Tag Archives: MipTV

Animator Dami Solesi’s MipTV honour

Dami Solesi, CEO and creative director at Lagos-based Smids Animation Studios, talks to Content Nigeria about her participation in next month’s MipTV, the global industry event taking place from April 4 to 6 in Cannes, France.

Dami Solesi

You have been selected as a Producer to Watch at MipTV 2022. How does this impact you as an animator?
I am very excited to have been selected for the second time as a Producer to Watch in 2022. It’s a testament to the great work we are doing in the animation space, telling African stories to kids around the world, and to be recognised by a platform like MipTV is a big deal for us.

Can you tell us about your involvement in MipTV and your views about the event?
It will be my first time in Cannes and at MipTV. In 2020, I attended virtually because of the pandemic, so I’m excited to be there physically this year. I am also excited to attend all the events and, more importantly, have productive meetings with industry professionals. We have new shows that we will be taking to Cannes and we are excited for the possibilities and partnerships we will strike. MipTV is one of the largest content markets in the world so we are looking forward to doing business.

As an inspiring Nigerian animator impacting kids through your work, how has your journey been so far?
My journey in animation has been a great and challenging one. I started Smids Animation Studios 11 years ago, and it’s been great to watch the industry grow from nothing to what it is today. And we have only just started our journey and evolution as a company; we haven’t scratched the surface of what we have in store.

Smid’s animated short film Onyà

Can you tell us about your animated short film Onyà?
Onyà is an amazing animated short film about the journey of a little girl into a creative world as she battles a known foe. Onyà in the Igbo language means trap. This short film was directed by our art director Micheal Okoroagha and it premiered at the Rendacon festival on December 12 last year. It’s currently going through the festival round this year and once that’s done we will have an official YouTube release for it later this year.

Can you tell us about your other new projects?
We have three amazing new series currently in different stages of production. One is called Uyi and tells a story about a lovable but tricky tortoise and his friend, a curious and inquisitive bird. The show follows their many adventures as Uyi finds the best ways to outsmart everyone. The second is called Abi’s Mission while the third is called Makerbolts, which is about three friends who create fun and exciting adventures in an abandoned junkyard.

Makerbolts

What challenges do you think the animation industry is facing today in Africa?
There are quite a number of challenges in Nigeria and Africa. One of the very first is talent; we still have a long way to go in terms of talent development in order to support the pipeline of projects coming through and to build a formidable animation industry. We need to think actively about our talent development strategy and plan years in advance. We are currently using the internship model but we look forward to a day when we have a proper education structure, like an animation diploma, that provides basic skills for graduates to be industry-ready. This is not far off and with the right partnerships this can happen.

There is also a lack of local funding to support animation, which is caused by a lack of understanding of the animation industry and how expensive animation is compared to live-action. Also the lack of coproduction treaties makes sourcing funds from foreign countries tricky. And lastly, there are all the challenges that come with running a business in Nigeria, such as power outages and security.

Should African animators do more in the coproduction sector?
Collaborations like these are crucial for us as creators. More African creators need to collaborate in order to do bigger production and increase reach. It is very important and we are looking forward to more collaborations in the future. We have a few in the works and we will share as soon as we can.

Smids Animation Studios was rated by the Ernst & Young Industry Report 2019 as being in the top two animation companies in Nigeria. Smids is also the first Nigerian animation studio to be selected as a finalist at the Animation du Monde at Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

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BBC, Warner execs talk up diversity

Executives from the BBC, WarnerMedia and Amazon have outlined their diversity strategies after a year in which the ethnic and gender imbalances in the media industry have come under fresh scrutiny.

Miranda Wayland

In a session titled Tribune for Heads of Diversity and Inclusion at the digital version of the MipTV event, WarnerMedia chief enterprise inclusion officer Christy Haubegger outlined the steps needed to increase diversity.

