Discop Africa, Kalasha Festival to promote SA-Kenya co-productions

Johannesburg- and Abidjan-based Discop Africa and Nairobi-based Kalasha International have joined forces to promote film and television co-productions between South Africa and Kenya.

The "Kenya/South Africa Copro", to be launched at the inaugural Kalasha International Film and TV Festival and Market running from 26 to 30 October, aims to give life to the memorandum of understanding on film co-operation that the two countries signed during the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Co-sponsored by Discop Africa, the Kenya Film Commission and the French Embassy in Kenya, the initiative will enable independent content producers from the two countries to work together in telling the continent's stories.

This follows the announcement in September of a new partnership between Discop Africa and Kalasha International designed to stimulate co-production and distribution opportunities between Eastern, Western and Southern Africa.

Kenya/SA Copro pitching sessions

Up to 10 selected film and TV projects will be pitched before a panel of South African and Kenyan development, commissioning, production and distribution executives during Kalasha's inaugural festival and market, and at the 11th edition of Discop Johannesburg running from 4 to 6 November.

"Following each pitch, key industry experts sitting on the Nairobi and Johannesburg panels will provide guidance and recommendations to the project initiators," the Kenya/South Africa Copro organisers said in a statement earlier this month. "Development and co-production opportunities are to be anticipated, as producers will also get the opportunity to attract financing, partnerships and distribution deals."

Patrick Zuchowicki, general manager of Discop Africa, said the partnership with Kalasha International aimed to bring independents from Kenya, Cote D'Ivoire, South Africa and other neighbouring countries together several times a year "to help them get their projects financed by giving them a platform for rubbing shoulders with production, commissioning, distribution and advertising executives playing a key role in Africa's booming television ecosystem."

Discopro pitching competitions

The Kenya/South Africa Copro pitching sessions at Discop Johannesburg will take place during the fourth edition of Afro-centric pitching, development, financing and co-production platform Discopro, which runs in parallel with the main festival and market.

Headlining the three-day Discopro agenda are six pitching competitions - divided into formats, TV series, animation, documentaries, educational content, and comedy - for producers to present their ideas to potential partners.

The event is expected to draw more than 500 independent TV content producers, giving content creators the chance to network with established production, commissioning and advertising executives.

"With Pay-TV revenues expected to surge, swelling middle classes, a booming advertising marketplace and improving infrastructures, the television content business in Africa is worth close to US$1-billion in annual revenues, twice as much as three years ago," Zuchowicki said.

"Now in its tenth edition, the growth of Discop Africa - which became a bi-annual event following the inaugural edition of Discop Abidjan in June - is a success story which mirrors the increasing importance of the African content industry on the global stage."

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission