Screen Africa - April 2012

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VOL 24 – April 2012 R35.00

Slate funding latest The latest round of National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) slate funding has been awarded to Fineline Productions, RealEyes Films and Fuze Films with the aim of cultivating sustainable and viable production companies, empowering female filmmakers and encouraging transformation

SAFTAS soldiers on The 6th Annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAS) held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand on 9 and 10 March had to weather a last minute storm due to free-to-air broadcaster’s withdrawal of its shows from the competition, as well as removing presenter participation from the ceremonies. Zama Mkosi, newly appointed CEO of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) – the custodian of the SAFTAS – comments: “Both the SAFTAS Fiction and Non-Fiction ceremonies went well. The community was pleased with the outstanding creative input behind the staging of this year’s production. “In general no negative publicity was received. – to page 42

in the industry. According to NFVF Production and Development executive Thandeka Zwana each production company will receive R2m annually, over a period of three years. “R1m will be devoted to developing three scripts per year and to pay company overheads, the other R1m is earmarked for production of the best project out of the crop selected for development. “At the start of the year, each company must pitch a selection of projects they wish to develop to the NFVF and any other investment partners. The successful projects are green-lit, after which each company will re-pitch the projects for production. The best projects will be selected for production.” Junaid Ahmed from Fineline Productions says their projects for development in 2012 have

already been green-lit. “We will be developing three projects in three genres – drama, comedy and crime thriller. At the moment we are working with three teams of writers: Zee and Thuso, Patronella Sello and Cynthia Jele and Ndumiso Ngcobo. He notes that, before the slate funding, they couldn’t compete with the resources and infrastructure of the big production companies. “The NFVF funding actually helps in levelling the playing field. There is now the absence of pressure of how to pay monthly bills and service providers. The slate funding allows a freedom to focus on developing and producing good quality projects and helps us to seriously address the issues of transformation in the industry,” notes Ahmed. – to page 44

Mission impossible? “It is an uphill battle for Africa to complete the migration from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television (DTT) by 2015, the deadline set by the international Telecommunications Union (ITU) and I can’t see that any country will meet this deadline.” So said Dr Mashilo Boloka, director Broadcasting Policy at South Africa’s Department of Communications, at the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum (DBSF) held in Johannesburg in

February, Dr Boloka maintained that South Africa had not made ‘big strides’ in its digital migration project. “I’m concerned about our broken momentum. Meanwhile, east Africa began its migration process well after us and they’re making good progress. Now South Africa, which has been in DTT trials since November 2008, has less than three years left to meet the ITU deadline after which Africa’s analogue signal will no longer be protected. – to page 44

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN: Nadia Beukes, Terence Bridgett, Willem Botha and Fredia Roux in the 1950s style Afrikaans musical Pretville. See page 4

Film zooms in on Durban

An official South AfricaGermany co-production, Layla Fourie, is currently shooting in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province, just north of Durban. Co-production partners on this feature film are Germany’s Pandora Film Produktion and South Africa’s Dv8 Films. Co-producers from Holland and France are also attached to the project. Says producer Jeremy Nathan of Dv8: “We are shooting about 40% of the film in locations such as Tongaat and Ballito, because of their beauty, efficient infrastructure and ease of shooting. These factors are common to the whole of KZN. “This is not the first time that I’ve shot a feature film in KZN. A few years ago I shot IZulu Lami here. It was a good experience with a great cast and

a good director (Madoda Ncayiyana).” He notes that some unit and art department crew, as well as some cast, who are working on Layla Fourie have been sourced from Durban. A thriller about a young single mother in South Africa who receives a harrowing job assignment as a polygraphist, Layla Fourie is directed by Pia Marais. In 2007 the South African-born, Germany-based Marais won the Best First Feature Film award at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) for Die Unerzogenen (The Unpolished). Layla Fourie is due for release in the early part of 2013. Meanwhile, the Durban Film Office (DFO), which is tasked with marketing the city of Durban as a film location for both local and international productions, plans to embark on road trips to Cape Town and Johannesburg to meet with service providers. – to page 42

From the editor

Movement at last? As reflected in our front page story, on 22 March South Africa’s Minister of Communications Dina Pule formally launched the public awareness campaign to begin educating the public about the country’s upcoming migration from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television (DTT). Screen Africa readers who’ve been following the very long and protracted DTT story since 2006 will probably say ‘About time!’ especially considering that Minister Pule has confirmed that the commercial launch will occur in the third part of this year. Whether it actually does remains to be seen as so much still has to be done before then, such as standardising the specifications for the set top box (STB) required to decode the DTT signal, not to mention manufacturing millions of STBs. Our front page story points out the challenges involved in South Africa’s digital migration and the unlikeliness of our (and the continent’s) migration being completed by June 2015, the deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the switch-off of Africa’s analogue signal. Another front page story reports the good news that the three South African production companies awarded slate funding by parastatal industry development body, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), earlier this year are forging ahead with their projects. This sort of support is invaluable as it makes it possible for production companies, which are always focused on the creative side of things, to operate as sustainable businesses. Other good news on our font page is the fact that a big international co-productioin, Layla Fourie, is shooting in Durban. This is an official South Africa-Germany co-production which also has Dutch and French co-production partners. It’s encouraging that Durban, less known internationally as a prime South African location than Cape Town, or even Johannesburg for that matter, is attracting big foreign productions, thanks to its beautiful landscapes and solid infrastructure. This is welcome news for the Durban Film Office (DFO), which has always been at pains to promote filmmaking in the city as well as the KwaZulu-Natal province as a whole. In this issue we provide readers with the very latest on cameras – always an exciting topic because the rate of technological change is simply mind-boggling and hard to keep up with. The big challenge with digital cameras has always been to get as close as possible to ‘the film look’. As our special feature reveals, this quest is no longer an impossible dream, but sadly, it does put one more nail in the coffin of film. This month we re-introduce Screen Africa’s Director Speak column which in years previous focused soley on commercial directors. This time around the column is open to directors in all genres and is, in fact, not only limited to directors but other film and TV disciplines as well. So don’t be surprised if you soon see a Producer Speak or an Editor Speak etc. in the future. Enjoy the read! Joanna Sterkowicz

SCREENAFRICA Editor: Joanna Sterkowicz:

Publisher & Managing Editor: Simon Robinson:

In-house Journalist: Linda Loubser:

Advertisement Sales: Marianne Schafer: Hermione Ballinger:

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46 / 47







Find it in the archives; European

Getting boxed in; Providing

Camera buzz!....................... 26 / 27

Parliament upgrades archives......34

more efficiency on DTT...............16

True 4K; 3D filmmaking

Making archiving accessible..........35

A chance to reinvent broadcasting; Talking TV in Africa........................18

takes off; Shooting rugby in HD; Going green with HDTV..............28


Making the impossible possible;

Slate funding latest; Film zooms


Recharge your batteries...............30

in on Durban; Mission Impossible?;

No plain sailing!..............................24

New HD studio camera;

SAFTAS soldiers on......................... 1

Versatile down-converter;

Local animation soars; Who will


High quality HD; Expanding

be SA’s Next Top Filmmaker?;

Through the eyes

into sales..........................................31

Simulcast for young designers....... 3

of Nigerians; Latest feature from Rwanda...................................36

A trip down Tinsel Town lane.................. 32 / 33


Digital broadcast technology made

Rocking the 1950s................... 4 / 5

simple; Slavery doc


screens internationally..................37

Solving testing challenges;


Streamlined workflows;

A series of defining moments....... 8


Up in the cloud; Advancing

Milestone for local soapie;

Adcetera.................................... 6 / 7

smart macros..................................20

Revealing impact of Aids...............10

Audience Ratings............................45 Vital Stats.........................................45

Twenty-five years on; Transcoding – the core.................21



Contribution, encoding and

Performance of local films

Updates............38 / 39 / 40 / 41

switching; The revolution; Catering

explored................................ 12 / 13

Events ..............................................41 Social........................... 46 / 47 / 48

for the content lifecycle; Gamechanging experience......................22


In the digital matrix; Entry level

Director Speak –

storage option................................23

Craig Freimond..............................14


Local animation soars


A group of graduates from Cape Town-based The Animation School are gaining local and international acclaim for their 2011 final year project, Wing It. The animated short film won Best Short, Best Technical Achievement and Best Animation at the Animation SA Awards and is a finalist in the International Animayo Competition. It also featured in 3D World Magazine’s print and online publications and on numerous blogs across the world. The story of inventor Sherman, who tries to achieve the first flight aided by a race of well-intentioned aliens, was created using Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Mudbox, Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Composite, Adobe After Effects and

Adobe Illustrator. According to co-writer and art director Shani Campbell, their first challenge was to cut a potentially full feature idea into a short script suitable for a team of six people. “We finally managed to get the gist of our story told in eight minutes,” says Campbell. The team consisted of Campbell, co-writer and director Jeanelize de Nys, technical director Shane Marks and fellow animators Barry de Jager, Thea de Klerk and Kelly Walker. Walker explains that they did extensive research and pulled inspiration from a wide pool of reference materials. “Our primary concern, however, was capturing a period aesthetic in our work, while at

Simulcast for young designers

While the Design Indaba was once again successfully hosted in Cape Town at the end of February, students and others interested in design had the opportunity to experience the conference via the Young Designers Simulcast (YDS) in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. According to Design Indaba’s Leshni Shah the technology for the simulcast involved web streaming on a closed network. “The reason we used a closed network was to ensure that we were not dependent on the network of the receiving venue. I believe there were a few problems with the last presentation at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), but apparently there was a problem with the Seacom cable which probably caused this,” explains Shah. “We also flighted the simulcast to Durban using the same technology with no problems at all.”

In 2011 they used satellite for the simulcast, but decided that it was too expensive. “We needed to manage the costs of the broadcast appropriately to make the simulcast affordable to the students.” According to UJ Theatre manager JC Laurent he found the simulcast a ‘very easy, low cost way of doing things’. “Lasernet put up a mast with a line of sight to the SABC. We got the signal, plugged it into a laptop and logged onto an IP address for the website,” he explains. According to Shah the three-day event was attended by 240 people in Johannesburg and 74 in Durban. “The numbers in Johannesburg doubled from last year and we expect numbers in Durban to double next year as we started to market it very late this year.” – Linda Loubser

the same time keeping it unique by injecting a certain eccentricity into that aesthetic. We wanted to contrast the different environments and characters in an interesting and refreshing way,” she explains. Marks notes that, from a technical perspective, the most interesting shot to develop was a close-up of the flying machine starting up. “We needed to create the sense of a functioning machine built out of impossible parts. A lot of

thought went into the rig to make all the parts work collectively. The amount of times we sat and debated which way the propeller should rotate was hilarious. With the camera being so very close, the modelling and texturing had to be highly detailed,” explains Marks. According to De Nys most of their team have started to work for a new production company called Magic Motion Media on a production currently in script development. – Linda Loubser

Who will be SA’s Next Top Filmmaker?

THE 2011 WINNERS – Sbu Zuma (winner), Kirsty Galliard (General Post), Sihle Ngcamu (winner) and JP Potgieter (Curious Pictures).

Following the Success of SA’s Next Top Filmmaker 2011 General Post, in partnership with Curious Pictures, Endemol and Ochre Media, are pleased to announce that entries for this year’s competition open on 1 May and close on 22 June. The winner will receive a one-year paid internship at one of General Post’s partner companies as well as exposure to the industry at large. Entrants are required to submit a script, treatment and storyboard according to the guidelines set out on the General Post website ( A workshop will be held on 6 June to assist entrants with their submissions. A shortlist of 15 entrants will be invited to pitch their ideas to General Post’s partner companies on 7 July. Says General Post MD Kirsty Galliard: “Three finalists will be chosen to work under the mentorship of Curious Pictures, Endemol and Ochre Media to produce their project. In the process finalists will get hands-on experience working in a professional environment and make many valuable contacts, enabling them to further their careers in the television and film industry.” Last year’s winners, Sbu Zuma and Sihle Ngcamu, are currently working on The Big Break Legacy at Curious Pictures. Says Zuma: “Winning South Africa’s Next Top Filmmaker and entering the real working environment at Curious Pictures has been a tremendous eye opener. The experience has introduced me to a whole new level of professionalism and work ethic in production and my filmmaking skills have received a massive boost. A big thank you to General Post and Curious Pictures for giving me an invaluable opportunity to jumpstart my career and hone my skills in the television industry.” Ngcamu adds: “It’s difficult to describe the amazing experiences I’ve had at Curious Pictures in such a short time. The opportunity to work for such a reputable company has been extremely exciting on its own, but the most rewarding experience is to work and interact with experienced yet humble professionals who are willing to offer their guidance and advice. The competition gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I feel really blessed.” Camera, lighting and sound equipment for the 2012 competition are sponsored by Digitalfilm. Wardrobe and accessories are sponsored by Ikaya. Offline edits will be done at General Post and online at The Bladeworks in Bryanston. Final mix for the three finalists is sponsored by Warren Birley of Fine Tune Audio in Bryanston. For more information about entry requirements log onto or visit April 2012 | SCREENAFRICA | 3


DECK THE HALLS WITH BUDDY HOLLY – The bright and happy town set of Pretville

A new Afrikaans musical from Hartiwood Studios, the creators of Liefling, Die Movie, wrapped at the end of March in the fictional 1950s town of Pretville. Linda Loubser visited the set, built from scratch in Hartbeespoort.


n the main street of the town of Pretville, a postman called Hennie Hakkel (Willem Botha) is driving around on a bright red bicycle, delivering parcels and letters to a town of characters with names like Serah Somers and Pierre Lukuveer, and singing about his stuttering problem. The street features, among other buildings, an elaborate town hall, a jail, a hairdresser and a diner. Director and co-producer Linda Korsten notes Pretville is a unique, fictional town that doesn’t depict the ‘real days’ of the 1950s in South Africa. “We’re trying to show people that it could have been different,” she explains. “The set is bright and happy, while the real 1950s was a bit more subdued. A musical is never real. It’s light and full of fun and ‘lekker’ music. You’ll feel good when you watch it.” Pretville publicist David Alex Wilson agrees. “If you look at musicals like Grease and Hairspray, they lend themselves to that kind of heightened, super-reality. It’s dreamier and everything is accentuated. I think all great musicals thrive on an inherent innocence and naiveté. Pretville fits very comfortably into that genre.” The cameras started rolling in March, but the initial planning and set building started about 18 months ago. The 4 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

soundtrack was recorded in August 2011 and the cast gathered to learn the choreography two weeks before principal photography began. Pretville stars Marlee van der Merwe (Liefling, Die Movie), Eugene Jensen and Marno van der Merwe (Longshot), as well as Terence Bridgett, Annette Engelbrecht, Lizz Meiring, Steve Hofmeyr, Rina Nienaber, Emo Adams, Margit Meyer-Rodenbeck, Sanet Ackerman, Kevin Leo and Jakkie Louw.

working as a musical theatre director and writer, contributed to the script along with the Hartiwood Studios team, which includes Korsten and producers Paul Kruger and Emma Kruger. “As the script was being written, I worked on songs to take the story forward, to maintain the story within the songs and to make sure they fit in with the other songs as well.” The result is an original soundtrack of 28 original Afrikaans songs in a 1950s style.

Original music

Product placement

Composer and songwriter Machiel Roets, who also stars as Kallie Klawers in the film, came up with the idea for Pretville. “I was always a fan of the 1950s and 1960s music. I grew up with Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis, and I was in love with the sound. Rhythmically, there was just so much joy, and I was extremely impressed by the piano style,” explains Roets. “I thought it was a cool concept, which had never been done before, to write Afrikaans songs in this style. So, I had a go at it, and it worked. I sent it to Liefling producer Paul Kruger, and they (Hartiwood Studios) liked the idea of creating a musical around it.” Roets, who spent 12 years in England

The period piece is funded by The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) rebate, private funding and the product placement evident on the set. The shops that line the streets of Pretville carry the names of, among others, estate agents Aïda, Martin’s funeral parlours, AlphaPharm pharmacy, Pep and Echo 4x4. Inside the shops you’ll find more product placement, including Frankie’s old-fashioned soda and GHD hair straighteners, along with a mixture of period and contemporary details created by the art department, or found at auctions, antique shops and hospice stores. “Because it’s a town in the 1950s, and

they had lots and lots of billboards in the 1950s, it was much easier to do product placement. I think it’s one of the biggest product placements so far in local film,” says Korsten. On set a mint green Plymouth Belvedere and an old Chevrolet are also parked on the street – part of a fleet of vintage cars borrowed from a collector in the area. “He has been, and continues to be, very kind to us,” notes Korsten. “Somebody told me if I had to hire these cars it would have cost R5 000 per car per day. It’s a great asset to the movie, and we are very thankful for it.”

Homey feel Art director Bathoni Robinson started work in November 2011 when the structures for the town were already standing. “It was like a raw canvas. My starting point for the set was visualising the energy of the music and the message and simplicity of the songs. Pretville is a little bit of your childhood. We tried to recreate that ‘feel good’, ‘home’, ‘life-is-


Lead actress Marlee van der Merwe gets the 1950s make-over

bliss’ feel,” explains Robinson. “This is a unique experience because we built a town from the foundations up, and we had to think of the details to make it authentic. The telephone lines were the last thing to go up. We looked at the town just before we started shooting and realised something was still missing.” Adds Robinson: “We didn’t want it to look like Pleasantville, but something everyone could relate to. Like a walk down memory lane for the older generations, although we’re keeping it very naïve, with a bit of the contemporary and realism mixed in. We weren’t strictly trying to recreate the era, just taking a bit from history and adding our own creative ideas.” She notes that she worked with a compact, but very energetic team. “We also had a limited budget, which was a challenge, so we had to be creative. All the signage is hand painted, which gives it a very human element.”