“If you want to win once, set a goal. If you want to win, create a system,” Haubegger said. “We’ve been looking at inclusion not just in our workforce but in our storytelling, making our showrunners and creative leaders really understand. This year we launched an eight-hour programme to do just that and we’re looking forward to doing more of that.”

Similarly, BBC head of creative diversity Miranda Wayland described how the UK pubcaster has taken steps to change the way it looks at inclusion. “We created a creative allies toolkit for our commissioning teams to show individuals how they can support minorities,” she said. “We’ve also been trying to get better embedded with our programme makers so they can see the benefits.”

Latasha is head of global diversity, equity and inclusion at Amazon Studios, the production and distribution subsidiary of the US retail giant. Like the others, she believes diversity is a company-wide issue that starts with the hiring process.

“If you’re not getting enough diversity at the interview stage, you need to be asking yourself if the process is too homogenous,” Gillespie said. “Your interviewees should never be the same race or gender.”

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Hi-Impact heads to MipTV

Nigerian broadcaster and production company Hi-Impact TV, a subsidiary of Solution Media & Infotech, will be heading to the MipTV global content market next month.

Victoria Odimba

MipTV takes place annually in Cannes, France and its next edition runs from 30 March to 2 April.

The event is an opportunity for participants to launch and discover new content, forge business partnerships, negotiate financing and distribution agreements, find coproduction opportunities and explore the latest trends.

There will also be pitches highlighting projects looking for international financing and copro partners as well as curated international coproduction and distribution networking sessions to discuss challenges and opportunities in the financing of TV shows.

Ibafo-based Hi-Impact TV, which produces and webcasts programming and operates TV and radio stations in Nigeria, will be among the companies at the event.

Victoria Odimba, head of Hi-Impact TV, said the company’s executives will be at the event to buy content as well as review the market for future sales. Hi-Impact is looking for kids’, factual, drama, music and sports programming.

Odimba added that she was looking forward to networking and collaborating with other attendees. “We certainly envision forging good partnerships as we have done over the years and hope that soon we will have coproductions and content exchange with several international organisations like us,” she said.

“Hi-Impact TV is working on several new projects, including expansion of our station to the UK and indigenous/in-house content creation productions and we believe MipTV is a great platform to gain insights as well as build business opportunities.

“The Nigerian content market has improved tremendously. However, more attention needs to be given to the plot and production quality of the content. This is one of the reasons Hi-Impact TV was established to operate as Nigeria’s first full HD station in order to raise the bar for content providers in Nigeria and the world at large.”

Hi-Impact TV is one of eight Nigerian companies so far signed up to attend MipTV. The others are Bafot Studios, Asake Productions, House Gabriel Studios, Supernet, Femo Vision, Black Studios and Geenamoore & Associates.

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Giant Creative Media heads to MipTV

Giant Creative Media’s Tough Love is in production

Several Nigerian companies are heading to MipTV, the international market for content development and distribution that takes place next month in Cannes, France.

Those attending the April 8-11 event include global media and entertainment firm Giant Creative Media (GCM), plus Salt & Truth, Ebonylife Studios, Black Studios and Ultima Limited. Mo Abudu, CEO of Nigeria’s EbonyLife Media, will be among those speaking at the conference.

GCM CEO Chichi Nworah told Content Nigeria: “Giant Creative Media creates and distributes premium African TV series and movies globally. Over the years, we have always attended conferences and summits that relate to our industry, and MipTV is one of them.

“We are pioneers in taking African content global. MipTV is a great platform to meet with other creatives and also buyers who would like to acquire content from our catalogue. We will be participating in the Creative Africa Pavilion and talking about our projects, both ongoing and in development.”

Nworah, producer of Nigerian movies such as So IN Love, Kala & Jamal and Jacob’s Mansion, as well as TV series Uncomplicated, added: “One of our TV series currently in production is Tough Love, starring Nigerian stars Sola Sobowale, Nkem Owoh, Jibola Dabo, Ayo Adesanya, Sharon Ooja, Jemima Osunde, Timini Egbuson and Sophie Alakija.”

