kwa-Zulu-Natal.

Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, which this year takes place from June 18 to 22, said: “It is my greatest pleasure to open this 60th anniversary with the series Reyka. Beginning the festival with a South African production has a very special touch, especially in light of the close ties that exist between South Africa and the Principality of Monaco. This dynamic drama looks set to be a global hit and we’re thrilled to be able to kick off our festival with this worldwide launch.”

tagged in: , , , , , , ,

Halima’s Vote elects to fight corruption

Onyinye Ough’s story book Halima’s Vote

Ahead of next week’s launch of the animated film based on her corruption-themed story book Halima’s Vote, Content Nigeria caught up with Nigerian author Onyinye Ough to hear about the film and her other work.

Halima’s Vote is an anti-corruption story book written by Onyinye Ough that has been adapted into an animated film and will premiere on June 3.

The film, from Lagos cartoon studio Basement Animation, encourages young girls and women to speak up against bad governance and also tries to show the negative consequences of vote buying and selling on Nigeria’s public goods and services.

The Nigerian author, speaker and activist and the executive director of Step Up for Social Development and Empowerment in Nigeria (aka Step Up Nigeria) spoke about the film, its relevance in our society today and its upcoming launch.

Onyinye Ough

Step Up Nigeria aims is to build bridges to tackle corruption and improve service delivery in Nigeria. What inspired you to create this initiative?
I recognised there was a problem in Nigeria with many corrupt practices having become culturally acceptable. I set up Step Up Nigeria to begin to tackle some of the social and cultural behaviours that enable corruption. The Catch Them Young initiative was launched in 2018 to educate children on the real cost of corruption, build their confidence to speak up against corruption and promote integrity in their communities.

How much positive impact do you think children can have from reading your books or watching your animated films?
We have started seeing some encouraging results. We are getting feedback from schools about children beginning to act with integrity and trying to be like the anti-corruption heroes in the stories. That is the beauty of using storytelling because it is helping to create some fictional trendsetters around fighting corruption that children can look up to. We now have children who want to be young anti-corruption champions.

For example, in some of the schools that we have engaged with, students would use sweets or presents to get other students to vote for them in school elections. After reading some of our story books, like Emeka’s Money and Halima’s Vote, students now focus on getting the children to vote for them by committing to change things for the better. For me, this is encouraging and needs to be sustained so that we can get the next generation of leaders and politicians that will act with integrity during elections.

The Halima’s Vote book was launched in 2018, and now it has been turned into an animated film. Why did you see the need for this?

Halima’s Vote has been turned into a film to expand our stories to a wider audience who may not have easy access to books. Also, it is a short family movie that parents can enjoy with their children. In addition, our objective is to spread anti-corruption education, which requires different methods and approaches so that we can reach a wide variety of audience.

How was the experience of working with Basement Animation?
It has been an interesting experience working with Basement Animation. They are great partners and believe in the issues. This makes a big difference. They have shown what great partnerships and results can be achieved with creatives and development practitioners.

Corruption is a big problem in our society today. Can it ever be eradicated for good?
Tackling corruption effectively requires a holistic approach. We need to go beyond the obvious, like prosecutions and convictions or even making systems tougher. If we are going to stamp out corruption in Nigeria, we need to go deeper and change how our society treats corruption. The first step towards building a society that is less tolerant of corrupt behaviors needs to start with what we teach our children.

Halima’s Vote is your second children’s book about corruption and vote-buying in Nigeria. Are there plans to have further books centered on these themes and hopefully convert them into animated films?
I have written two other books: Tosin’s Story and Ansa’s Speech. The first focuses on ‘brown envelope’ journalism, while the second looks at different types of petty corruption faced by Nigerians daily.

Halima’s Vote will be available from June 3 on the Step Up TV channel on YouTube.

tagged in: , , , ,

UCC creates content evaluation body

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has set up a Content Development Support Programme evaluation committee in response to the screen industry’s appeal for financial help.

Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo

The committee is led by Sister Dominica Dipio, a filmmaker, author and professor of literature and film at Makerere University, and also includes Ugandan film industry players Judith Adong and Philip Luswata; Claire Mugabi of the Uganda Tourism Board; and Collin Asiimwe, head of marketing at Multichoice Uganda.

They will be responsible for processing applications and recommending which filmmakers deserve financial support for their projects. The committee has already received about 60 applications.

According to the acting executive director of the UCC, Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, the Content Development Support Programme will assist great projects that are held back by a lack of resources required to take them to the next level.