Challenges According to Korsten they are aware of the challenges to following a film as successful as Liefling, which made more than R13m at the South African box office in 2010. “We sometimes wonder what’s going to happen, but because this is a period piece I think you can’t really compare it to Liefling.” She notes that, while Liefling consisted of old, nostalgic songs, Pretville contains original songs written specifically for the film and while Liefling was shot on location, Pretville is shot on a set. Their biggest challenge was to get the town finished on time, and to stay more or less in period, adds Korsten. “The art department worked very, very hard to get it done. To get the right cast was also quite a challenge, but we’ve now got a lovely cast. Everyone is so eager to work, and they’re very talented. Singing,

dancing, acting – they do it all.” They are shooting on Hartiwood Studios’ two RED Scarlet cameras, called Scar and Let, and a new RED Epic called Rooies was waiting at the airport at the time of the set visit. “The third camera will make it easier, we’ll be able to shoot different shots at the same time and won’t have to worry that there’s too much of a difference between the shots,” explains Korsten. She is impressed by the performance of the cameras. “The RED’s images are so crisp and clear. And the pictures are really so beautiful, it’s just HD, HD, HD.” According to Korsten, the cinematography will be a mix of a 1950s style – with wide shots that take in a lot of information and stays on shot for a longer time – and quick cuts where the music calls for it. “We’re shooting until the end of March, and we’ve already started editing. It will take about two or three months,

because we’ll have to do quite a lot of post-production on sound,” notes Korsten. Pretville is aimed at all ages, but not only an Afrikaans audience. “The music is of the kind that anyone can sing along to. We’ll also have subtitles to accommodate English viewers,” notes Korsten. Wilson adds that the box office numbers indicate that they had some crossover to English viewers with Liefling, and they hope to achieve the same with Pretville. To accompany the cinema run, they will release a CD, as well as a Pretville cook book. The film will be distributed by Indigenous Film Distribution. “If you don’t have a good strategy for marketing, you can forget about reaching people,” says Korsten. The film will be released on 3 November 2012 on digital and print.

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Report on the South African commercials industry by Anton Crone

Design gets its day The function of design relates ever more to the people that benefit As American from it and, as social media has shaped our awareness of the world, designers are putting humanity first and letting their work take form architect Louis around it. One could say it is a tipping point that affects the way we communicate with audiences through design and media. It is about attracting people by being more accessible, relevant, honest and Sullivan once involving. said: ‘Form Urbanized ever follows As part of Design Indaba, a collection of documentaries was screened at The Labia. Urban renewal was expounded on in Urbanized directed by Gary Hustwit. It function’ – a is a revealing account of the way urban planners, and legislature are solving urban crises. mantra religiously architects The documentary delves into all aspects of urban development, such as the frustration felt by architects at pitching against so many other firms, to the urban followed by the initiatives that have started making a difference in Khayelitsha. The designers working on project VPUU most successful (Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading) have been instrumental in reducing the level of murder and rape in Khayelitsha by lighting dangerous pedestrian designers. This pathways, creating community safe zones with education and sporting facilities and safe houses, which are manned was at the core 24 hours. Many of the initiatives highlighted in the documentary put citizens at the core. As former mayor of Bogota, Enrique of the recent Peñalosa, said in his interview: “We invested in people.” And his philosophy paid off, turning what was once one of the most Design Indaba dangerous, congested and corrupt cities in the world into a peaceful place populated by caring citizens, all within 10 years. Peñalosa was instrumental in many bold changes, some of them in Cape Town, controversial such as raising sidewalks and installing bollards to prevent cars from parking and so encouraging people to use public where some transport. In conjunction with this, Peñasola had dedicated bus lanes constructed with barriers separating them from private vehicles, as of the most well as protected bicycle lanes throughout the city. “A protected bicycle way is a symbol of democracy,” he said, “A person with a $30 bicycle becomes equal to a person in a $30 000 car.” remarkable designers in New York in Motion the world expounded on their philosophies and projects to the event’s largest audience yet. No documentary about urbanisation is complete without New York and interviewees on Urbanized criticised the highway that rings Manhattan cutting residents off from the waterway. In a city where pedestrians are king and the neatly hidden subway is the true lifeline of the city, the highway makes little sense. But the pulse of this city was brought to life by Graham Elliot’s documentary New York in Motion. Focusing on the motion graphics scene in New York, it complements Urbanized by capturing the frenetic life of the city with fast editing and loose camera work. It brings the most prominent players in the field together in a 6 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

Arguably the most remarkable presentations at Design Indaba were those given by architects who pointed out that just 1% of modern urban structures are designed by architects and, seeing the need to solve the housing crisis of the ‘99%’, many architects and urban planners have taken it upon themselves to come up with solutions that benefit slum dwellers and the urban environment as a whole.

Overall it is a documentary that demonstrates how good planning can enhance our lives. The contrast is highlighted with sweeping shots of the beautifully laid out capital of Brasilia. Designed by renowned urban planner, Lucio Costa, and architect Oscar Niemeyer, it is a truly beautiful city with grand boulevards and enormous open spaces of lush green grass between buildings established far from one another giving a sense of space and harmony. But it is this aesthetic that lets it down because it follows form rather than function. The distance between the buildings makes it very far for pedestrians or cyclists to commute, resulting in vehicle congestion. There are lessons in Urbanized for legislature and citizens alike, particularly in South Africa where e-tolling in Jo’burg only goes halfway to solving the traffic problem due to scant provision of public transport. Yet in Cape Town the new My City buses are often empty.

conversation about the processes and inspiration that drive the industry. “The ongoing digital revolution has brought with it an era of digital democracy,” says Elliot, who aimed to explore why New York remains such a vortex of this global industry. “It seems almost contrary to the sign of the times that any one geographical location should be home to such an incredible concentration of the top players and

creatives in the field,” he says. Elliot filmed New York’s practitioners of motion graphics in the middle of their daily routines. When they are not at their desk, they are on the streets, on the subway or even paddling the waterways around the city which is, in essence, their muse. The gritty urban landscape and people of New York are used as the backdrop, intercut with graphics that the designers have brought to life on our digital screens. One is left with a sense that both the city and designers are performing a rhythmic dance that is gaining momentum and that the motion graphics industry will always feed off the energy of this city.

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Johnny Cash project The sense of a global village was expounded on by video director, Chris Milk, and digital/data artist Aaron Koblin’s Indaba presentation. Their music video for the late Johnny Cash was created not just by them but by Johnny Cash fans around the world. Milk and Koblin understood fans’ reverence for the late singer and built an online platform where users could create their own artistic interpretations of individual frames for a music video. Thousands of people made their unique contribution and these were edited together to complete the video for the first single released since Cash’s death. The fact that thousands of people are still contributing frames to the project more than a year after its release is significant. It takes audience involvement to a new

24 hours with Maroon 5

Hellicar+Lewis is a partnership that explored ways of involving music fans in the online world. Their talk at Design Indaba was incredibly witty and put across a devil may care attitude that pushes their work forward. One example was a live, 24-hour online broadcast from a London recording studio with the renowned band, Maroon 5. Sponsored by Coca-Cola, H+L took real-time input from music fans across the globe and projected it in the studio during the music event. Maroon 5 then took this input and used it as inspiration for a brand new track that they completed in the 24 hours of live coverage. The success of the event was immediately palpable. It garnered recognition for Maroon 5 and Coca-Cola. People from 139 countries participated; 107,1million trend impressions were counted on Twitter; 35 million impressions on Facebook; and Coca-Cola’s Twitter profile saw a 387% growth in following. Most astounding was the creation of a musical track that thousands of fans influenced and making them all a part of it. The process leading up to this was not without its challenges and H+L joked about the difficulties of working with Coca-Cola and its various agencies. The sense of ‘death by committee’ was illustrated by Hellicar who displayed a skull made of hundreds of swirling circles he had doodled during one of the Coca-Cola meetings. Each swirl, he explained, was a point made by one of the committee. That they managed to convince them of the merits of this idea at all is remarkable, yet the success of the project goes a long way to convincing brands that involving their audience is crucial.

level and exemplifies the collaboration between specialists that enhance our experience in the media world.

Do it yourself At the other end of the technological spectrum is graphic designer Paul Sahre. He maintains a small studio in New York and shuns the digital world by creating much of his work by hand. He still uses a silkscreen to print some of his posters and prefers to construct scenes in life that could easily be created in Photoshop. Yet his work is incredibly modern and, where he prefers to design in ‘analogue’, he is remarkably good at bringing it to life in the digital world. The finest example was his promotion for the band They Might Be Giants. As part of an album’s promotion material, many recording companies send out PDFs replete with details of

the new album. These are usually visually boring so Sahre added a bit of life by adding — a bit of death. Inspired by the band’s new track, When Will You Die, Sahre portrayed a pink hearse on monster truck wheels as the album’s cover and decided to incorporate this into the PDF, the difference being that it was a

scale cut out of the monster hearse that could be printed out and reconstructed in life size scale. They didn’t believe anyone would attempt to do it, but Sahre thought it would be fun to try. What resulted was three months of work, thousands of print outs and over $10 000 spent on material such as cardboard and glue to hold the scale model together. They had no idea it would take so much effort. They recorded the construction and turned it into the bands video for the track and it is truly remarkable. The sense of irony is not lost when the only journey the paper truck makes is to a demolition yard where it is to be scrapped and, of course, recycled. The video could be viewed as an expression of how ‘analogue’ is still relevant in a digital world. Most of the presenters at the Design Indaba opened our minds to the reality that design, be it digital or not, can enhance the ‘real’ world and move it forward. The rate at which digital technology is growing is phenomenal, yet it seems the most successful designers look at digital just as a tool. Their ideas, philosophies and designs put people at the centre, they form their work around them, and the function flows from that.


A series of defining moments FINDING THE LEAP – DOP Karen Landsberg and director Benitha Vlok mark out an interview

A new SABC3 series offers a heartfelt uncovering of life’s journey from a female perspective and looks at where women turn to for sustenance and inner resilience.


ommissioned by SABC Religion in November 2011, I Am Woman – Leap of Faith, went on air on 1 April in the Sunday 9am slot. It is produced by former radio talk show host and founder of the Life Stories Family Archive Project, Lisa Chait, together with Lauren Groenewald and Miki Redelinghuys of Plexus Films. Groenewald explains that the mandate from SABC Religion was to explore courage, humanity and everyday experience, partnered by spiritual expression and reflection. “These stories are everyday stories that speak of life as a journey and explore a different spiritual reference deep within each of the 26 women featured in the series.” Series commissioning editor Yashika Singh adds: “The programme explores in-depth the journeys of women who have made a significant leap of faith in their lives to emerge stronger and more courageous. SABC Religion realised that there is a greater need for women to share their stories on the public broadcaster, to inspire and to empower citizens and to be role models to other women who can ultimately grow in their awareness of endless possibility.” In 2009 Chait approached Plexus Films to partner her on the series. She had written a treatment called Leap of Faith in response to a commissioning brief put out by SABC Religion. Groenewald continues: “Lisa’s angle was that women so often come to a point in their lives, through choice or force of circumstance, where they take a leap into the unknown and as a result their lives are changed forever. That defining moment 8 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

more work and research. The challenge for us, and one that we embrace, is to ‘find the leap’. Something specific, measurable and filmable that layers our series beyond that of a simple profile.”

On the road

Karen Landsberg, (DOP) President Kapa (sound) and Izette Mostert (director)

Lisa Chait shooting in Cape Town’s Bo Kaap

The crew in Nelspruit

of change and its consequences is what interested us.” When the SABC called for submissions Chait wrote the initial idea for the series and researched 13 women’s stories in just three weeks. “After Plexus agreed to partner with me Miki Redelinghuys deftly weaved the concept and content into a treatment meeting the SABCs specific requirement,” says Chait, who also presents the series. “We were told they loved it but it was never officially commissioned at that time. However, we always held out hope and Lauren Groenewald was incredible in the long haul liaising with the SABC and staying with the project. She kept it alive from our side. In the meantime we all got on with other projects. “The series was officially commissioned and contracts signed towards the end of 2011, with a request for 26 episodes. Supported by Antoinette Engel, I set about finding the balance of stories. The research still continues while we shoot, package and broadcast episodes.”

Sourcing the subjects As a broadcast journalist and producer of many years standing Chait has an excellent network of individual contacts and women’s groups (formal and informal) which led to some great content options. “Antoinette Engel, who is supporting research as well as doing a fine job as production manager, also tapped into her networks with good results. Word of mouth, online research and social network messaging have been invaluable,” comments Chait. She notes that it is an extremely easy task to find inspirational women in South Africa and everyone the team contacted, formally and informally, had a person or two to suggest. “The phones are still ringing and emails are coming in with suggestions. So the stories are incredible and boundless. Our series, however, is not about profiling inspirational women per se. It is about locating a definable moment of change. We have a definite angle that requires

Llewelyn Roderick, Izette Mostert, Lauren Groenewald and Benitha Vlok are the series directors. DOPs are Karen Landsberg and Tim Wege (on some episodes) Production commenced in January this year and continues until the end of July. It takes about 2½ days to shoot a 24-minute episode, each episode focuses on one woman’s story. Post-production is done in-house at Plexus Films by Tanja Hagen on an Final Cut Pro editing suite. Stef Albertyn is doing the final mix off site. “All shoots are dynamic and we have to be fluid. We sometimes find out extra bits to the story in loco and have to move quickly and smartly to incorporate these. Mostly it’s about our subjects and secondary characters (friends, family and colleagues whom we might interview), being there for us at the times we agreed and still being willing to share. So far we have had minimal problems – everyone is keen. The weather has aso been good to us too but of course we are going into winter,” explains Chait. Locations include Groot Winterhoek Mountains in the Western Cape, White River and Bushbuckridge in Mpumulanga, Cape Town and its surrounds, Mitchells Plain, Camps Bay, the Bo-Kaap, a heritage farmhouse just outside Malmesbury and the Eastern Cape. Groenwald points out that the team has been extremely heartened by the way women have opened their hearts on camera, willing to share their deep selves and details from their lives, often not told before. “Each of our directors also brings his or her unique talents to their episodes with a broad stylistic template that we work from. We have also gone to great lengths to reflect a broad and varied selection of women – from the poorest communities to the wealthiest and everything in between.”

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Milestone for local soapie South Africa’s first ever location-based soap, The Wild, recently recorded its 209th episode, marking the start of Season 2. This landmark is particularly significant considering the soap’s rocky start back in February 2011.


creen Africa readers may recall the launch of The Wild, produced by pay-TV broadcaster M-Net, was marred by a picket organised by unions supporting actor Tony Kgoroge’s refusal to sign M-Net’s contract. This was followed by lots of press, debates around M-Net contracts and a protest march outside the broadcaster’s headquarters in Randburg. Shortly afterwards unsubstantiated rumours of racism on set surfaced, followed by the

SMOOTHER JOURNEY – Bobby Heaney on the set of The Wild

resignation of the series’ executive producers. Bobby Heaney from Imani Media was brought in to executive produce The Wild. “I was tasked with taking the soap to the next level as it’s a huge operation logistically. In terms of the initial issues with the actors’ contracts, all differences have been resolved and all our artists are contracted until February 2013. We have a very united and happy company.” He points out that the beginning of the second series was critical because it meant that M-Net had approved the continuation of the show for another year.

Says Heaney: “If we had not been doing well, the story would have ended at the end of the first series. Season 2 is also important for me personally because during the first season I had to operate with fixed contracts created by my predecessors. With the second season contracts in place, I can organise things in the way I believe they will work best. “The beginning of The Wild was perhaps more troubled than most soaps, including a major bush fire which nearly burned down our location. It has been a challenging but ultimately a very satisfying process to improve the logistics

around the show and make it easier for the cast and crew to give their absolute best on such an onerous production. The shooting schedule put a lot of strain on the cast and crew and it was my task to make it sustainable long-term. “There is a genuine excitement and pride about our second year. Our sets and locations have expanded to give viewers a more comprehensive experience of the bush in a uniquely South African setting. We have developed a very strong, new storyline and cast one of South Africa’s top actors in the role.” The move in January 2012 from the 6pm time slot to 7pm was in response to viewer demand. Heaney continues: “We worked really hard to ramp up the script to make the first few weeks in the new time slot very exciting. In the first week we had the wedding of Lelo and Tiro and in week two we shocked the viewers with Tiro’s assassination. The response from fans was extraordinary and Twitter activity shot up more than 600% – #Tiro trended at number three in South Africa and Facebook experienced similar growth. “Of course, some press immediately suggested that the actor’s exit was due to a dispute. On the contrary, the storyline was planned right from the start and was discussed with the actor even before his contract was signed.” The high production quality of the soap was recognised by the industry recently with no less four SAFTA wins out of seven nominations.

