Tag Archives: Content London

African, Indian projects sought for Content London Drama Series Pitch 2023

The Content London Drama Series Pitch 2023, which offers a £30,000 (US$38,145) marketing prize for the winner, has opened for entries, with special categories for African and Indian projects this year.

The pitch is open to early-stage scripted drama and comedy series from established producers and distributors looking for international finance to close the gap, with shortlisted projects showcased to the global coproduction community during the three-day Content London event.

Hollywood actor Chukwudi Iwuji hosted the Drama Series Pitch last year

You can find out more and enter your project online by CLICKING HERE.

The competition is open to producers from any territory, with up to 15 projects shortlisted and selected to present a live pitch to the international business at Content London on November 28.

This year, two special subcategories will be open to projects from the fast-developing African and Indian markets, with at least two entries from each of these territories guaranteed a place in the London final.

Each of the finalists will be profiled by C21 during the event, and interviews about the projects will be published online and in the Content London Dailies. The finalists will also be invited to a networking event during Content London to meet with interested parties.

The winning pitch will be announced on November 30 at Content London and will receive a marketing package through C21Media worth £30,000 to support development and pre-sales promotion of the show.

The deadline for entries is October 6, 2023.

Successful submissions will be notified if they have been selected to pitch on October 27. Entrants should note the country of origin of each production at entry stage.

The Pitch provides a high-visibility opportunity for companies aiming to use Content London and its relationship with C21Media.net as a marketing platform to release new series.

For further information, email [email protected].

You can view previous pitch competitions by CLICKING HERE.

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Abudu calls for more African talent in UK

Mo Abudu at Content London

The UK needs to do more when it comes to featuring African talent in local shows, according to the founder of Nigerian entertainment network EbonyLife and other panellists at C21Media’s Content London conference.

Mo Abudu, whose company recently agreed a development deal with commercial distributor BBC Studios, was speaking about the representation of African voices in TV nowadays.

“We’ve decided to have one office in the UK and one in the US to start looking at African stories set not specifically in Africa,” she said. “We are global citizens and we deserve to have our stories told, wherever we happen to be. I’m quite disappointed with the representation of Africans or even ethnic minorities on our screens in the UK – it’s very limited.”

Dorothy Ghettuba, manager of African series for global SVoD Netflix, was full of praise for her company’s investment in African content, saying it was essentially the only buyer to have taken local stories from Africa seriously.

“We are now seeing that stories can be told by anyone,” she said. “What’s more, they can even watch anywhere. Our talent in Africa doesn’t need to go to Hollywood now – we can nurture them at home and take them to an audience of over 200 million subscribers. We don’t want to be extractive – we want to nurture the whole industry.”

As far as nurturing the industry goes, Ghettuba said that outside investment would be all but useless, as scaling up a business in Africa is too difficult. Her suggestion was to find local partners.

“If you want to go to Zimbabwe or Ghana, find local partners,” she said. “There’s no other answer to how to break into local industries.”

Cecile Gerardin, meanwhile, head of drama at French distributor Canal+ International, felt even more could be done.

“It’s about finding local partners and helping them grow together,” she said. “Teamwork helps create a positive circle and when the quality comes up, so does the number of buyers.”

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Nigerian stories at Content London

The Developing Markets strand at the International Drama Summit, part of C21Media’s Content London event, will examine how Nigeria is quickly becoming a source of new original content and fresh talent for the international business.

It will feature top Nigerian authors and writers discussing their development plans and ambitions to build global partnerships with platforms and producers.

TIER 4 tickets are available at £999 + VAT
This is the final discount TIER saving £100 on the full ticket price of £1099
To book your place at this price CLICK HERE

Speakers in this session include:

Leye Adenle, author and writer
Adenle is the winner of the first ever Prix Marianne in 2016, and is a Nigerian writer living and working in London. His short story, The Assassination, in the anthology, Sunshine Noir, was a finalist for the 2017 CWA Short Story Dagger award. Leye has written several short stories under his own name, and over a hundred satirical pieces under various other appropriated names. He is the author of the Amaka Series: Easy Motion Tourist and When Trouble Sleeps, published by Cassava Republic Press and the series has just been optioned by Big Talk Productions and Top Boy producer Yvonne Ibazebo.

His writing has appeared in publications such as the Big Issue, and he has written and recorded pieces for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. Leye has also appeared on stage in London in plays including Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. Leye comes from a family of writers, the most famous of whom was his grandfather, Oba Adeleye Adenle I, a former king of Oshogbo in South West Nigeria. Leye’s latest novel, The Beautiful Side of the Moon, was published earlier this year (Hoatzin Books). He is currently writing the third novel in the Amaka Series.

Kemi Adesoye, writer
Originally trained as an architect, Adesoye’s interest in screenwriting began after discovering a screenwriting book in a university library. Over a ten year career, she scripted short films; Mama Putt, Prize Maze (Mnet) National Cake, The Line Up (Goethe institute). A New You, New Horizons (EbonyLife). Mnet /Endemol series Doctors’ Quarters, Tinsel S1-6, Hotel Majestic and Edge of Paradise.