“We have listened to the industry asking for support. We are now in your hands; help us to find that product that needs our support. The Content Development Support Programme is an initiative dedicated to supporting the audiovisual industry in Uganda,” said Sewankambo.

“Through this initiative, production companies can seek support for the development of creative content for film, television and digital media, including feature films, short films, animation, documentaries and television dramas.

“It is envisaged that through the support provided by this programme, Ugandans will be able to create employment opportunities, generate revenue, acquire skills, promote and develop audiences for local content.”

In addition, the evaluation committee will also develop scoring criteria to assess the submitted projects while looking out for originality, feasibility, uniqueness and relevance, among other attributes, and make recommendations to the UCC.

tagged in: , , , , , , ,

Elba, YouTube, MTV Base in concert return

MTV Base Africa, YouTube and British actor and producer Idris Elba have announced the return of the Africa Day concert, which is slated for May 25.

Idris Elba (photo: Harald Krichel)

According to ViacomCBS-owned channel MTV Base, this year’s concert will shine a light on Africa’s next generation of talent that is making its mark on the global stage. It will be hosted by Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Elba.

The event will feature artists and performers from South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Kenya, including Bahati, Bella Shmurda, Blaq Diamond, Elaine, Focalistic, Gyakie, Omah Lay, Suspect 95, Teni and Zuchu.

Alex Okosi, MD at YouTube EMEA Emerging Markets, took to Instagram to say: “We are doing it again. Celebrating Africa and showcasing our talent to the world. Salute to my bro Idris Elba for his commitment to the mission.”

The event will stream on YouTube at 19.00 CAT/18.00 WAT and on MTV Base DStv channel 322 at 21.00 CAT.

tagged in: , , , ,

Ethiopian doc wins at Atlanta Film Festival

A Fire Within

Feature film A Fire Within has won the award for best audience documentary at the Atlanta Film Festival.

Filmed in 10 cities, including Atlanta, Georgia, Ottawa, Canada and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the doc chronicles the life of three Ethiopian women who immigrate to the US after surviving torture in their home country.

Once there they discover that their torturer is not only living in the US but is employed at the same hotel as the women. The film is an attempt to bring their torturer to justice in Atlanta.

A Fire Within was produced by Christopher Chambers and Ermias Woldeamlak, and executive produced by Ethiopian-born model and actress Liya Kebede, Jeff Hoffman and Russell Gray. The film is produced via FMRL Media and Above the Clouds and distributed by LA-based Endeavor Content.

Kebede commented on Instagram: “We won. Happy to announce that the documentary film A Fire Within, an incredible true story that chronicles the life of three Ethiopian women who immigrate to the US after surviving torture in their home country, won at the Atlanta Film Festival. Congratulations to the whole cast and crew.”

tagged in: , , , , , , , ,

HBO lines up human rights doc

The Legend of the Underground

Documentary The Legend of the Underground, which highlights the struggle against rampant discrimination in Nigeria, is set to debut on entertainment platform HBO.

Directed by award-winning Nigerian-American filmmaker Nneka Onuorah and Giselle Bailey, the film celebrates gender non-conformity and freedom of self-expression in the country, as seen through the lens of several “bold and charismatic, non-conformist youth who fight to live life out loud,” according to the producers.

The anti-LGBTQ Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, enacted in 2013 in Nigeria, has been used to oppress, harass and imprison people for not conforming to Nigerian societal and cultural norms.

The film features a man who suffered police brutality for attending a party in Lagos with other men, and another who had to leave Nigeria for New York after being attacked. Both are fighting a system that seeks to silence them as well as advocating for a safe haven abroad.

The film follows the fight for the right to personal expression, with the help of social media, underground radio and other resources, following tight-knit groups trying to spark a cultural revolution that would challenge the ideals of gender, conformity and civil rights in Nigeria.

The Legend of the Underground, which debuts on June 29 at 21.00 ET/PT, is a collaboration between HBO and Get Lifted Film, executive produced by Mike Jackson, John Legend, Ty Stiklorius and Austyn Biggers of Get Lifted Film. For HBO, the senior producer is Sara Rodriguez and executive producers are Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller.

tagged in: , , , ,

MultiChoice racks up SAFTA nominations

Pay TV company MultiChoice has received more than 140 nominations across all categories in the 15th edition of the South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs).

Yolisa Phahle

The company said the achievement demonstrated its high investment in local content and is a win for the local TV and film production industry.