Revealing impact of Aids

By Linda Loubser

A film on child-headed households in Malawi by Johannesburg-based film and television production and distribution company Kwacha Media has been licenced to screen on SABC2 as part of Africa month in May.


rown Too Quick was shot by Malawi-born director, producer and cinematographer Kalumbu Kapisa on a Sony HVR-Z1 in Malawi’s Zomba district and the city of Blantyre. The film will participate in the Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival in Doha, Qatar from 19 to 22 April. According to Kapisa, Malawians are fighting a war against HIV/Aids. “Aids has killed many Malawians and the culture of denial is alive, as most Malawians still believe that it won’t happen to them. Because of this, the country reportedly has a high number of child-headed homes in which children as young as six have to fend for themselves and their siblings in the absence of their parents. These children are growing up fast without enjoying their childhood.” Kapisa was in Malawi to develop other media properties through television and radio when he decided to make the documentary. “I came across so many children on the streets of Blantyre, and I 10 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

Kalumbu Kapisa

children such as Francis who are keeping the faith and continuing where their MALAWIANS VS HIV/AIDS – Children in a scene from Grown Too Quick parents failed them by carrying saw myself in them because I also grew up the torch to move forward,” says Kapisa. there. But at their age I was doing other He notes that the fact that he still things such as playing soccer, going to speaks the local language, Chichewa, school and enjoying life as a 10 year old gave him an advantage. “I could engage — not taking care of my siblings,” first hand with my characters.” explains Kapisa. The documentary was self-funded by Grown Too Quick was shot over three Kwacha Media, which works on licensing weeks in 2010 and follows Francis, one of content to various broadcasters across these children, running a child-headed Africa and the world. family. “The effect of HIV and Aids and According to Kapisa their target how it has broken down their family audience is African viewers across all age structures is very frightening. It is

groups. “The documentary is a characterdriven narrative, therefore the viewer is able to absorb first-hand experience of the issues of orphans affected and infected by HIV/Aids. We hope that the documentary will change our mind set to realise that, when an individual is infected with HIV/Aids, it is the whole community that suffers,” says Kapisa. Kwacha Media also set up the Grown Too Quick Foundation as an NGO with the aim of helping Aids orphans by facilitating studies or adoption. Kapisa will be flying to Doha later this month for the festival screening of Grown Too Quick. “I am very excited as it will be the first time my work is screened at such a prestigious film festival,” he says.

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Performance of By Linda Loubser


A recent distribution and marketing forum hosted by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) in Johannesburg saw filmmakers, distributors, film financiers and other industry stakeholders gather to discuss the current market for South African films and the challenges in finding audiences and creating a sustainable industry.


ehlohonolo Mokhosi, junior economic analyst at the NFVF, opened the NFVF forum with an overview of local box office trends. “South Africa is rich in policies and strategies for film production, however distribution and marketing are left behind,” said Mokhosi. Debbie McCrum, general manager of Nu Metro Films, noted that film attendance in South Africa has been ‘pretty much static’ over the past 10 years at 27 to 29 million tickets sold per year, although box office revenue has increased due to higher ticket prices, mostly due to the advent of 3D films. Mokhosi added that box office statistics show local comedy, musical and animation had performed best at the South African box office in 2011. “Jock of the Bushveld made over R11m – that raised a flag that maybe there’s an opportunity in 3D animation. But it is difficult and expensive to produce.” South African films had a 4.5% market share in 2011 compared to 11% in 2010; the difference can be explained by the absence of a Leon Schuster film in 2011, noted Mokhosi. He asked whether South Africa can look at other countries in the SADC region to expand the market for South African films, and whether reducing ticket prices or increasing the number of cinemas could be a solution.

Distribution In a session on independent film distribution and marketing in South Africa, McCrum said: “..the general feeling is still that you only have a successful film if you have theatrical release.” 12 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

Helen Kuun

Clarence Hamilton

This is problematic in a static market, and she suggested that filmmakers need to also look at other platforms such as the video on demand (VOD) space, although it is still in its infancy and expensive because of South Africa’s broadband rates. “There is still revenue and potential in the DVD market, although DVD sales are down worldwide. Pirates are doing DVD distribution much better than we are; we’re not reaching the masses yet,” said McCrum. Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film Distribution agreed that South African filmmakers still fixate on big screen releases, although cinema attendance in South Africa was actually 16% down from December 2010 to December 2011. “All films are not meant for cinematic release,” she noted. However, McCrum emphasised that while cinema attendance in South Africa was the same or shrinking, the local market share had grown from 0.5% to 4.5%. “Look at where it was, I think that’s substantial.” Kuun agreed: “In the past 20 years no South African film even made a percentage. Now we have an industry.” She called the box office runs of local films Material and Semi-Soet a breakthrough. “Anomalies like these didn’t happen before. They’re taking audiences away from international films.” In terms of box office trends she noted that (except for Spud and Leon Schuster) local films doing well have generally not been in English. “If you’re doing something different, you’ll hold a screen. Making a drama in English is actually more risky than doing it in an indigenous language.” Kuun noted that certain genres of film will not double their box office even if

Basil Ford

there are 100 more cinema screens in South Africa. “South Africa has a cinema-going population of 5.5 million people, who go on average 4.5 times a year. You cannot show films to people that don’t exist. More cinemas will make a difference, there is value in expanding, it just won’t double box office revenue for local films.” Kuun and McCrum agreed that a quota system for local film (as in South Korea) would harm local exhibitors and by implication, the local film industry. A better option, suggested McCrum, was digital migration or digital expansion of film theatres. “Countries in Europe have used it as a way to transform their local industries. Governments converted screens to digital and unlocked them for local films by allowing easier access. Poland transformed itself to a 60% local market in this way.”

Funders The NFVF’s Clarence Hamilton noted that NFVF-supported films such as Izulu Lami, State of Violence, Shirley Adams, Retribution, How to Steal 2 Million and Skeem had made only a fraction of their budgets at the box office. “The majority of our films fail at the box office. It’s not that audiences don’t appreciate good quality storytelling – local television proves it. The question is, how do we translate that to the box office?” asked Hamilton. The Industrial Development Corporation’s (IDC) Basil Ford added that the sustainability of any structure has to depend on its ability to recoup funds. “We’ve funded about 50 films and only recouped from a handful. I don’t have the answers, but if we don’t find a workable


local films explored

Jeremy Nathan

model, at some point the funding is going to have to stop, that’s the reality of it. We’ve fixed up the production side of it, how do we fix the rest?” Filmmakers in attendance, however, noted that theatrical performance should not be unfairly weighted, as many films eventually recoup, or come close to recouping, their budgets through avenues such as DVD, sales to broadcasters and South African Airways, and new VOD options such as DStv Box Office. Another point was made that after the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) rebate, most films only need to recoup 65% of their budgets, and some films receive soft funding as well. It was also argued that certain stories need to be told because they are important, and not because they are profitable. Producer Jeremy Nathan (State of Violence, Shirley Adams) added that it was the responsibility of the NFVF and the IDC to build more cinemas and grow South Africa’s movie-going audience. “Built into the market structure is the failure of every South African film. We are making more and better films, but all of us are guilty of not fixing the distribution and marketing end,” he commented. Ford doesn’t believe building more cinemas is a silver bullet solution, but that filmmakers need to take into account the market and audience for local films before they start shooting. “The market should define the budget, not your artistic vision,” he said. Hamilton admitted that the film industry shouldn’t be purely profit-driven. “Not all films will or should make money, but enough films should make money to ensure that the industry can continue. It’s not in isolation.”

Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat

Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat of Light and Dark Films (Confessions of a Gambler, Skeem) noted that broadcasters are seen as primary distributors and investors in film in other countries, but are not present in the South African film industry, leaving a big support gap. NFVF council member Trish Downing suggested that the industry push for pro-bono support of local films on local broadcasters. “Even if the film won’t air on that broadcaster, they can promote it as part of their local content quotas.”

Case studies Several producers shared their experiences of the challenges and pitfalls in distributing local films. Producer Steven Markovitz talked about the distribution of Viva Riva! in 2011. “Most producers tend to blame the distributors when the films fail, but producers need a lot more skills around distribution. With the online revolution, there’s a lot more we can do.” However, he added that filmmakers are faced with an underdeveloped, fragmented audience and a lack of cinemas. Goodman-Bhyat shared lessons he learnt from distributing and marketing Skeem. “We’re in an interesting place because we’re creating a whole new world – no-one in South Africa has ever made a Semi-Soet before. If, for example, I knew three weeks before I started shooting Skeem what I know now, I would have made an all-ages film and I think it would have made a difference. I would also have loved better data in terms of dating the film. My suggestion is some kind of club where people who have data agree to share it.” Nathan also shared his distribution

Steven Markovitz

Kevin Fleischer

experience. “I started out a bit like a communist; I wanted to change the world. But I realised I not only had a responsibility to my audience, but also to the people who put up the money.” He believes slate funding is one of the models that can aid filmmakers by helping to amortise the costs of films and minimise the risks. “We need to combine all our data in an open and transparent way. It’s not difficult to share the numbers, because the numbers are all bad,” he added. Freelance executive producer Kevin Fleischer (Otelo Burning) noted his experiences in distribution, specifically in international markets. “You have to work backwards, start by determining how much money the film can make before deciding on the production budget.” He also suggested that filmmakers bypass sales agents and look at a hybrid model of distribution. “It has to be granular every step of the way. You have to segment audiences and think of how to reach each segment separately. Try to create partnerships and sponsorships, but do it at the beginning, not at the end of production. All marketing you do should feed back to your online campaign,” advised Fleischer.

NFVF distribution NFVF head of Production and Development, Thandeka Zwana, spoke about their experiences in distributing Retribution in 2011, their second foray into film distribution. “Technically everything was done right, but it didn’t translate to box office attendance. We had a low budget, well-known cast members and rave reviews, but we still didn’t recoup.”

Thandeka Zwana

Nathan noted that the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) was opposed to the NFVF’s involvement in distribution. “The NFVF cannot be both referee and player, it’s anticompetitive. Please support distribution, but not by entering the market,” he asked. Zwana noted that filmmakers need a choice of distributors, which is not being offered yet. “We are constantly looking for new models, and constantly looking for better ways to do things. We want to strengthen the value chain.”

P&A rebate Fleischer noted that good progress was being made on creating a dti rebate for post-production spending, but that the industry also had a case for a print and advertising (P&A) rebate. Dan Jawitz of Fireworx Media added that there is little financial support for distribution and marketing of films in South Africa – only a small budget from the NFVF, which does not support exhibition and festival attendance, and some support from the different film commissions. He said that there had been a lot of discussion on a possible marketing or P&A rebate at the IPO. However, important questions remained such as whether it should be paid to the producer or the distributor of the film, and what expenditure should be rebate-able, such as prints, trailers, test-screenings and advertising. In conclusion, the forum decided to request a workshop with the dti around a P&A rebate and asked the NFVF to lobby the SABC for greater support for film. April 2012 | SCREENAFRICA | 13

Q&A |

Director Speak Craig Freimond (Material, Gums and Noses)


I think I would probably have to say The Sea Inside, a Spanish film directed by Alejandro Amenába. It moved me immeasurably. HAS DIRECTING FILMS GIVEN YOU A ‘GOD COMPLEX’?

Definitely not! Working with the budgets we work on is far more likely to lead to a mortal complex – as in – am I going to make it through another day! I heard this story that the Hollywood director Michael Mann (Ali, The Insider) has an assistant who follows him around and when he wants his glasses cleaned he wordlessly hands them over, the assistant frantically cleans the glasses and hands them back as well as taking care of every other pesky detail of his life. Any volunteers? WHAT IS THE MOST BIZARRE THING TO HAVE HAPPENED ON A SHOOT?

That would have to have been on Gums and Noses when the sheriff of the court arrived to attach the furniture of the house in which we were shooting. My producer Robbie Thorpe had to talk the sheriff down for about three hours (genuine!). He had a hard time explaining the concept of film continuity to the sheriff. I told the DOP Jonathan Kovel to roll the camera because I wanted to be able to say… I shot the sheriff. OK, I made that up but the first part is true!


I have no desire to make a $100m film whatsoever. I remember being at a talk when the late Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley) was speaking about his first experience of working on a $100m film, Cold Mountain. He said every one of those dollars was like a nail in the flesh. You have much more control and fun when you work on smaller budgets. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) WHICH UP-AND-COMING SOUTH AFRICAN DIRECTOR/S SHOULD WE BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR?

All of them!


Any character that Woody Allen has played. I am a massive Woody Allen fan. WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?

Everywhere! In the craziness of people. I walk around with my mouth hanging open. The world renowned creative writing instructor Robert McKee says comedy writers are failed idealists and I think that’s true. Inspiration is everywhere because crazy people are everywhere. IF YOUR LIFE HAD A SOUNDTRACK, WHAT SONGS WOULD BE ON IT?

American jazz pianist Keith Jarrett’s The Köln Concert, Kanye West’s Can We Get Much Higher? And the first seven songs of Damien Rice’s album O. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MINDLESS ENTERTAINMENT?


My partners Robbie Thorpe and Ronnie Apteker. I would also love to make a film in India. WOULD YOU CONSIDER MAKING A SILENT, BLACK AND WHITE FILM?

I have always liked black and white as a look. Who doesn’t? Everything looks good in black and white, so if it fitted the project, I don’t see why not. WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE NEXT BIG THING AFTER 3D?

I’d like to believe that people will become saturated with excessive visual effects and long for good, simple stories. Just like how people are now going back to vinyl records. We had a vinyl party the other night, it was incredible and we just stood around marveling at the quality of the sound compared to the compressed stuff we mostly listen to today. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?’s soapie Rhythm City and a few new film projects with the Material team. ACTION! – Shooting Material

14 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012


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It’s no easy task to convince viewers that they need to purchase a set top box (STB) to be able to watch free-to-air television, but such is the case with digital migration.

Reports by Joanna Sterkowicz

Getting boxed in Photos by Mark Hoinkes



n South Africa the public awareness campaign around the country’s conversion to digital terrestrial television (DTT) only Beth Thoren commenced in late March, with the commercial launch of DTT scheduled by Minister of Communications Dina Pule for the third quarter of 2012. “Effective public education programmes are essential for successful digital migration,” stated Beth Thoren, communications director at Digital UK, the body set up by broadcasters to assist viewers in the UK’s digital migration. Thoren was speaking at the recent Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum in Johannesburg. She continued: “To date 14 million people in the UK have switched over to digital, with five million to go. This month the analogue signal will be switched off. I’ve worked on the switchover for seven years and there have


been many questions asked about how to convince the public to go digital. “Digital television roll out in the UK has been a $220m four-year programme. As part of the public awareness campaign Digital UK created a little digital character with the tagline ‘Get set for digital’. Research showed that the messaging should commence three years in advance of the digital switchover. The minimum time for a campaign is nine months and serious messaging should commence no later than six months before switch on. “We put up posters all over the country

and conducted outreaches into the community. Digital UK also put money into training retailers. In addition, we assigned funds to charity workers to spread the message of migration.” Thoren stressed that it is the broadcasters themselves who should promote the benefits of digital television to their viewers. The main message should be along the lines of: ‘You will lose your channels unless you do something, and we will help you’. “The medium that works best is one that’s really cheap for broadcasters to do – onscreen captions. This is 60% more

effective than any other media. TV advertising is the next most important medium. “Digital switchover is very complicated so you need to distribute leaflets and do road shows. Your messaging should not be mere PR and it mustn’t be too technical. In the UK no-one knew what analogue was so it’s best to refer to ‘your old analogue TV signal’. We were dealing with fear all the time so if you use the wrong words you’ll lose your audience. Be honest and know that reassurance is very important. You do need a call centre as part of the campaign to answer queries,” explained Thoren. An important message for consumers is that they don’t need to buy a new TV, just an STB. Older viewers need more straightforward messages. Minority audiences tend to ignore mainstream communications so messages need to be in their own language. Thoren noted that a cute little character such as the one created by Digital UK is important in messaging because it says to the viewer ‘relax’. She advocates the use of bold colours in imaging that tells audiences what to do and buy. TV advertising can be a simple idea with a bit of humour and heart. “You must have a national communications programme and it should start as soon as possible. It’s possible that South Africa will have to use a lot of radio to communicate the digital switch on date, where to find STBs, assistance, and so on. Local events create goodwill. Ensure you have a firm end date that the industry signs up to,” said Thoren.