According to Nworah, whose company also operates web-based SVoD service Black Urban TV, content development and distribution in the Nigerian TV industry is improving and producers are creating better content.

Organised by NITV, the Creative Africa Pavilion will take place on April 9 and 10 as part of MipTV.

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Nigerian media heads to MipTV in force

MipTV is set to hold another edition of its programme market in Cannes, France in April, this time with a big delegation of Nigerian TV executives in attendance.

The four-day event features masterclasses, screenings, exhibitions, panel discussions and workshops. At the MipFormats sidebar event, there will also be a panel session dedicated to the issues surrounding the development of TV formats in Nigeria.

To be held on April 8, the session will be titled The Producers Toolbox: Will Nigeria Host The Next Format Boom? Four speakers will address the topic, discussing the TV industry in Nigeria and the efforts to develop original TV formats and content for domestic and international markets.

The speakers will include Chichi Nwoko, CEO of Hey, What’s On?; Olasupo Odebiyi, creative director of Pixelator Multimedia; Neil Oyenekan, CEO of Lighthouse Television & Filmwork; and Duncan Irvine, CEO of Rapid Blue.

More than 10,000 TV professionals will represent their companies and media organisations at the event. Some of the Nigeria companies that will be buying and selling include Digital Play, National Broadcasting Commission, Rapid Blue, StarTimes Media, Screenshot Media, Pixelator Multimedia and Lighthouse Television & Filmworks.

Chineye Nworah, chief operating officer and head of content at Screenshot, told Content Nigeria about the company’s MipTV plans: “We attend various content markets annually. Content is what we are about, from feature films to reality TV shows, we aim to sell this content and distribute it. Though we would not be exhibiting at MipTV, we have meetings scheduled with other companies who have indicated their interest in our content.”

MipFormats will take place in Cannes from April 7 to 8, while MipTV runs from April 9 to 12.

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NITV heads to France

The Nigerian International TV Summit (NITV) is scheduled to hold a number of industry events in France next month, including a conference in Cannes and another in Paris.

Between April 9 and 10, there will be a two-day event in Cannes called the Creative Africa Pavilion, as part of the MipTV conference. The Pavilion will house panel sessions between 4pm and 6pm, aimed at exploring ways African companies can work with international ones.

On April 12, NITV will host a roundtable discussion in Paris to explore how French and Nigerian companies can work together. This forum will bring together producers and distributors to highlight and develop content cooperation and exports.

At NITV’s events in France there will be roundtable discussions centred on the Nigerian TV business landscape, the opportunities available within the Nigerian audio-visual and TV ecosystem, film funding and production in Nigeria as well as other related TV topics.

There will also be specialised sessions on understanding coproduction with Nigeria, commissioning and discovering new projects from Nigeria, and networking opportunities.

Some new Nigerian TV series in development for international coproduction will be revealed in an effort to show that the best TV content can be found in Nigeria and also to create international visibility for Nigerian independent TV producers.

These projects include True Blue by Charles Novia, founder of November Productions; Broken by Agatha Amata, CEO of RaveTV; Maskers by Victor Okpala, CEO of Dope 7 Media; and The Mystic River by CEO Native Media, Rogers Ofime.

Other highlights include Kosi by Izu Osuigwe, CEO of Forest Media; The Masters Plan by Blessing Egbe, CEO of B’Concept Productions; The Redemption by Kingsley Omoefe, CEO of Golden Heritage; Hunted Heart by Emeka Ossai, CEO, Golden Pyramids Productions; Sinking Sand by Jerry Isichei, CEO, Daches Multimedia; Darker Shade of Black by Greg Odutayo, CEO, Royal Roots Communication; The Prenup by Paul Igwe, CEO, Whitestone Cinemas; and Princes and Paupers by Ariyike Oladipo, CEO, Apreel Ventures.

As well as NITV’s French events, the company is planning its NITV Summit in Lagos in September and another event in Los Angeles in November.

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