The TV shows nominated include telenovela Legacy, 1Magic’s The River and Mzansi Magic’s drama Housekeeper.

The KykNET channel secured 50 nominations in the TV Soap, Telenovela, TV Comedy and Feature Film categories; Gomora received five nominations in the Best Telenovela and Most Popular Telenovela categories; 2019 Rugby World Cup documentary Chasing The Sun secured four nominations for Best TV Documentary, Best Directing, Cinematography and Editing.

Showmax originals including Lockdown, Loving Thokoza and Black Tax were also nominated, while TV series Lebo M: Coming Home, Life With Kelly Khumalo and Somizi & Mohale are competing against each other in the category of Best Structured Reality TV Show.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment for MultiChoice group, said: “We are excited to once again see most of our shows scoop the bulk of this year’s SAFTA nominations. This is a win for local TV and film and demonstrates MultiChoice Group’s commitment to investing in local content to allow for local stories to be told by Africans.

“The nominations are also a testament to the incredible resilience of all the talent, cast and crew in various productions as our industry navigated the complexities brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic, which were characterised by production stoppages and a period of uncertainty for many creatives.”

The SAFTAs ceremony will take place on May 22 on Mzansi Magic DStv channel 161 at 19.00.

tagged in: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cameras set to roll on Nollywood thriller

Award-winning Nollywood filmmaker Ema Edosio Deelen has confirmed plans to start production on her second original feature, titled Umuemu Oseme.

Ema Edosio Deelen

Umuemu Oseme follows a seamstress (played by Ghanaian actor Gina Castel) with commitment issues who takes care of the ailing father who had abandoned her as a child, while her half-brothers position themselves to take over his property.

As well as Castel, the cast includes Charles Etubiebi, Tunde Daniels, Obi Maduegbuna, Chinezie Imo, Toritseju Ejoh and Nigerian entertainer Yinka Davies.

The film was written and directed by Edosio Deelen and the screenplay was by Chijioke Onuniwe. The film hails from Bliss Productions with Edosio Deleen and NuNu Deng producing and Clocktower Tax Credits with Jeff Jacobson executive producing.

Umuemu Oseme will be distributed by Nigerian company SeeFeem, while Edosio Deelen is represented by My Management Company.

Edosio Deelen directed 2018 Nigerian comedy-drama film Kasala, which was screened in 30 international film festivals worldwide and won nine international awards.

tagged in: , , , , , , , ,

MIFA to honour African animation

Lady Buckit & the Motley Mopsters

The Annecy International Animation Film Festival (MIFA) will celebrate African animation at this year’s event, which takes place in France from June 14 to 19.

The hybrid event, which will be both online and onsite, has many African films in the official selection. They include Kenyan short The Wonderful Story of Aisha and Ali & Flipflopi the Multicoloured Dhow Boat, which is directed by Kwame Nyong’o and produced by Nairobi’s Apes in Space Animation.

Other titles include Twende Smoothie Operator (52×11’) from South Africa and Kenya, about a pangolin living on the African savannahs, and short film Cause of Death from South African production house Süd Nord Film and distributor Sixpack Films.

The best of Fupitoons Festival, launched by the African Animation Network, will highlight about 20 films from eight countries, while African animation artist William Kentridge will be celebrated through nine of his short films.

The Wonderful Story of Aisha

Nigerian animator Adebisi Adetayo’s feature film Lady Buckit & the Motley Mopsters will also be showcased, and Nigerian cartoon studio Basement Animation’s project Joko & Dide has been selected for MIFA Nigerian focus at the event.

Also selected as top finalists from Nigeria include Egbelughe Philip, Stanlee Ohikhuare, Oyikan Odunlami, Temidayo Odunlami, Brian Wilson, Eseme Joseph, Oluwayomi Oluwasegun Samson and Omotunde Akiode. They will also pitch their works as part of the Nigerian focus in front of an audience of international professionals.

There will also be pitch presentations of 21 African projects from countries across the continent, including Madagascar, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt and a comic book project for adaptation.

In addition, there will be a conference on Understanding African Animation: Collaboration at the Core of Today & Tomorrow’s Strategies, focusing on training and technology, production and distribution and opportunities to meet with publishers, broadcasters and distributors from the continent.

MIFA is held every year in the town of Annecy in the French Alps and is attended by more than 13,000 industry professionals from around the world.

tagged in: , , , , , , , , ,