Industry organisation SADIBA has been at the forefront in examining the digital technologies required for South Africa’s migration from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television (DTT).


peaking at the recent Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum in Johannesburg chair of the Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) Lynn Mansfield noted that when a country migrates to DTT, its existing analogue network has to be replicated in digital form. Mansfield continued: “Public service broadcaster SABC is on the VHF spectrum and there is enough spectrum in South Africa to accommodate two national DTT multiplexes to replicate SABC’s coverage. Free-to-air (FTA) commercial channel is on the UHF spectrum which is more complicated to 16 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

Photo by Mark Hoinkes

Providing more efficiency on DTT THE REPLICANT PATH – Lynn Mansfield

replicate. So, in the planning stage of DTT you need to ensure that everyone who has an analogue signal will receive the digital signal once migration is complete. “The main driver for migration is a requirement for greater spectrum efficiency. Government has adopted the European DTT transmission standard DVB-T2 and we’ve been able to test up to 20 standard definition (SD) services on a single frequency network (SFN).” He noted that the digital dividend (the term applied to the analogue spectrum that will be freed up once migration is complete) is a ‘thorny issue’ as broadcasters and telcos will both want it assigned to them. “Each country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

region should plan for the specific DTT outcome they want. The message they need to send out to consumers is that DTT will result in better sound and images, especially in areas where people suffer from multi-paths. With DTT the picture is free from interference. Unfortunately most broadcasters in Africa don’t have the finance to go from one analogue channel to 18 digital channels,” explained Mansfield. The steps in DTT migration are: transmission network roll out; set top boxes (STBs – specs, manufacturing, distribution, retail, installation and after sales service); dual illumination (where analogue and digital signals are broadcast during DTT phased roll-out); consumer uptake of STBs; analogue switch-off; digital dividend allocated by regulator; and post migration consumer support. In South Africa the process of finalising the STB specs has been long and arduous and, at the time of writing, still ongoing. Meanwhile the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has set the deadline for Africa’s analogue switch-off for 2015. Mansfield elaborated: “If you read the ITU recommendation it says that some countries won’t be ready by then. After

2015 the analogue signal will no longer be protected by the ITU and will suffer interference from digital signals. “Many African countries use Grade C coverage which is marginal at best. In South Africa we basically work with Grade B but once analogue is switched off you can’t ignore the Grade C viewers. SADIBA’s work on antennas has revealed that the segment of the country that sits outside the footprint will need new antennas in the UHF band. A good antenna and installation will cost as much as an STB and people will need help with installation.” DTT implementation planning means: network coverage (transmission standard implementation); public awareness campaign; compelling content offering; compelling receiver solutions (an STB standard is required to protect consumer’s investment); receiver acquisition (retail – STBs need to go through conformance phase before going on sale); and receiver installation (DIY information, availability of STBs and installation support). Early planning for DTT is essential as it took the UK 14 years from the start of DTT planning to analogue switch-off, while Italy took nine years and Spain 10.


To date only limited success in rolling out digital television services in Africa has been achieved. Yet the migration from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television (DTT) will result in many potential opportunities for broadcasters.



here are 100 million TV sets across 60 million households in Africa and over 100 locally produced channels. These were the figures presented by Jason Lobel, NDS regional sales director for sub-Saharan Africa, at the recent Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum in Johannesburg.

Lobel continued: “NDS, a company that provides conditional access software systems and interactive systems for digital television, does not see Africa as a ubiquitous continent as it consists of 53 countries with one billion people. So there are no generic solutions. “Our view of Africa is that it is divided up into 10 different sub-markets. However, the challenges African broadcasters face are the same across the continent, such as lack of access to content, cost of local production, foreign ownership for investment and limited capital.” But there have been some noticeable advances in Africa. These include the emergence of content markets in Africa; the development of the regulatory framework has seen new free-to-air (FTA) and pay-TV licences granted; growth in the FTA sector; mobile money (the concept of pre-paid broadcasting services); and affordable pricing. Lobel noted that after 18 years of operating MultiChoice is still one of the leading pay-TV operators in the world. “So it’s difficult for other African pay-TV players to play-catch up although TopTV in South Africa, Zuku in Kenya and Star

Talking TV in Africa Photo by Mark Hoinkes

Creating a national conversation through TV is important in the media diet of any country, especially in Africa which is swamped with foreign programming.

BRIDGING THE DIVIDE – Russell Southwood


ow do African countries increase their TV coverage and make it a central part of Information Communications Technology

18 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

(ICT) policy in the continent’s digital terrestrial television (DTT) future? This was the question posed by Russell Southwood of consultancy and online

Photos by Mark Hoinkes

A chance to reinvent broadcasting

The CTO Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum in Johannesburg

TV in Nigeria are trying. But it’s difficult to make it in pay-TV in Africa – HiTV in Nigeria is the latest service to fail. Pay-TV is a capital intensive game. “NDS thinks the future of growth in Africa is not pay-TV but FTA. In Nigeria there are about 124 locally originated channels. About R7bn is spent on advertising in South Africa annually and about $1m in the rest of Africa. “The South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF) does a great job measuring audience viewership which in turn helps the broadcasters to sell advertising. Zimbabwe and Kenya are the only other countries in Africa that conduct audience measurement; Zimbabwe is the third largest advertiser on the continent. Therefore if you put in proper audience measurement tools in

Africa, you should sell more advertising.” He expressed NDS’ view that FTA TV should be encrypted – not for viewers to pay for but to sign up. “This is known as free-to-view (FTV). By encrypting DTT you will know who is watching the channels. The UK’s DTT platform, Freeview, has been incredibly successful. Freeview aggregates content from everywhere and puts the Freeview brand onto it. “I think that African broadcasters should find ways of sharing bandwidth and multiplexes to save money and be more efficient. Policy makers should look at economies of scale to see where cost savings can be made. DTT is a once in a lifetime opportunity for African broadcasters and it should not be missed,” said Lobel.

publishing company Balancing Act at the recent Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum in Johannesburg. “An effective solution is for signal carriers to share the burden of national DTT coverage and utilise satellite in remote areas of the country,” said Southwood. “TV coverage should be linked to all universal access services – voice telephony, broadband, Internet, radio and the roll out of rural electricity. “Africa not only has to bridge the divide from analogue to digital broadcasting but bridge the electricity divide as well. In Ghana 76% of people in urban areas have TV, while in Sierra Leone only 9% of the population has access to TV. There is not much distinction between rural and urban areas in Sierra Leone. “Included in ICT policy should be greater diversity of content because at the moment most Africans see a mirror of themselves in overseas shows. Therefore African countries need to have significant local content quotas.” He noted that South Africa’s multilingual environment of 11 official languages offers an opportunity to provide specific channels once the country has migrated to DTT. These include news, parliament, health, education and so on. “Africa is characterised by a TV

channel deficit as many countries only have a single channel – a state broadcaster or what I term ‘Mr President TV’. Only a third of African countries have liberalised and they struggle to pay for content. South Africa has a fairly limited number of channels, given the size of the market. “It’s preferable to have more players in the DTT market rather than merely expand incumbents’ channel offerings as this will make content more diverse. Broadcasters need to treat content as a business and export it. Nollywood is not really a film industry as it produces 52-minute movies that are seen mostly on TV. It’s a phenomenally successful TV industry and is the fourth largest contributor to Nigeria’s GDP,” commented Southwood. Liberalisation of the airwaves has resulted in an increasing number of broadcasters which has seen the creation of jobs and skills. The biggest advertising growth in Africa is mobile. “In the main, state broadcasters are less trusted by consumers than private channels. There is not enough focus by African broadcasters on public purposes such as consumer issues and vernacular programming. If the situation doesn’t change then African broadcasters will struggle to persuade consumers and vendors to migrate to DTT,” stressed Southwood.

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Known as the biggest broadcast technology exhibition of them all, this year’s NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show unfolds in Las Vegas from 16 to 19 April. Here is a look of some of the new technologies that will be on display – from content creation to consumption.

Solving testing challenges

Harris will display new additions to its Videotek test and measurement portfolio that solve a host of signal monitoring and measurement challenges for 3 Gb/s signals, digital television (DTV) transport streams and audio loudness compliance. Says David Guerrero, vice president and general manager, Videotek test and measurement solutions at Harris Broadcast Communications. “Broadcasters need solutions that test and monitor multiple formats and signals in one device. They also need monitoring solutions that ensure compliance with the CALM Act to regulate loudness levels of broadcast content. These are just some of the challenges our new products solve for customers.” A new addition is Videotek’s TVM-VTM-JEM3 multi-format jitter evaluation monitor, ideally suited for mobile production trucks and central machine rooms. Its built-in test generator confirms jitter tolerance to ensure SMPTE video standards compliance, providing five different jitter levels and frequencies ranging from 50Hz to 500kHz. The unit also measures SDI signal integrity – ideal for checking incoming feeds for mobile units. Harris also adds loudness compliance to its successful Videotek Multi-Source Analyzer Series of products (MSA-100 and MSA-300). The new MSA-OPT-LOUD option measures input signals and issues alarms for non-compliant audio. Harris will also show a software upgrade prototype that integrates its LLM-1770™ loudness logger and monitor with Harris ADC™ automation to provide as-run records of loudness levels for recently-aired programming. Harris is represented in South Africa by Concilium Technologies.

Up in the cloud Front Porch Digital’s LYNX is an integrated, cloud-based environment for managing assets on a global scale – from any device and any location. The LYNX project is the company’s largest R&D investment in more than a decade and offers media organisations a next generation approach to global asset management, with an outstanding range of benefits in adaptability, on-demand scalability, capital cost reduction and simplified maintenance. LYNX applications and services are tightly integrated with the company’s DIVA technology and are designed to fit the needs of media organisations facing not only the traditional pressures involved in managing mission-critical assets securely and with flexibility, but also the many additional challenges of successful operation in today’s industry. Constantly changing organisational structures, the need to consolidate operations and the increasing reliance on outsourcing all create stresses on a media business. LYNX technology provides a route to sustained profitability in such fluid and competitive operating conditions by offering rapid infrastructure deployment on demand, matching IT investment to revenue opportunities and making it easier to bring new channels to market. Leveraging the latest cloud and web services technologies, LYNX underpins a range of networked and distributed solutions, including a private / hybrid cloud service allowing global media enterprises to centralise critical assets and consolidate operations. Front Porch is represented in South Africa by Jasco Broadcast Solutions. 20 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

Streamlined workflows Miranda Technologies Inc. will highlight multiple new solutions at the 2012 NAB Show that reduce operating costs by streamlining content production and delivery workflows. “We’re presenting many new systems to address key challenges facing broadcasters, including the need for improved facility connectivity, more effective loudness compliance and smarter signal management,” says Marco Lopez, senior vice president at Miranda. “We’ll also introduce systems which automate VOD mastering, better integrate playout and simplify social media graphics.” For broadcast infrastructures, Miranda will launch a significantly expanded fibre range that offers simpler connectivity within and between facilities, including a new, ultra-high density fibre to-and-from electrical converter system. It will also highlight its new, end-to-end loudness monitoring, logging and correction solutions, which offer more effective CALM Act compliance using audio processing that’s adapted to best suit in-house and ‘wild’ feed content. For production studios and trucks, Miranda will showcase its signal processing, routing and monitoring systems that integrate tightly with production switchers and audio mixers to deliver more flexible and responsive operator workflows. Enhanced, integrated playout solutions for broadcasters and playout facilities will incorporate automated VOD mastering, advanced graphics with social media capabilities and end-to-end local/edge monitoring. Based on the iTX automation and playout platform, these solutions reduce operating costs and simplify facility scaling for new channels and platforms. New capabilities include advanced centralised operation for highly efficient management across hub and spoke facilities. Miranda Technologies is represented in South Africa by Inala Broadcast.

Advancing smart macros

Blackmagic Design has released Videohub 4.9 a major new software update that adds new macro support as well as advanced network-based configuration of control panels for its range of Videohub SDI routers and Smart control panels. Videohub 4.9 for Mac OSX and Windows is available for download now and is free for all Blackmagic Design customers. Blackmagic Design’s Videohub family of products make it truly affordable to route SD, HD and 3Gb/s SDI video and eliminate the need for manual video patching. Videohub’s range from 16 x 16 SDI up to the 288 x 288 Universal Videohub allows customers to mix SDI and optical fibre interfaces in a modular rack based design. Videohub and Universal Videohub routers can be fully controlled using networkable Videohub Control Panel software and Videohub Smart Control, a 1-rack unit hardware control panel consisting of 40 programmable buttons with full RGB illumination. Videohub 4.9 adds new functionality for new and existing Videohub customers. The addition of macros to Videohub Smart Control means that users can now activate multiple simultaneous switching commands with a single button. New Smart Control configuration software allows users to define up to 10 macros each with their own source and destination routing commands – with just the touch of one button.


Transcoding – the core Twenty-five years on Significant new developments to its Cortex broadcast workflow control software application, new loudness control solutions and a highly cost-effective variant of its industry-leading Synapse AV signal processing modules will form the heart of Axon’s most sophisticated ever showcase at NAB 2012. It coincides with the company’s 25th anniversary celebrations. Cortex provides comprehensive tools to configure, monitor and maintain a diversity of devices including Axon’s Synapse range of control modules and other third-party products. Consequently, users take total control over multiple and complex routines involving numerous users, enabling them to configure workflows exactly how they wish to meet specific production needs. The new Tally and Mnemonic options provide a user to interface for signal processing and routing equipment using native protocols and / or GPI units in order to operate various display and tally devices. The Generic Devices option allows for interfacing to a number of third party devices using their native control and/or monitoring protocols. Axon has created SynLite – a series of modules for a.o. frame syncing, embedding, de-embedding, up and down conversion. Based on the same robust and high quality design as the other Synapse modules, SynLite modules are ready for heavy-duty use. At NAB, Axon will introduce new Synapse modules including a long time HD/ SD-SDI uncompressed video delay. It can store and delay up to one hour of SD material including all blanking as RAW data. Compared to competitive server based solutions the SLD100 can be considered as very green. The unit can be used for one-hour broadcasts or for profanity checks. Axon is represented in South Africa by Jasco Broadcast Solutions.

Telestream, a leading provider of video transcoding and workflow automation solutions, will feature a full line-up of products and solutions at NAB. “Transcoding is at the core of everything we do. Whether for live or on-demand content, the shift to file-based environments makes transcoding a critical element to any workflow,” says Barbara DeHart, VP of marketing at Telestream. “At NAB you’ll see new solutions targeted at broadcast, post-production, cable IPTV and Internet OTT workflows that allow our customers to get more content to more screens more efficiently than ever before.” Telestream’s video transcoding software products range from desktop applications and single-server installations to large scale, multi-server systems that produce and assemble millions of finished media packages. At NAB, Telestream will demonstrate its Vantage, Agility, FlipFactory and Episode transcoding solutions. Vantage addresses specific workflow needs, including adaptive bit-rate streaming for OTT, enhanced Avid support for post production, and greater support for broadcast systems, cable IPTV set top boxes and improved audio support. Episode products scale from desktop applications to very fast, powerful distributed encoding clusters for post-production and new media environments. Episode 6.2 features high-end ProRes 4:4:4:4, AVC-Intra and image sequence format support for professional workflows. Episode handles frame sizes up to 4K and enables submission of DPX, TIFF or TGA image sequences for transcoding to a wide range of output formats used in high-end post environments. Telestream is represented in South Africa by Concilium Technologies.

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Contribution, encoding and switching At NAB Thomson Video Networks will introduce the ViBE CP6000, a new dedicated high-performance platform for contribution, the ViBE EM4000, a powerful new multichannel HD encoder, and a new IP enabled version of the Amethyst switcher. Thomson Video Networks’ booth will also feature the ViBE VS7000 platform for OTT and convergent TV services, together with solutions for MPEG playout and ATSC MDTV. With the product’s modular implementation of the optimal MPEG-4 contribution codecs, an unprecedented eight HD channels per 1RU chassis, and industry leading compression performance, the ViBE CP6000 is a substantial advance for contribution applications. MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 codecs can be enabled as required with software licensing, and the high-density support simplifies infrastructure and saves energy costs. The ViBE 6000’s support for XMS control and telecom transmission streamlines large deployments. The ViBE EM4000‘s performance sets a new standard in video compression efficiency to deliver significant operational cost savings through better use of satellite or terrestrial bandwidth. With the product’s integrated architecture and multichannel HD capabilities, the ViBE EM4000 also delivers valuable energy savings and reduces the complexity of headend infrastructure. Thomson Video Networks’ widely-deployed Amethyst Switcher now has IP inputs and outputs in addition to ASI interfaces. The new-generation Amethyst III Switcher provides fast, intelligent, and seamless switching between multiple 1+1 MPEG transport streams transported over IP networks. The Amethyst III makes it easy to secure any IP stream in a headend video compression system and ensure DTV system robustness and service availability Jasco Broadcast Solutions is the South African agent for Thomson.

Catering for the content lifecycle Grass Valley’s IT-centric philosophy, to be highlighted at NAB, now stretches across the entire content lifecycle – from creation to distribution and everywhere in between – while embracing digital architectures that provide financial and operational benefits. Among the many technologies on display on the Grass Valley stand is the STRATUS media application framework, which lets users quickly and easily create programmes and stories in studio and newsroom facilities. The K2 Edge Integrated Playout System brings together asset management, playout management and advanced graphics all into one premium performance package, while the K2 Summit 3G server family raises the bar for file-based production by incorporating proxy generation, as well as extending its capabilities beyond broadcast, into live events and production applications. EDIUS 6.5 non-linear editing software incorporates native RED support and an extensive new 3D workflow. Whatever the future brings, EDIUS users will always be able to ‘edit anything’. The Trinix NXT Multiviewer optimises space by eliminating secondary, external components and connections, and is incredibly efficient, using less than 75 watts of power for eight outputs. LDK camera users can work with either triax or fiber (ie. one truck, any venue) thanks to the 3G Fiber-To-Triax Converter – the final piece in Grass Valley’s innovative 3G transmission system . According to Grass Valley, both the Karrera and Kayenne Video Production Center switchers are the most powerful switchers available for live studio and mobile productions, making switching easier and productions more creative and dynamic. 22 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

The revolution

Quantel is to unveil two revolutionary new software architectures – one for broadcast and one for post-production – at NAB, in the belief that they will change the industry forever. These new architectures have already resulted in a multi-million dollar order. The new broadcast architecture enables COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) storage to support fast-turnaround workflows. It delivers instant access to literally years of online content – ingest becomes archive. This software technology is open, standards-based and delivers ingest, editing and instant file delivery on a global scale. Quantel describes this as a genuine revolution. Quantel’s new software Pablo delivers real choice to high end postproduction. Taking advantage of multi-GPU processing, the new Pablo will be available as both software-only and COTS-based turnkey systems in a range of configurations to match the requirements of post today. All systems are fully Stereo3D capable and support the Neo panel and the new Neo Nano panel which will be unveiled at NAB. They will also support new high frame-rate and productive Stereo3D finishing workflows. These revolutionary new developments are fully backwards compatible with Quantel’s existing products, which also benefit from a raft of new developments at NAB: Quantel reports that its Enterprise sQ fast-turnaround production system will be at NAB with a comprehensive new user permissions and management system. Its file-based workflow capabilities take another step forward with enhancements to sQ Fileflow that now provide a resilient, scalable and SOA file ingest/egress architecture. Quantel is distributed in South Africa by Questek.