In 2017, Adesoye was head writer for Mnet’s popular Nigerian series Battleground S1 and season 1 of MTV’s series Shuga Naija. She returned again this year to head write Shuga Naija S4. Kemi penned award winning Nigerian features; The Figurine, PhoneSwap, Omugwo, Lottanna and is currently developing content for local and international markets under her company BKProductions. Adesoye is enthusiastic about stories from a myriad perspectives. For five years she worked as a copywriter and radio on air talent before fully embarking on her “Adventures in storytelling.”

Thomas Ermose Ikimi, writer
Ikimi was born in London and spent his childhood in Nigeria and England, before studying Literature, Philosophy and Creative Writing at Columbia University, New York. In 2010 he wrote, directed and produced his first feature length film Legacy for just 500K in 21 days starring Idris Elba. Legacy premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, and garnered the Best Film Award at the American Black Film Festival, was nominated for Best UK Feature at Raindance in London, was nominated for a British Independent Film Award, and won Best Director at the London Screen Nation Awards 2011.

Ikimi then wrote, directed, produced and edited the long short Nostradamus. It premiered at Tribeca in 2015 and was a Critics’ choice with critics tipping it for a 2016 OSCAR. His follow up in 2018 was another long form short as writer/director/producer/editor The Locksmith which has also met critical acclaim. Ikimi has sold projects to NBC Universal, Fox, Legendary Pictures and Sky and worked in both the UK and US markets consistently over the last decade. As a computer programmer and software developer, Ikimi released the cross platform movie review and rating application QURATOR in 2019 through his tech company.

Kris Thykier, founder, Archey Pictures
Thykier founded Archery Pictures in 2015.  Since its launch, Thykier has developed and produced the television series Riviera for Sky Atlantic, now shooting it’s third season, and the limited series The State for Channel 4 / Nat Geo. Thykier also recently produced the feature film Tolkien starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins for Fox Searchlight.
Thykier is currently executive producing the Netflix fantasy series Fate: The Winx Saga and is in pre-production on John Madden’s latest film Operation Mincemeat written by Michelle Ashford and starring Colin Firth.

Before launching Archery Pictures, Thykier headed PeaPie Films: one of the UK’s leading independent film producers. Films produced by Thykier under the PeaPie banner include the political thriller Miss Sloane starring Jessica Chastain; the epic love story Ali & Nino, written by Christopher Hampton; John Wells’ Burnt, staring Bradley Cooper; and Woman In Gold, directed by Simon Curtis and starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. Thykier also developed and produced Trash with Working Title, directed by Stephen Daldry and based on a screenplay by Richard Curtis. Other features produced by Thykier include One Chance, I Give It A Year, W.E., Ill Manors, The Debt, Summer Of ’92, Harry Brown, Kickass and Stardust.

The multi-award winning Content London is made up of four standalone events: The International Drama Summit, The Unscripted Entertainment Forum, Kids Content Futures and Screenomi. The International Drama Summit takes place on December 3/4/5, with Unscripted, Kids and Screenomi taking place on December 6.

Also speaking at the event are:

For more information on Content London 2019, click here.

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MultiChoice calls for Netflix rules

Africa’s largest pay TV operator MultiChoice has called for regulations to be imposed on Netflix as it blames the US-based streaming service for the subscriber losses it has suffered since 2017.

As a result of Netflix’s popularity among African viewers, pay TV companies MultiChoice and StarTimes are experiencing serious challenges to their business models and revenue streams.

In a recent report by Quartz Africa, Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice, said his company had lost over 140,000 subscribers to Netflix, including 100,000 in the past financial year. The streaming service, he said, is also free from any affirmative action regulations, which gives the US firm a major advantage.

Even though pay TV companies are already competing with local streaming platforms like Iroko, Netflix’s plan to focus more on Nollywood and African content is set to create another area of competition for these companies in 2019.

Calvo Mawela

Netflix’s VP of international originals Erik Barmack told C21Media’s Content London conference in November that the streamer’s European team is “in the process of looking at opportunities in Africa. It’s definitely the case that we’ll commission some series there in 2019.”

In an article by Business Insider magazine, Netflix said: “The company is following Nollywood closely and focusing more on content. There are no plans to have a physical office in Nigeria. We are following the local industry closely and focusing more on content rather than physical presence.”

While pay TV companies work on having better streaming services and pricey data plans, Netflix has deployed a dedicated server in Nigeria in partnership with Spectranet in order to have a secure connection for its Nigerian audiences and also provide customers in Nigeria with a better video-streaming performance.

Despite the fact Nigerian movies such as Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart, Kunle Afolayan’s October 1st and Biyi Bandele’s Fifty are available on Netflix, thus creating competition in the Nigerian market, all hope is not lost for MultiChoice. The South African company still has three of its indigenous African Magic stations on DSTV, namely Africa Magic Yoruba, Africa Magic Hausa and Africa Magic Igbo.

Although the competition would impact viewers across Nigeria, perhaps leading to possible lower subscription fees for streaming and TV content packages, it will now be a fight between four major contenders: MultiChoice, StarTimes, Iroko and Netflix.

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