Game-changing experience NAB delegates are invited to visit the Avid stand to experience an up-close and personal look at the latest technologies and solutions in news, sports, TV, and post-production. Avid will once again offer game-changing main stage demos, special events, and appearances by some of the best artists in the business. The Avid theme is, “Whatever our customers imagine, we help them achieve”. There is exiting news to share in regards to the future of workflows, significant advances in file-based workflows, new distributed production capabilities in Avid’s key editing solutions and a breadth of powerful storage products from the ISIS family that offer workflow flexibility and are cost-effective no matter what the needs. Those who are not able to travel to NAB can join in the Avid conversation and catch exciting interviews on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.




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In the digital matrix Clear-Com will unveil two additions to its Eclipse digital matrix intercom family at NAB, including a new line of V-Series rotary panels and the Eclipse MADI (E-MADI) card. The new V-Series rotary panels provide users with control over audio level adjustments while the E-MADI card supplies 64 MADI channels per card from the Eclipse-Median or Omega digital matrix frames. The addition of the V-Series rotary panels to the existing V-Series pushbutton and lever key panels gives broadcasters a range of user control key panels options. When using the new V-Series rotary panels, site technicians and more importantly, the production team can quickly and independently adjust system audio levels from one or more audio sources, including external lines, partylines, and intercom from other local and remote control panels. They also support faster and easier audio mixing for IFB assignments. Available in 1RU, 2RU, desktop and extension panel variants, the V-Series rotary panels feature push-listen with mix control knob and a separate push-talk button for talk-and-listen monitoring. Colored LEDs show keys that are active, who is calling, and what the talk key is programmed to do. V-Series rotary panels have a dual use as intercom and/or assignment panels for IFBs, partylines and groups, even when using expansion panels. Designed in the 6RU form like the other frame cards for the Eclipse-Omega and Eclipse-Median, the E-MADI provides connection with standard MADI devices. The new E-MADI card offers full user set-up and can be configured through the Eclipse Configuration Software (ECS) to supply up to 64 full channels of digital 4-wire connectivity per card. With the E-MADI card, talent and other incoming feeds can be routed across the intercom system for monitoring and the insertion of IFB. Clear-Com is distributed in South Africa by Jasco Broadcast Solutions.


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No plain sailing! By Ian Dormer

PERFECT VANTAGE POINT – The V&A Waterfront In-Port Race in Cape Town, South Africa

According to legend it all started over a beer in a Portsmouth pub back in 1973. Now, 38 years on, the Volvo Ocean Race with expensive yachts built from the materials that go into space shuttles, provide TV viewers with unrivalled excitement in perhaps one of the most exciting sporting events covered, all thanks to a member of the crew often forgotten about.

24 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

throw into the mix a gruelling work schedule alongside tasks including cleaning the bilges, bailing water from the boat and cooking all meals, and suddenly it’s not all fun and games if you’re a Volvo Ocean Race MCM.

Volvo Ocean Race, provides the highly sophisticated satellite tracking technology which allows all the content to be transmitted from the boats at high speed to race HQ in Alicante, Spain and then on to the world’s media. Each Volvo Open 70 race boat is fitted with a FleetBroadband 500 terminal, Fly-on-the-wall delivering voice and high speed data communications as well as a lower speed The MCMs have a perfect vantage point service for crew voice calling and IP data. to capture the trials and tribulations of the There are a minimum of seven cameras teams on the race, from the high winds of on board including five fixed – able to the Southern Ocean to the calms of the shoot forwards, backwards and through Doldrums. Their mission is to be a 360 degrees and at least two handheld fly-on-the-wall documentarian, providing cameras operated by the MCM. Jon Bramley, communications director of the Volvo Ocean Race, acknowledges the efforts put in by the MCMs. “One of the unique selling points of this event is that we are, day-in-day-out, providing dramatic videos, pictures and words right from the heart of the action hundreds of miles from land. “These guys have surely the most challenging media Team Sanya Media Crew Member Andres Soriano filming during Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, work place in the sports China to Auckland, New Zealand world yet every day we are seeing beautifully presented, stunning work which is capturing the a 24/7 news feed from the yachts, through attention of an ever-increasing audience. HD video, audio, photography and the “Without the work of our MCMs, we written word. simply wouldn’t be able to present the full Inmarsat, which is a partner of the

Photo by Ryan Houston/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race


our decades on from the inception of the race, there has been a quantum leap in development, both in technologies of yacht building and in broadcast possibilities. The crews are world champions, Olympic champions and only the most talented youngsters get a foot in the door. The reasons are professionalism and the need to win. Whereas that first race in 1973 drew huge numbers of private entries, today it is contested by yachts sponsored for millions by top brands. A global cumulative television audience in excess of 1.3 billion watches the race, assisted by technology that enables live link-ups with the boats and 24-hour surveillance from embedded reporters. Modern media is now showing the world what previously could only be imagined and reconstructed via sailors’ accounts. What viewers are seeing is an ocean as dangerous as ever – and injuries as frequent and chilling – but there are space-age boats regularly driven to breaking point by crews whose sole motivation is to win one of the toughest events in sport. Two initiatives have helped to expand television coverage of the event: the switch to high definition (HD) programming and the introduction of an embedded reporter on each boat – the media crew member (MCM). Charged with documenting the race from the perspectives of the crew on board, the role of MCM is often perceived as a glamorous ‘dream job’. But

enthralling story of our race. Their images and words have already been transmitted to audiences of many millions around the world and shown on television, online and print.”

‘Special’ footage Amory Ross, MCM on PUMA Ocean Racing comments: “My time to work is when it’s sunny and so I find myself up all day, and then at night I’m editing. Sometimes it’s so loud and there’s so much going on. Whether you’re tacking or gybing or stacking your stuff, you really don’t have much rest. I always tend to end these legs pretty darn exhausted. The upside is that we get the opportunity to capture something really special. I will find myself in a bit of a swear-fest hating life, and two hours later I’ll take a picture or get something on video that makes all of it worthwhile. It’s amazing how quickly you forget.” When asked for his comments about the skills and attributes of a MCM, crew member Mark Covell, of Team Russia 2008/9 noted one important addition was needed in the job descriptor advertising the post for MCM – “Must have a healthy sense of humour and a very large dose of humility!” Out of interest, there is no financial reward for winning the 37 000 nauticalmile race around the world; just a trophy, a pat on the back from your team mates and the prestige of being part of one of the greatest races in the world.


Camera buzz! By Linda Loubser

The vast choice of motion

2K for at least another two to three years until data storage becomes more affordable.” According to Henk Germishuysen from Puma Video they are seeing recorders like the Cinedeck, Gemini and Nanoflash being used to get more out of cameras. “This will probably be the affordable trend – to make an inexpensive camera punch above its weight – until the time that more cameras offer 4K.”

picture digital cameras coupled with the rapid rate of technological change make it more challenging

Camera trends

than ever to choose the right camera. At the highend of the spectrum trends appear to be moving towards 4K resolution with new digital cameras


ccording to Sony South Africa’s Jess Goedhals, 4K is the future. “I think 4K is the next revolution in our industry, particularly for the top-end market, but I think it will filter down to the lower-end eventually. I’ve already seen 4K TV sets, which shows manufacturers are serious about eventually moving 4K into broadcast and exhibition,” says Goedhals.

claiming to finally replicate the ‘film look’. At the lowerend of the market, DSLR cameras seem to be waning in popularity as high quality, more affordable video cameras enter the market.

26 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

currently the best camera on the market. “However, when choosing cameras, many use large sensors and lens options as their main criteria. Across our range of cameras, the biggest trend we have seen is the move towards a tapeless environment, and specifically solid state memory.”

Panasonic South Africa’s Sean Loeve notes that the natural progression is to manufacture cameras with higher and higher resolution. “However, the rest of the workflow has to be in place before higher resolutions become viable.” Head of Digital at Media Film Service, Gideon Fürst, agrees that 4K is becoming more prevalent among camera manufacturers. “However, storage of created 4K video or sound data is the current Achilles heel for production and post-production companies. To shoot 60 minutes worth of footage on a new Sony F65 at 4K will use 1TB of data, therefore the back end (storage) of data management is still too expensive. I think most people will be shooting in HD or

Visual Impact’s Goran Music notes that the RED cameras are still very popular, with the RED Epic released recently. “They have a captive audience because they’ve got an established product that works well in different segments of the market. The Arri Alexa is an extraordinary camera, as is the new Sony F65, which includes technology that will allow it to shoot 8K in the future. People are also talking about the new Canon C300,” notes Music. According to Fürst, the ‘hottest’ cameras at the moment are the Arri Alexa and the Canon C300 PL or EF. “The main criteria for directors of photography (DOPs) when choosing cameras, is ease of use, as well as real time correlation between what is seen in digital electronic viewfinders to what is seen on the on-set monitors and what is seen in the Baselight during the grade. They also look at dynamic range; exposure handling between the darkest and lightest parts or exposures in a frame; high frame rates; high ISO with the least amount of noise; reliability; and compatibility with known and trusted ‘film style’ accessories such as Preston remote focus, Arri wireless remote focus and digital microforce zoom.” Goedhals believes that, from a technical perspective, the Sony F65 is the

According to Avmark’s Renato Acquisto, he sees a worldwide trend towards large handheld cameras full of features and with better optics, including 20x zoom capability. “There used to be a big disparity – you couldn’t get the zoom and wide aspects of a normal shoulder mount camera in a handheld camera. The new generation, including the Panasonic AG-HPX250 /A160 have 22x zoom lenses.” Germishuysen notes that, from their perspective, the Panasonic P2 format is very popular. “They’re solid, reliable and unmatched value for money. Our Sony PMW-F3’s are huge favourites as well. Imager size, resolution and ISO/ sensitivity feature prominently when cameras are chosen. ” Pro-Sales’ Arne Sack notes, while it is difficult to pinpoint, Panasonic, more than any other manufacturer, has been very successfully launching products with the correct specifications and at very competitive pricing. “Choosing a camera still depends on the criteria of the shoot and the production’s destination,” says Sack. Loeve adds that Panasonic’s new AG-HPX250 is proving extremely popular. “It has the longest lens available in its class and the highest quality codec (AVCIntra) available in a handheld camera.”

DSLR Music believes that DSLR cameras are as popular as they have ever been. “I do

| CAMERAS&ACCESSORIES think they have reached a level of saturation, but by comparison they are still the best value for money. There is a whole industry of peripheral equipment living off the demand for DSLR. Nikon is now expected to enter the market as well, and the Canon 5D MK III has also been released with small improvements over the MKII, although it is quite a bit more expensive.” Germishuysen agrees that DSLR cameras are still popular. “However, they are definitely not always first choice. They come into their own when the budget becomes an issue.” Fürst, however, believes demand is declining. “Shooting with HDSLR cameras became popular because of their cost effectiveness. Now the Canon C300 looks and feels like a HDSLR and the Sony PMW-F3 is also a ‘cheaper’ option. Both have Super 35mm sensor sizes and are affordable for the HDSLR crowd. Both these cameras have successfully bridged the gap towards cameras such as Arri Alexas and RED Epics by incorporating HD camera functionality with HDSLR size and cost. “The new Nikon D800 and D4 allow for the use of external recorders which in turn allows for improved video compression over Canon 5D MKII, MKIII and 7D cameras. The new Nikons allow one to shoot 8 bit, 422, 187 m/bytes per second video in either ProRes

A ad 03-12 p 3/27/12 12:26 PM Page 1

or Avid codecs, by making use of external recorders such Atomos Ninjas. So the ‘upgrade’ for HDSLR users from Canon 5D MKII cameras to the above mentioned are within cost effective reach.” Acquisto agrees that the popularity of DSLR cameras has reached a peak. “People enjoyed the ‘bokeh’ effect (blurring of the background to exaggerate the effect of lights in the back or foreground) and shallow depth of field, but both Panasonic and Sony have brought out a large image sensor camera giving the desired film look.”

Film Germishuysen notes that film cameras are still being used, but less and less. “From our experience, probably 80% to 90% of all work out of our premises is being done on solid state media, including P2, SxS, compact flash and SD cards. The Arri Alexa seems to be a huge success, so my prediction is that this is the beginning of the end for film.” Music says the switch from film cameras to digital has already reached the tipping point, although many filmmakers still have an emotional attachment to film. “I don’t think film will ever die, but it will certainly be used less and less, unless it’s used for a particular reason.” According to Sack, “film style cameras

like the RED Scarlet, Sony, Panasonic and Canon are making inroads in certain areas of the industry, but I believe it will still be a while before film will die.” Loeve notes that, as budgets get tighter and digital technology advances, more and more digital cinematography cameras will be used in place of film. “The workflow associated with digital cameras is much quicker and the cost is significantly less.” According to Fürst film cameras are mostly still used on long form such as Strike Back and probably Long Walk To Freedom (yet to be confirmed), but very few commercials are being shot with film cameras. Goedhals believes the Sony F65 is the first digital camera to truly replicate the look of film.

Accessories According to Music important accessories at the moment are the ones used to customise DSLR cameras and make them workable, including sound recorders such as the Pix 240 and external recorders

to record uncompressed footage, such as the Gemini. “The Zacuto range of DSLR accessories includes shoulder mounts, the Z Finder optical viewfinders and EVF high resolution monitors.” Goedhals highlights the new range of OLED broadcast and grading monitors. “You need a good monitor to see the quality of footage accurately to make critical decisions on the pictures you are recording. The new OLED monitors in 25”, 14” and 7” are filling a gap left when tube monitors were phased out. They are starting to make their mark in South Africa.” Among trendy new accessories, Fürst mentions new matte boxes such as the Tangerine that will be launched at NAB 2012. “New on-board monitors will also be launched. Arri, Denz and RedRock Micro are also launching new support systems at NAB for the Canon C300.” “A whole bunch of new digital filters will also be launched at NAB. LED lighting such as Creamsource and Arri’s new L-series go hand in hand with all the new digital cameras, which allow for fast shooting with smaller light sources.”

“I don’t think film will ever die, but it will certainly be used less and less, unless it’s used for a particular reason.” – Goran Music C








True4K The new Sony F65 digital motion picture camera is currently taking Hollywood by storm, according to Sony South Africa’s Jess Goedhals. About 400 units were pre-ordered at the beginning of 2012 when the camera started shipping. “This is really a high-end camera, and it showcases Sony’s technological capabilities with its unique 8K CMOS sensor. Sony’s research goal was always to match the photographic quality of film. But now the sights have been set even higher,” notes Goedhals. “The sensor allows it to achieve higher resolution than any other previous digital motion picture camera while delivering superb exposure latitude (14 stops) and sensitivity. It also provides over- and under-cranking at frame rates of one to 60 frames per second (4Kx2K resolution) and up to 120 frames per second (4Kx1K resolution). He explains that it is also the first ‘true 4K’ camera, and adheres to the Hollywood Studios’ DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) specifications. “There’s probably a very limited market for this camera in South Africa, but we anticipate a few of them being bought by the high end rental companies,” notes Goedhals. Next in the range of cameras, Goedhals says the Sony PMW F3 has become very well accepted in the South African market.


filmmaking takes off “This is due to the Super 35mm sensor it uses and the fact that it can take PL-mount lenses. When purchased with the bundled three high quality lenses it’s an affordable way to enter this new era of digital cinematography.” The NEX-FS100 uses the same Super 35mm sensor as the F3 to offer shallow depth of field, and was designed to compete with the DSLR cameras, explains Goedhals. “Unlike the DSLR cameras it has a viewfinder and on-board audio. It also uses the e-mount series of interchangeable lenses.” According to Goedhals the XDCAMEX range is also very popular in South Africa. “The PMW-EX1R and PMW-EX3 both have ½ inch CMOS sensors, are very affordable especially with the feature of interchangeable lenses for the EX3. The EX1R is a full HD (1920x1080) work horse while being able to do standard definition as well. I think it’s probably the best value for money camera out there,” says Goedhals.

Visual Impact recently collaborated on an aerial 3D wildlife shoot with Rocksolid Remotes and Russel Bowden from 3D Rigs. According to Visual Impact’s Shaun de Ponte, the brief was simple: “Mount two Arri Alexas on a Libra Head, and shoot beautiful landscapes and wildlife in stereoscopic 3D from a helicopter.” He notes that the challenge was to mount the Pro Ultra Rig, built by Russel Bowden, onto the Libra Head. “The Pro Ultra Rig seemed too long for the base of the Libra Head. However, within a week before the shoot, Russell and I came up with a new mounting bracket and developed custom software presets for the rig that allowed us to set convergence while we were flying. “The rest was pretty simple – Arri Alexas have always been a pleasure to shoot 3D with. There are never any issues with sync or misfiring. We used a remote cable for triggering both cameras at exactly the same time in the chopper, and shot to SxS card in Log C, which is great for grading afterwards.” According to Stefan Nell, they worked with an amazing Libra technician who

made the rigging easier than expected. “He had that Libra so well balanced and tuned that it all worked like a dream. So to get the awesome shots that we did, there was great harmony with Bill Olmsted flying, me operating the Libra Head, Shaun pulling convergence (and puking) and Brad Maloney keeping my horizons in check.” Nell concludes: “3D filmmaking is not going to go away and what was achieved with this project only helps to further develop and evolve the stereo 3D filmmaking process worldwide. I look forward to seeing this combined rig being used on commercials and features shortly.” The rig can also be applied to a tracking vehicle and still achieve the same results.

Going green Shooting rugby in HD with HDTV

Red Cherry Television used the Panasonic AG-HPX250 to shoot a rugby reality show for Afrikaans pay-TV channel kykNET. According to director Wayne Pearce, who has been shooting on P2 for the past three or four years, they bought the handheld cameras in November 2011 because of their ‘small and compact size, high resolution, focal length and brilliant quality’. The cameras were purchased just before travelling to London with 26 South African rugby players for the reality series Tussen Die Lyne, where they shot rugby 28 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

matches on four cameras. “It’s so versatile, you can take it anywhere. Especially if you’re shooting in Africa,” notes Pearce. He explains that the camera features a master-quality 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent-frame, 1920 x 1080 resolution AVC-Intra 100 recording, and a 22x zoom lens. “The camera also gives you manual zoom, focus and iris, which a lot of smaller cameras don’t have. “The Panasonic AG-HPX250 has just been rated gold by the BBC to deliver high definition (HD) content. It’s a real special little camera,” adds Pearce.

The ultra-efficient Hitachi SK-HD1000 multi-format digital HDTV production camera is a member of Hitachi’s Green Products Global Initiative. Available in South Africa through Telemedia, the SK-HD1000 is Hitachi’s third generation HDTV camera that embodies the latest advanced digital signal processing patents and world-renowned Hitachi technology. A studio and field production camera system, it is able to output dual formats (SD and HD) at the same time. An available option is the ability to perform as a switchable cross-converting HD camera that outputs 1080i or 720p HDTV signal formats and SD simultaneously. With the use of a new 2.3 million pixel micro-lens array and 1080i CCDs, the SK-HD1000 surpasses the performance of all prior models. These new sensors enable the camera to achieve outstanding resolution, dynamic range response, sensitivity and ultra-low vertical smear characteristics. A high horizontal resolution performance of 1100TVL

(luminance channel) has the most transparent signal processing path of any Hitachi digital camera manufactured to date. The SK-HD1000 takes full advantage of the increased dynamic range output of the new imagers by using three (red, green, blue channel) 14-bit analogue-todigital converters. Also available from Telemedia is the Z-HD5000, a high-performance dockable design portable HDTV studio and EFP camera. With its one million pixels 3-CCD, the Z-HD5000 provides outstanding performance. The camera offers sharper and cleaner HD images due to its 14-bit A/D converters and the latest digital processing technology. It achieves outstanding high sensitivity and a low vertical smear. Other Hitachi cameras available from Telemedia are the SK-HD1200, the SK-3200 and the SK-3020P.

Z-HD5000 Economical Digital HDTV / SDTV Production Camera

SK-HD1000 Multi-format Digital HDTV Production Camera.

SK-HD1200 Multi-format Digital HDTV Production Camera.



HDTV Studio & Field Production Camera

Fully Digital Multi-standard Camera

ECONOMICAL HD CAMERAS FOR PROFESSIONALS A Broad Range of Professional Broadcast Cameras • • • • •

3CCDs and 14 Bit A/D Convertors are standard across the HD camera range. Various models to suit ENG, Studio and OB applications. P2 Card Recording camera back for ENG purposes. Various Camera Control Systems and Remotes available. Control via Fibre (3G) or Digital Triax.

RADIO AND TELEVISION BROADCASTING SYSTEMS PO Box 1853, Rivonia, 2128, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 803-3353/4 Fax: +27 (0)11 803-2534 E-mail:


Recharge your batteries

Making the impossible possible SteadiDrone, a division of Motion Pixel, is the only company in South Africa to manufacture and offer advanced, ready to fly aerial drone systems focused primarily on the production and film industry. Motion Pixel’s current SteadiDrone has done close to 3 000 flights and has been used to shoot aerials, stills, TV commercials and everything in between. Clients include Audi, Giant Films, Lucky Rabbit Films, Joy Rider Films UK, Southern Sun International and the Otter African Trail Run. “With the advent of multi rotors, multi copters (also known as drones) are used more and more around the world for aerial work in productions, commercials and feature films,” explains Motion Pixel’s Duran de Villiers. “They offer an affordable and effective option to get cameras in places they could never have gone before – drones are an

30 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

amazing new tool to get those impossible shots within minutes, shooting almost anything, anywhere, at any angle.” He explains that SteadiDrone currently offers three drone systems: a Quadcopter ideally suited for smaller digital cameras like the Sony Pencil Camera and GoPro HD and an Octocopter system able to carry most DSLR cameras including the Canon 550D, Canon 5D II/III and Nikon D800. “We also built a heavy lift Octocopter for bigger camera systems like the RED Epic and FS100. “SteadiDrone systems feature a 3-axis gyro stabilised camera gimbal, retractable landing gear, full GPS system, altitude hold. Plus everything you need from batteries to wireless video link to a ground station, free training and support and more,” concludes De Villiers.

The Swit range of batteries, imported and distributed in southern Africa by Johannesburg-based Pro-Sales, have been part of the South African television scene for the past nine years. “It is a product that has proven itself over the years across the spectrum of users,” explains Pro-Sales’ Arne Sack. “Some of our customers are broadcasters, rental houses, production companies and freelance camera men or women.” He notes that the Swit range covers the Sony range of cameras (V-Lock), as well as the Anton Bauer type (Gold Mount) in the bigger cameras. It also caters for all the smaller type of handycams from Sony to Panasonic, JVC and both video and DSLR Canon cameras. Since inception, Swit also added a range of LED camera lights and 7” and 8” LCD monitors to its portfolio. “The Swit range of products has been a constantly good performer and customers that are interested in any of the above mentioned products can get in touch with Pro-Sales,” says Sack.

New HD studio camera Ikegami, sold in South Africa by Johannesburg-based Harambe Technologies, is addressing the growing demand for high definition (HD) content with ‘new, technologically advanced and competitively priced HD cameras’. This includes the new HDK97A 3G-SDI 1080/50p HD studio camera or ‘Unicam HD’. It is a 16-bit portable companion-camera that employs new AIT CCD imagers and an all-new digital video processing system for superior picture detail and accurate rendition of colour gradations. It delivers a choice of 1080/50p 4:2:2 or 1080/50i 4:4:4 colour sampling, and is designed for traditional style multi-camera production applications. A docking style camera, the new HDK-97A also features a 3G fibretransmission system from the camera head to its CCU. Transmission options include an HD-SDI QTV signal for teleprompter (or vanity/programme monitor) use and an HD-SDI ‘trunk channel,’ which allows for connection of a second camera that doesn’t have its own built-in fibre transmission system (such as a POV camera, including one paired with the HDK-97A in a stereoscopic 3D application). The Unicam HDK-97A is also offering

a newly developed Digital Triax System consisting of DTA-55, dockable camera adapter which can be easily fixed to the camera head, and the 1.5U 19” Basestation BST-55. Ikegami also recently introduced the Hi-Motion2 Super Slow-Mo HD camera, a cooperative development with NAC Image Technology. Designed to meet specialised HD super slow-motion production applications, the Hi-Motion2 system features a unique three-CMOS sensor camera head with built-in memory, delivering greater than ten-times-speed (“10x”) for thrilling super-slow-motion playback of HD sports action. This dual format 1080i/720p camera features parallel live and replay feeds for use as both a ‘traditional’ portable or field HD camera and Super Slow-Mo (or “X-MO”) camera that can work side-byside with other Ikegami HD cameras on sports trucks to deliver the visuals today’s HD sports viewers demand.

High quality HD G&T Productions bought two Panasonic P2HD HPX-174 cameras from official Panasonic distributor Avmark Systems at the end of 2010, and recently upgraded to the Panasonic P2HD HPX-250. “All the features that the P2HD format provides give the user a wide range of practical and arty options, making the camera a pleasure to use,” notes G&T Productions’ Colin Taylor. “We at G&T Productions looked into purchasing new high definition (HD) broadcast capable cameras for some time, and did a lot of research. As the broadcasting industry was moving towards HD we realised that HD was the only way to go,” explains Taylor. “In October 2010 we decided on the Panasonic P2HD HPX-174 camera and purchased two of them as we were embarking on a new HD series for international distribution which was to become the first privately produced HD series supplied to SuperSport.” “The programmes that we produce are sport related, so one of the reasons, among others, that we chose the P2HD HPX-174 was because it was relatively small and compact and could be handheld where necessary,” says Taylor. Each of the 64 GB memory cards can record one hour’s worth of high quality HD footage shot in 1080/50i or 1080/25p at a 100mbps. A further option is to

record at 720/25pN which will allow two hours of recording and the option of doing in camera slow-mo at 50 frames. Taylor notes that they decided to invest in two updated Panasonic P2HD HPX-250 cameras in November 2011. “They offer virtually the same features as the P2HD HPX-174, and more.” The P2HD HPX-250 includes the AVCINTRA codec, which gives a much higher recording resolution, either in 50 or 100mbps and it comes standard with a 22x optical zoom lens. According to Avmark’s Renato Acquisto, Panasonic’s P2HD recording format was recently honoured with a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award. “The P2HD HPX-250 has also been approved as meeting the technical standards for delivery to broadcasters such as National Geographic and Discovery, and is becoming very popular among the wildlife documentary fraternity,” adds Acquisto.


Versatile down-converter Puma Video in Johannesburg is a local distributor of Decimator products, including the popular Decimator 2 down-converter. According to Puma Video’s Henk Germishuysen, Decimator products stand out among similar products due to their versatility and user-friendliness. “The Decimator 2 down-converter not only down converts HD/SD-SDI to SD analogue, but provides a loopthrough and a HDMI and analogue audio output, all live. The HDMI output also offers title safe (Graticules Generator) for various aspect ratios and audio ballistics display. The new MD-DUCC (down, up, cross converter) is full of even more surprises. This little box does all of the aforementioned as well, full aspect ratio support, and selectable analogue video of: 3 x CVBS / YPbPr / RGB / CVBS & YC,” explains Germishuysen. He notes that title safe and audio ballistics display is also available on the SDI outputs.

“Other award winning products are the video distribution amplifier, the Decimator Quad and MD-Quad. Both of these offer four inputs to be displayed on one screen with the MD-Quad adding an HDMI output. “These are simple but powerful tools to solve many production challenges. Essential when using the Canon 5D for video distribution, on commercial sets for video take-off out of the Sony F3, Arri Alexa or RED cameras and live events,” he concludes.

Expanding into sales Cape-Town based equipment rental company Photo Hire recently branched into sales and is now bringing some ground breaking products to South Africa. According to Photo Hire co-owner and technical advisor Pieter Badenhorst, the company not only stocks the largest selection of HD SLR cameras from Nikon to Canon, but is also the best place to purchase camera accessories and add-ons. “The company is constantly researching and stocking up-to-date, cutting edge equipment. We are excited to be bringing in some highly anticipated products and gear for purchase that have recently been launched globally and will be in stock at Photo Hire.” This includes the Nikon D4 and D800 cameras, which are setting new standards in the HD DSLR market, as well as the Nikon Gold DSLR rigs from Redrock Micro. “Redrock ‘s revolutionary quality is now available in a limited edition redesign, tying in with Nikon’s signature look but offering the same Redrock quality and utility function. It’s the best of Redrock’s construction glammed-up in a special one-of-a-kind design, with limited stock available.” Badenhorst continues: “Another product from Redrock is the ultraCage | blue line of cinema accessories and support gear specifically designed for the Canon C300. Redrock was exclusively chosen by Canon as provider of rigs,

add-ons and accessories for the C300 and Photo Hire will be stocking them soon. The ultraCage is the perfect advanced accessory for such an advanced camera and delivers all the needed accessory support, mechanical stability, adaptability and safety.” Photo Hire also stocks Kinotehnik LCD View Finders; Fotodiox lens adapters; a large range of bounces and scrims including leading brands such as California Sunbounce; Glidetrack camera sliders; award winning lighting gear by Zylight; HyperJuice External Batteries for Apple Mac computers and laptops; and a full range of HDMI cables, splitters and variable NDs. According to Badenhorst, all cameras, products, lighting, accessories and add-ons are available for purchase or rental. April 2012 | SCREENAFRICA | 31


A trip down Tinsel

PLANETTE HOLLYWOOD – Mandla Dube and James Plannette

South African director of photography (DOP) Mandla Dube recently spent two months in Los Angeles reconnecting with former classmates and lecturers from his alma mater, the American Film Institute (AFI). During his visit Dube followed an exclusive diet of film and digital cinematography talk.


n arriving in Los Angeles Mandla Dube immediately contacted the Mole-Richardson company, a family-owned motion picture lighting manufacturer operated by Larry Mole Parker. “Mole-Richardson invented the Baby Junior 2K fresnel light, which has become a trademark of many cinematographers. While there I came across James Plannette who used to give lighting workshops when I was at AFI. James was gaffer on a number of Hollywood productions such as recent Best Film Oscar winner, The Artist, as well as the Ocean’s 11 franchise, Syriana, Magnolia and Traffic, among many others. “He was presenting a high definition (HD) workshop at Mole-Richardson despite the fact that he is a huge fan of film and like many other old-schoolers, does not believe it will ever die out. The Artist was shot on film so maybe its phenomenal success will revive the film format. Part of the reason for the workshop being done on HD is the cost implication of doing it on film. Deluxe Lab is no longer in the Hollywood area, they’ve moved to San Fernando Valley, and Kodak no longer donates stock. “When we were at AFI we got free stock from Kodak and free processing 32 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

with Deluxe, Technicolor or Foto-Kem. It is great to come from the film discipline and transition into HD which means you treat the digital camera as a particular ‘film stock’ and rate it at a specific ASA and then use your light meter to set the T or F stop on the lens. You must still light digital carefully as it’s essentially like reversal film. “James and I inevitably got into a heavy discussion about where film was going. A few weeks later we heard that Kodak had filed for bankruptcy, which is another sign that film is dying. Personally, I think it will still be a long time before the Hollywood studios phase out film altogether.” Dube points out that because film stock is made from plastic it can last for between 100 to 200 years but is bulky and cumbersome to store. “We don’t really know yet how long digital lasts and of course it needs loads of storage capacity. But digital is exciting and if you don’t embrace it, you will be left behind.” In Los Angeles Dube happened to go to a cinema to see Martin Scorcese’s Hugo, shot on the Arri Alexa Plus, and bumped into a dolly grip, Dave Pearlberg, who he’d worked with on The Italian Job. “He has worked on major films such as the upcoming Batman and Inception with

cinematographer Wally Pfister ASC. When we finished The Italian Job Dave came to dolly grip for me on a short film, Sunset Tuxedo. “I also met up with screenwriter George Walczak who wrote a script called Zulu Wave for National Geographic Films. This project was meant to shoot in South Africa but is now on hold. In fact George was the scripwriting mentor on my AFI thesis film, Badger. We have since become close and are collaborating on a project.”

New camera Dube visited Technicolor on Sunset Boulevard only to find that the company has downsized its film division, which will soon be shut down. However, they showed him some rushes of Oscarwinning cinematographer Dion Beebe’s new film, The Gangster Squad, which was shot on the Alexa Plus. “At the time I had already invested in this very camera. It is a film-style motion picture digital camera with a 35mm-size 3.7k pixel sensor with 800ASA sensitivity, onboard HD recording and can shoot speeds of up to 120fps. “The Alexa Plus is a 3.7K camera. Although the human eye can’t see beyond

2.5K, by shooting at 3.7K it brings out images that have close to no grain at all. The tighter the grain on images, the more that you can do with visual effects (VFX) in post-production. Another advantage of the camera is its very wide colour gamut.” Following his return to South Africa earlier this year, Dube immersed himself in the Alexa Plus system, which his company Pambilimedia, has lodged with Media Film Service for rental. At the time of writing Dube was conducting exhaustive tests in preparation for a four-part drama series, Kalushi – The Story of Solomon Mahlangu. Teddy Mattera (Max and Mona) is the co-writer and director and Leon Otto is script editor. Pambilimedia has partnered with Mahlangu’s family and the Mpumalanga Province to explore what Dube calls Cinema Tourismâ, a concept loosely based on Heritage Toursim. Cinema Tourismâ aims to promote heritage sites, icons of a country or even legends using all multimedia platforms to boost tourism. An example is the city of Cape Town as a character in Denzel Washington’s Safe House. “We are trying to raise the bar with this production,” continues Dube. “It’s a licence agreement with SABC1 and the

Town lane

Segments from Kalushi – The Story of Solomon Mahlangu


project went through a 14 month script development process with SABC’s Content Hub. Kalushi is a psychological drama written as an introspective journey into Solomon Mahlangu’s mind and his meditation on death at the hands of the apartheid regime. He was executed on 6 April 1979. “Our theme is the responsibility that comes with leadership. Here is a guy 19 years old and says these last words to the executioner: ‘My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people I love them and they must continue the fight’. I doubt if anyone of the leaders we follow today would be willing to sacrifice their lives to better all.” Last year Dube and his cousin Mickey Dube shot the high profile docu-drama Sobukwe – A Great Soul on a Sony EX-3. The film won the Humanitarian Award at the 2011 Durban International Film Festival. – Joanna Sterkowicz


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47 De Villiers Street, Zonnebloem, Cape Town 8001 Contact 021 462 6933 / 083 253 8416 April 2012 | SCREENAFRICA | 33


Find it in the archives By Andy Stead

Back-up and storage – or archiving if you like – is becoming increasingly important as more and more footage is shot on a wide variety of formats. Traditionally film was a standard archival format which until recently was pretty future proof. However, in this day of digital acquisition fast taking over from film, other forms of long term storage must be considered.


ike film, tape would also seem to be a potentially obsolete medium. However Linear Tape-Open (LTO), a magnetic tape data storage technology originally developed in the late 1990s as an open standards alternative to the proprietary magnetic tape formats that were available at the time, may provide the answer. The standard form-factor of LTO technology goes by the name Ultrium, the original version of which was released in 2000 and could hold 100GB of data in a cartridge. A version released in 2010 can hold 1.5 TB in a cartridge of the same size. LTO is widely used with small and large computer systems, especially for back-up. Marc Eckstein of Media Cloud comments: “The problem we all have is

that video and multimedia is what we refer to as unstructured data. Traditional institutions like banks all used structured data which was easy to accommodate in their data centres. The term ‘big data’ is becoming more and more common and one petabyte is not that much information anymore. “We find that media companies need to keep their content on hard drives and servers for longer periods and many of them just use data tape formats like LTO for back-up. A long term solution for viable data archiving that will exceed a hundred years remains elusive. Film is probably the only long term stable solution right now.” Ryan Martyn of Syntech SA observes: “The South African market is very price sensitive and in many cases storage is

purchased on a ‘just in time’ basis and comprises mostly external hard drives like G-Tech or Lacie. “This method is particularly inefficient because information is often duplicated for multiple users – or there are normally several copies backed up in case a drive fails. This means that 1GB of data may actually occupy 2 or 3GB of space. “It’s very difficult to keep track of what is stored on multiple external drives and often it’s very time consuming to have to find specific information. Although many external hard drives are equipped with fireware and eSATA, there is an ever increasing demand for more speed and we anticipate that the Thunderbolt, SAS or fibre storage will become essential in the near future.” Making use of a good archiving solution does require an initial capital outlay but it is ultimately more cost effective when compared with the cost of an external hard drive for every project, not to mention the price of data recovery if a drive fails.

National archives Formed in 1964 The National Film, Video and Sound Archives (NAFVSA) is an institution set up by the then government to access, preserve and make available films made in or about South Africa. They have in storage a short film of Adderley Street in Cape Town shot in1898, and the earliest full length feature film there is Harold Shaw’s De Voortrekkers (1916). At a rough estimate 80% of their archive material is film and 20% tape and rights issues preclude them from converting. They are considering the possibility of a cloud based archiving system in the future.

SD to HD Of course the recent move from standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD) also presents archiving problems. Betacam SP, VHS and early digital footage was shot in SD in 4:3 aspect ratio, whereas the more contemporary HD has a 16:9 aspect ratio, like film. From the earliest days of the emergence of HD, there has been an ongoing controversy about whether HD would dwarf and eventually snuff out SD footage. Many stock-footage companies and producers are concerned that their SD libraries will become irrelevant. Using an effective archive, filmmakers could save production costs by searching and reusing footage from previous shoots. The potential exists for some great annuity income streams by converting archive video to stock footage and making this accessible online.

“The term ‘big data’ is becoming more and more common and one petabyte is not that much information anymore.” – Marc Eckstein

European Parliament upgrades archive


he European Parliament (EP) has completed a large-scale upgrade and redesign of its video, audio and imaging archive. Using Invenio digital asset management technology from Harris Broadcast Communications, the upgrade was rolled out by the Audiovisual Unit of the EP to allow the archivists in Brussels (Belgium) and Strasbourg (France) to be more responsive when handling increasing demands for information, and to remain in full control of the EP’s media assets. Invenio was chosen by the EP after an open call for tender procedure. Belgian Systems integrator VideoPromotion managed the project. The Invenio software forms the backbone of the EP archive, handling the automation, restoration and movement of 34 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

assets and the copying of files into other systems. The archive includes a 35GB database containing 15 000 tapes, 65 000 video high resolution files and 65 000 low resolution files. This database is growing daily through the addition of up to 20 new files, each containing up to five hours of content and originating from more than 40 different types of events within the EP. “The archive handles requests from journalists at up to 30 external TV stations during the plenary sessions, as well as web requests and requests from researchers and the EP administration,” said Adelino Pires André, project manager at VideoPromotion. “In one week, up to 80 percent of requests directed at our department will be demands for original archived content. With Invenio, you can search within a

large video file and pinpoint the exact clip you’re looking for. It’s magic.” The project first involved the migration of all existing tape content from the legacy system to video files within Invenio, and the deployment of Invenio Motion for workflow and integration with thirdparty systems and Invenio Insight for front-end users. EP plenary sessions are recorded in 18

languages, the recordings of which are automatically fed into the Invenio system with EP logger, a custom application designed by Harris for the EP. Invenio is linked to the EP’s in-house semi-automatic eCarton flow system, which, among other things, captures metadata from each microphone used during events.


Making archiving accessible


t the end of 2011 Syntech SA, an IT distributor servicing southern Africa, released the XenData SX-10 digital video archiving system into the local market. This system manages a robotic LTO tape library or stand-alone LTO-5 tape drives and is ideally suited for video production and post-production applications. Says Syntech SA’s Ryan Martyn: “The XenData SX-10 makes it possible for smaller companies to manage media archives which until now have been too capital intensive to consider. We are also working on a rental model which will give even more accessibility to the South African market.” The SX-10 runs XenData6 Server software on a Windows 7 platform and scales to 75 TB of near-line LTO. It is available in six standard configurations – supporting from a single stand-alone LTO-5 tape drive to a 50 slot LTO tape

TURNKEY HARDWARE – Ryan Martyn, Shirley Martyn, Craig Nowitz

library with up to two internal LTO-5 drives. LTO cartridges using the SX-10 are self-describing and may be transferred between systems running XenData6 Server and XenData6 Workstation software. Martyn continues: “The SX-10 connects to a network and files are archived to and restored from LTO just as files are transferred to and from a standard network share. The system supports the CIFS/SMB network protocol and FTP. “Offering broad compatibility, the SX-10 archive can be used simultaneously by multiple standard applications and

works with most MAMs and NLEs.” Adobe Premiere and Apple Final Cut Pro 7 users can archive directly to the SX-10 without any additional software. Users of Avid Media Composer may easily archive projects and sequences by adding Parking software from Marquis Broadcast. The SX-10 supports both Windows and Mac clients and it may also be accessed from any client type using FTP. In addition to file transfers from MAMs, NLEs and other applications, files and folders may be manually archived to and restored from LTO using Explorer on a Windows client, Finder on

a Mac or by using an FTP utility. Syntech SA’s resellers include Visual Impact, Concilium Technologies, Inala, Protea Electronics, KPG, Digicape, Touchvision and CatDV SA. The Syntech SA management team consists of MD Craig Nowitz, formerly the CEO of Pinnacle Micro, Ryan Martyn and Shirley Martyn, whose collection of her own businesses lead to the inception of Syntech SA in 2002. Syntech SA represents brands like Patriot Memory (memory and flash); OCZ (SSDs); Raidmax (PSU & Chassis); Celluon (laser projection keyboard and mouse); NuImpact (Apple Memory); Rocstor (External Storage); CP Plus (CCTV); and Segula (LED Lights). Professional hardware and software brands include: ATTO (RAID controllers and Host Bus Adapters); Netstor (Enterprise Storage Equipment); G-Tech (Professional external storage); Sonnet (Storage and Specialised Peripherals); Cubix (GPU and PCIe Expanders); OCZ (Solid State Disks); and XenData (LTO Archiving Software; and Hardware). “We have also expanded our product offering to include CP Plus CCTV and surveillance equipment,” concludes Martyn. “This was a logical progression and the market’s response to our turnkey hardware offering has been overwhelmingly positive.” – Andy Stead

April 2012 | SCREENAFRICA | 35


Reports by Martin Chemhere

Through the eyes of Nigerians A group of 25 young Nigerian amateur and professional photographers recently had the chance to participate in a photography workshop in Lagos.


he workshop was a partnership between The Future Enterprise Support Scheme (TFESS), Lighthouse Television and Filmworks, which provided a location for the training as well as a range of its equipment. Says TFESS project manager Ifeoma Areh: “The workshop was heavily subsidised at a flat rate of N5 000 to make it accessible to these talented young people. Seven participants received the training free of charge. This is how TFESS continues to identify young talents in Nigeria and provide world class qualitative training.” Workshop facilitators were internationally known local photographers Kelechi Amadi Obi, Ade Plumptre, Body Lawson, Isaac Emokpae and Obi Somto. Topics included an introduction to Photography, Brief History of Photography, Basic Camera Operation and Handling, Film versus Digital Cameras, Understanding Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO, Ethics and Getting Work as a Freelancer.

DEVELOPING NEW TALENT – Isaac Emokpae conducts a photography workshop

Participants received certificates and the 10 best students received internships with some of the workshop facilitators and other firms. Student Sanu Oladipo Akinkunle comments: “TFESS has given me the tools to graduate from an amateur photographer and aspire to become a pro in the real sense of the word.” Fellow student Oyeleke Seun adds: “For so long I have appreciated photography without understanding the fundamental concepts. I admired photographic works without knowing how much work had gone into it. I was burdened with a passion I had no way to satisfy. But all this has changed.”

TFESS emphasises quality as a factor in its workshop. This emphasis runs through the selection of facilitators, the origination of the curriculum, equipment, choice and eventual grading of students. Areh says photography in Nigeria has transformed from a trade involving a photographer with a small studio taking family portraits into a full blown industry. “But the local industry still lacks professional training due to inadequate development funds. However, there are great expectations and opportunities as the industry is growing, with increasing appreciation for the work of professional, artistic photography. As a result Nigerian photographers are earning big amounts

and scoring overseas assignments.” She notes that Nigeria has recently seen a significant increase in creativity in the areas of commercials, film and advertising and events photography. This is in contrast to journalistic photography that continues to lag behind. “Photography is incredibly important as an outlet for creativity,” continues Areh. “Nigerian youth are generally artistic whether it is in arts, literature or music and drama. They see photography as an important tool for expression. Just as Nigerian literature is now receiving global respect, so too will Nigerian photography in the not too distant future.” Digital photography has had a significant impact on the industry. “It has made things easier, widened access and opened young eyes to the possibility of creating better visual work. This trend is evident in the growth of glossy weekly and monthly magazines. “In Nigeria, photography is going full circle and TFESS is privileged to contribute to the revolution,” concludes Areh.

“Photography is incredibly important as an outlet for creativity” – Ifeoma Areh

Latest feature from Rwanda Cora Cora marks a departure from the more usual topic of the country’s civil strife.


ritten and directed by Richard Mugwaneza and produced by Trésor Senga under the Almond Tree Films banner, Cora Cora chronicles rampant drug trafficking between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Says Mugwaneza: “A new concept where producers pit their skills together has emerged – the Rwandan Eagles Group is a producers’ group currently staking a claim in the local film sector. We managed to put together a budget of $30 000 for Cora Cora, our first production.” He notes that the film’s leading characters had never acted on film before but their talent ensured a production of international standard. Producer Senga adds: “I believe the film will strike a chord with many different audiences as it is exceptional with some great visuals that are accompanied by an awesome soundtrack.” Shot in the city of Rubavu (Western Province of Rwanda) and in Goma 36 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

STAKING A CLAIM – Richard Mugwaneza

(DRC), the film’s locations are the borders of the two countries, schools and homes. According to Mugwaneza, the film addresses the destructive nature of escalating drug consumption in a region known for disregard for the rule of law.

“The drug trafficking on the borders is becoming like a business for many who live there,” he states. In Rwanda the city of Rubavu is the most susceptible to the influence of drug traffickers as many young people – students in high schools and even at primary school level – are big consumers of drugs. “A fair number of young people are lured into the illegal trade and this film is a fictional account of a student who finds himself in the thick of it all. The DRC government seems like it doesn’t care about this issue and the film is intended to wake them up to the problem,” says Mugwaneza. One of Rwanda’s youngest directors, Mugwaneza thinks Cora Cora will have a positive impact on local audiences with its strong message that drugs are dangerous for society. To this end the film demonstrates the health implications of drug consumption and the criminal consequences of trafficking. He stresses that Rwanda is making ‘big investments’

into anti-drug campaigns for the youth. Despite this being Mugwaneza’s third directorial project, production of the film wasn’t without its challenges. The first complex issue was to convince the producer to invest in the film as he initially doubted it could make money in Rwanda. Secondly, dealing with first-time actors on set was a huge test. “The casting and rehearsals were hard to manage but thanks to my cinematographer and producer things worked out all right. It was great team work all round and in the end we came up with different characters to match my script,” he says. The final challenge was changing some of the locations for more robust venues during the shoot. Cora Cora was shot in full high definition (HD) on the SONY EX1 camera and edited on a Final Cut Pro 7 suite. Post-production was completed in February with the trailer released at the end of March.


Digital broadcast technology made simple


or a continent of 54 countries and about 1 billion people that speak 2 000 languages, the free-to-air (FTA) industry in Africa is very small,” comments Oluniyi David Ajao, founder of satellite information technology website Free-to-Air Africa (FTA-Africa). Managed from Accra, Ghana, FTA-Africa ( is just over year old and aims to offer free, easy to understand and useful information about satellite broadcast, especially FTA, on the continent.

GOOD REACH IN AFRICA – Oluniyi David Ajao

Information technology enthusiast and founder Ajao emphasises that his technology driven portal arrived on the scene when satellite proved relatively popular. It has since been the go-to destination for thousands of FTA enthusiasts mostly from English-speaking African countries. The site’s major achievement has been its good reach across the continent where most users ask technical questions about

their satellite setup. Time is allocated to respond to as many as possible. As usual, follow-up messages or comments of appreciation show the positive impact the website is having on users. Ajao observes that satellite growth in Africa has been very slow in the past. “But this is understandable because satellite broadcast is a capital intensive industry. Current growth should see more launches from new services in the near future.” He estimates that there are less than 10 satellite broadcasters in Africa and most of the FTA television stations available on satellite across the continent are simply satellite broadcasts of existing terrestrial television stations. “Only a few TV services are produced and broadcast exclusively for FTA satellite. They are Ghana (20), Madagascar (1), Nigeria (43), Congo DR (9), Mauritius (3), Namibia (2), Rwanda (1), Sudan (15), Mozambique (3), Sierra Leone (1), South Africa (18)*, South Sudan (2), Tanzania (7), Uganda (4), Zimbabwe (1) and Kenya (12),” he observes. “There is a high level of penetration of digital satellite broadcast. Most satellite broadcasts today are digital. Terrestrial broadcast is a different story as most are still analogue. But Africa has no choice. All broadcast will eventually go digital.

However, it may be slower than the rest of the world due to the relatively low amount of investment in the sector,” he states. Ajao also points out that while digital broadcast technology is gaining ground in the rest of Africa; it has already been embraced by mostly northern and southern African countries, especially the DVB-T and DVB-T2 transmission technologies. He refuses to peg the growth of Africa’s digital broadcasting in a 10-year period, stating this period is ‘a very long time in the world of technology’. His optimism is that as political stability sets into more African countries, more investment in African economies are likely. Ajao reasons that ultimately more investments in the satellite industry will lead to a faster rate of development that could put Africa on a par with the western world. Prices will drop further and newer technology will become more accessible to more people in Africa. * 1KZN, Bay TV, Cape Town TV, Christian TV, Divine Truth, Impact TV Network, ITV, Kingdom Life Network, Kruiskyk TV, Mindset Health, Mindset Learn, Nongoma TV, Omega Channel, Redemption TV Ministry, Spirit Word, Stellenbosch University, UBN, and UNISA.

Slavery doc screens internationally Talibe – The Least Favored Children of Senegal is screening at human rights film festivals across the globe, as well as in Cameroonian and Nigerian universities.


ith the tagline: ‘Sometimes it’s the Daniela Kon smallest person who needs to be heard the They are forced to beg on the streets by most,’ Talibe – The Least Favored their teachers and suffer severe physical Children of Senegal explores modern day abuse and neglect.” slavery in Africa. The documentary follows the staff of The 57-minute documentary was La Maison de la Gare (MDG) during its directed and produced by Daniela Kon of daily efforts to find solutions to this Deeda Productions in collaboration with horrific problem. Senegalese grassroots non-profit Talibe was shot in the Senegalese cities organisation, La Maison de la Gare. It of St Louis and Dakar in English, French investigates the alleged abuse and and Wolof with English subtitles. exploitation of Talibe (Quranic The film had its world première at the schoolchildren in Senegal) and calls for a United Nations Association Film Festival reform of the Islamic education system in 2011 at Stanford University in California. the country. It was selected for the International Explains Kon: “The film shows how Human Rights Film Festival – This about 50 000 Koranic students – young Human World (Vienna, 2011), boys between four and 15 years old – are International Human Rights Film exploited in a manner akin to slavery.

EXPOSING ‘scrupulous’ exploitation – A scene from Talibe

Festival of Santa Coloma de Gramenet (Barcelona, 2011) and Africa World Documentary Film Festival (2012). Kon hopes to raise awareness about the conditions of the Talibe and to generate dialogue to find solutions. “I want audiences to realise that we have a responsibility to do a much better job of ensuring that education is not used as a front for abuse, exploitation and criminal neglect of children. “My further hope is that local screenings will stir a productive dialogue about ways to improve the conditions of the schools, the kids and their impoverished families. I hope that Islamic institutions and local authorities start to address the issue, admit that there is a problem and act to stop further violation of children.” The film has caught the attention of international human rights watchers with

Daniel Rackowski, Foreign Policy Advisor, European Parliament saying: “Kon’s film is an exemplary piece of political documentary filmmaking. An unadulterated account of the often miserable lives of the Talibe, it illustrates the scrupulous exploitation of young boys and Islamic learning traditions in Senegal alike.” Talibe is Deeda Productions’ second feature documentary. The company’s debut feature documentary was Changing the World on Vacation (2009), winner of Best International Documentary at the British Film Festival Los Angeles (BFFLA 2009). This film challenges the conduct of non-governmental organisations for sustainable development, calls for imperative transparency in the non-profit world and raises crucial questions about the nature of giving and the potential for those who can bring about change. Deeda Productions was founded in London in 2006 and has offices in London and Los Angeles. April 2012 | SCREENAFRICA | 37


Those productions in red are newly listed this month

general post

Production Updates Order of Information

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Two Oceans Production Prods: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature Inventing Africa

Imageworks Prod: Anthony Irving Documentary


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Sabstance Productions Producer: Edmund Mhlongo Documentary LEARNER TEACHERS

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Two Oceans Production Prods: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature ZERO DIET

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DO Productions Dir: Bruce Beresford Feature


Esp Afrika (Pty) Ltd Prod: Yana Lombard Documentary

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Market Street Productions Prod: Paul Van Zyl Short film

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Imageworks Prod: Anthony Irving TV Series


FC Hamman Films Prod Man: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video Mandela

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Fireworx Media Pruducer: Dan Jawitz / Philip Roberts Feature

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MPA (Motswako) Dir: Charls Khuele / Zuko Nodada Feature

38 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012 Composite


One Last Look


Engage Entertainment Exec Prod: Vusi Zion (previously Twala) Variety RATE MY PLATE

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I Am Woman – Leap of Faith

The Communist Republic of South Africa


Talent Attack TV / Fuel Media Productions Prod: Paul Llewellyn Documentary Series Bonngoe Productions Prod: Tumi Rabanye Variety Jam TV, Creative South Africa, Nkhanyeti Production Prod: Barthelemy Ngwessam Documentary

Codesign – commercial spot for furniture designers

SWiTCH Dir – James Tayler Commercial

Cooking With Siba

Prod: Siba Mtongana Variety Cool Cats

Red Pepper Exec Prod: Cecil Berry Children’s Show CORTEX MINING

FC Hamman Films PM: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video Come Dine with Me South Africa

Rapid Blue Prod: Kee-Leen Irvine Reality

Izwe Multimedia / Urban Brew Series Prod: Annalie Potgieter Live Medical Talk Show Plexus Films and Lisa Chait Prod: L Groenewald, M Redelinghuys, L Chait Television Series Ukhamba Communications Music

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Red Pepper Prod: Melody Xaba Game Show Judge For You Self

Urban Brew Music Show


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Laugh out Loud


Lepelle Water Safety Induction


Live Lotto Show Mad Buddies

Keynote Films Exec Prod: Helena Spring Feature Maggs on Media

eNews Prod: Jeremy Maggs Current Affairs


Million Dollar Race


MK Campus

Khaki Productions Dir: Wynand Dreyer Documentary

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Homebrew Films Prod: Jaco Loubser Variety Show

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SummerTime Productions Exec prod: Elaine Tribe Corporate


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Endemol South Africa Dirs: Raymond Sargent / Johnny Barbazano Daily TV Drama


Street Smart Creative DOP: Peter Palmer Commercial



Urban Brew Prod: Enel Viljoen Reality

Red Carpet Productions Magazine Programme


Curious Pictures / Discovery Channel Dir: Rolie Nikiwe Feature

Exec Prod: Rapulana Seiphemo Comedy

Prods: Riaan Venter-Garforth Magazine




NHU Africa Exec Prods: Vyv Simson / Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary


Urban Brew Studios Prod: John Kani Telenovela

eNews Current Affairs

Dzunde Productions Prod: Thandiwe Mashiyane TV Sitcom



Cutting Edge

SABC News Current Affairs




Kagiso TV Talk Show


Freeway Frog

Two Oceans Production Prods: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature Homebrew Films Prods: Jaco Loubser / Ben Heyns Student Show


Montana 2

News Night


Nigcomsat – television commercial series

Penguin Films Exec Prods: Roberta Durrant Drama Series Carol Bouwer Productions Prod: Vesko Mrdjen Talk Show MUVHANGO

Word of Mouth Prod: Pieter Grobbelaar Feature MZANSI INSIDER

Bonngoe Productions Exec Prod: Pepsi Pokane TV Magazine Music Moves Me

Engage Entertainment Exec Prod: Vusi Zion (previously Twala) Music Show

eNews Prods: Nikiwe Bikitsha Current Affairs SWiTCH Prod: Sarah Wanjiku Muhoho Commercial Nomzamo

Tom Pictures / Authentic Images Comedy ONS MENSE

Homebrew Films Prod: Jaco Loubser Current Affairs OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Plexus Films Prod: Miki Redelinghuys Corporate Film

April 2012 | SCREENAFRICA | 39


FC Hamman Films Prod Man: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Event

real IT

real HD

real flexibility

Official Worldwide Olympic Partner


NHU Africa Exec Prods: Vyv Simson / Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary PASELLA

Tswelopele Productions Insert Dirs: Liani Maasdorp / Werner Hefer TV Magazine Programme PEACE PARKS

NHU Africa Exec Prods: Vyv Simson/ Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary Series Project MV

Zen Crew Prod: Laura Tarling Music Video

C A M E R A S • M O N I T O R S • P L A S M A D I G I TA L M I X E R S • 3 D • P R O J E C T O R S

Red Bull Beat Battle

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Fly on the Wall Prods: Filipa Domingues Corporate

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Religion and the ANC

Eugene Botha Productions / It’s a Wrap Productions Prod: Eugene Botha Documentary


Curious Pictures Prod: Yula Quinn Soapie


Curious Pictures / Prod: Viva Liles-Wilkin Interactive Platform Media Rivoningo

Asi-B Films Exec Prod: Asivhanzi ‘Asi’ Mathaba Kids ROCKING FUTURE

Summertime Productions Prods: Sean Gardiner / Tanya Vandenberg Educational Video ROER

Homebrew Films Prod: Jaco Loubser Cooking Show Roots

Ukhamba Communications Music Show SAVING RHINO PHILA

NHU Africa Exec Prods: Vyv Simson / Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary SCANDAL

Ochre Moving Pictures Series Prod: Romano Gorlei Daily TV Soap SELIMATUNZI

Sikhoyana Productions Prod: Baby Joe Correira variety series SAKEGESPREK MET THEO VORSTER

Dirk Mostert Camera Production Dir: Dirk Mostert Talk Show

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Tswelopele Productions Prod: Phuthi Ngwenya Magazine SLENDER WONDER

FC Hamman Films DOP/ Dir: FC Hamman Commercial SHIZ NIZ

Red Pepper Pictures Prod: Allen Makhubele Variety Shift

Urban Brew Talk show Shoprite Showcase

SummerTime Productions Exec prod: Janine Truter Corporate SISTERHOOD

Red Pepper Pictures Prod: Vuyo Sokupa Variety Siyakholwa – We Believe

X CON Films Dir: Munier Parker Edutainment Soccer 411

Engage Entertainment Exec Prod: Vusi Zion (previously Twala) Magazine Soccer zone

SABCSports Head: Sizwe Nzimande Magazine

40 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012 Composite

Sony Presents Mgongo

Why Poverty?

Spirit Sundae

STEPS International Exec Prod: Don Edkins Documentary Series


SABC3 Lefa Afrika Magazine

Sony Variety

New Wave Productions Prod: Mishkah Roman-Cassiem Spiritual NHU Africa Exec Prods: Vyv Simson / Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary STUDIO 53

M-Net Inhouse Productions Insert Dir: Navan Chetty Mag Programme The B-Ball Show

SABC Commissioning Ed: Dinah Mahlabegoane Variety The Chat Room

Eclipse Prod: Thokozani Nkosi Talk Show The Cypher

Spoon Fed Generation Lerato Letebele Talk show The Justice Factor

eNews Exec Prod: Debbie Meyer Current Affairs THE RUDIMENTALS

Periphery Films Prod: Simon Taylor Feature Documentary


Paul Myburgh Film Prod: Paul Myburgh Documentary

The Tech Report

Greenwall Productions Exec Prod: Nicky Greenwall Magazine The Wild

Magic Factory Dirs: Alex Yazbek, Johnny Barbuzano Soapy

Wicket to Wicket

Workers World Series

Cape Town Television Prod: Sharon McKinnon TV Series Xihlovo

Grace Bible Church Religion Yilengelo Lakho

Prod: Nndanganeni Mudau Current Affairs Zone 14

The Bomb Shelter Prod: Angus Gibson Drama


Onetime Films Prod: Richard Wicksteed Documentary AFRICA CALLING

Two Oceans Production Prods: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature AFROX CO2 PLANT

FC Hamman Films Prod Man: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video AFROX SHEQ INDUCTION

FC Hamman Films Prod Man: Odette van Jaarsveld Commercial ALL’S FAIR

PianoJ Productions Prod: Pia van Rensburg Short Film AMBASSADOR II

Transformation stories

Two Oceans Production Prods: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature


Angels Of The Sky


Animal Doctor (Working Title)

Media Village Productions Dir: Diane Vermooten Documentary

Sukuma Media/ Reality Motion Pictures Dir: Bonginhlanhla Ncube Documentary AFDA Cape Town Dir: Kyle Stevenson Science Fiction TOP BILLING

Tswelopele Productions Prod: Patience Stevens TV Magazine TOP SHAYELA

Curious Pictures / Vuzu Prod: Khobi Ledwaba Reality Magazine Series Top 10 at 10

Don’t Look Down Radio/TV Simulcast

CDS-Films Exec Prods: Chris Dos Santos, Andrew MacDonald Feature Film Animal Doctor cc. Prods: Greg Simpson, Jonty Acton TV Series

Bally Cullen Guesthouse Ad

Panache Video Productions Prod: Liesel Eiselen Corporate Bitter Root

Imageworks Dir: Kerry Negara Documentary BLITZ PATROLLIE

Turn It Out

Diprente Films Prod: Kagiso Lediga Feature



Turn It Out

Calafornia: Valley Christian School Transformation

Fuel Media Dance show

NHU Africa Exec Prods: Vyv Simson / Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary Fuel Media Productions Dir: Ben Brewster Dance Reality show Verraaiers (Traitors)

White Heron Pictures/Film Factory / Bos Bok Ses Films / Spier Films Dir: Paul Eihlers Drama VKB BRANDING LAUNCH

FC Hamman Films Prod: FC Hamman Corporate Video VILLA ROSA

Spectro Productions Dirs: Luhann Jansen / Andries van der Merwe/ Leroux Botha/ Isabel Smit TV Drama WEEKEND LIVE

SABC News Current Affairs

When The World Was Here

Fuel Media Productions Dir: Mzilikazi Kumalo Documentary Series

Why are We so Angry?

Fuel Media Productions Dir: Scott Smith, Shaft Moropane Documentary Series

Owami Entertainment Dir: Charles Khuele Short Film

Media Village Prod: Diane Vermooten Documentary CHAMELEON

NHU Africa Exec Prod: Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary CHEETAH DIARIES 2

NHU Africa Exec Prods: Vyv Simson / Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary DANGEROUS TRAILS – ELEPHANTS IN THE MINEFIELDS

NHU Africa Exec Prod: Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary DEAR SISTER

Media Village Prod: Debbie Matthee Short Film ENDANGERED

NHU Africa Exec Prod: Sophie Vartan Wildlife Documentary Series HARTLAND

Bottomline Entertainment / Fix Post Production Michael Modena TV Drama

P R O D U C T I O N U P D A T E S Hong Kong

Media Village Prod: Diane Vermooten Documentary IQILI

Impucuzeko Prod: Sharon Kakora Feature Israel Inside (Working Title)

Imagination Productions / Wayne Kopping Films Dir: Wayne Kopping Documentary Kemang?

lmol Production Dir: Lizzy Moloto Feature Film JULIUS HAS A DREAM

Creative South Africa, Nkanyethi Productions,Jam TV Prod: Bathelemy Ngwessam Documentary Launch of the Academy of Young SA Scientists


Free State Balloon Fiesta



Talent Attack TV / Fuel Media Productions Dir: Maxine Nel Technology Magazine Show Tandem Communications Exec Prod: Jonas Bauer / Rola Bauer Feature Triple O

Monarchy Prod: Mosibudi Pheeha Feature True Dream ( Revised Version)

South African Great Movies Production Dir: John Wani Feature Film

Vallejo Transformation

Media Village Prod: Diane Vermooten Corporate Vehicle 19

Panache Video Productions Prod: Liesel Eiselen Documentary

Forefront Media Group / Pictue Tree / The Safran Company Exec Prod: Paul Walker Feature

Lepelle Northern Water


SummerTime Productions Prod: Sean Gardiner Corporate LION’S TRACK

Two Oceans Production Prods: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature MARRY – ANN

Shadow Films Dir: David Forbes Documentary

Melodi Jazz Festival 2011

L. Dukashe Productions Dir: Lumko Dukashe Live Concert DvD

National Heritage Council Educational Outreach Programme

Panache Video Productions Exec Prod: Amos Mlaudzi Corporate PERFECT SHISHEBO

Curious Pictures Prod: Nthabiseng Mokoena AFP – Cooking Show PURPLE TOWN

Sukuma Media Dir: Bonginhlanhla Ncube Documentary RESTYLE MY STYLE

Curious Pictures Prod: Anita van Hemert Children’s Programming

Media Village Prod: Debbie Matthee Documentary WALKING IN VICTOR’S SHOES

Current Affairs Films SA Prod: Jane Thandi Lipman Feature Documentary WELLBODI BIZNES

Plexus Films / Four Corners Media Prod: Miki Redelinghuys Documentary ZAMA ZAMA

Kokamoya Productions Prod: Bertus van der Walt Feature ZION

Letcosmart Prod: Zibusiso Nkomo Feature


Curious Pictures Prod: Stephane Coetzee Drama AFRICA CALLING

Two Oceans Production Prods: Giselher Venzke / Bertha Spieker Feature Afri-Infra Overview 2010

River of Stones

Panache Video Productions Dir: Adele de Klerk Corporate



Prod: Wiseman Mabusela Documentary Our Time Productions Dir: Jaun de Meillon Series on SuperSport SCAREDYKAT

FC Hamman Films PM: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video


Dirty Soul Productions Dir: Kyle Lewis Horror Feature Film

SMS Multimedia Inc Dir: Seyi Specialborn Akanbi Feature


Sms Multimedia Line Prod: Temitope Akanbi Feature

Philip Schedler Productions Prod: Philip Schedler Corporate SLENDER WONDER

FC Hamman Films Prod Man: Odette van Jaarsveld Corporate Video South african Field Band Foundation Championships

Panache Video Productions Prod: Liesel Eiselen Documentary STETSON HATS

Fourth Dimension Films / Creative Photo Services Dir: Neil Hermann Corporate Stolen Time

Prod: Eric Myeni Feature

Tanzanian Investment Opportunities

Benchmark Productions Dir: Dermod Judge Corporate


Child On-Line Protection Week

Imageworks Dir: Anthony Irving TV ad

Dept of Social Development Congress

FC Hamman Films Prod Man: Odette van Jaarsveld Three-day corporate event DUMISANI FILM TOUR

Creative Pictures / Genius Productions Dir: Vusi Dumisani Nhlapo Documentary

Evocative AfricaVentures of Discovery

Imageworks Prod: Anthony Irving Corporate ZG Films Prod: Javed Jafferji Feature GULUVA

BIP Films Dir: BI Phakathi Feature Film IMATU 3 DAY CONGRESS

FC Hamman Films Prod Man: Odette van Jaarsveld Three-day Corporate Event JOURNEY TO STATE HOUSE

ZG Films Prod: Javed Jafferji Documentary


Tekweni TV Productions Prod: Sandra Herrington Documentary KAN EK SO LEEF

Liquid Gate Creative Studios Prod: Kobus Swart Music Video Ke mo fumane

StreTalk Productions Bobby Mokhema TV drama KING NAKI

Technology Innovation Agency CEO Address

Panache Video Productions Prod: Liesel Eiselen Corporate

1 – 4


Cannes, France

5 – 12

The African Film Festival Australia

Sydney 10 – 15

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA)

Hollywood, CA 14 – 19


Las Vegas, USA 24 – 28

The Douala Audiovisual Meetings (3rd RADO)

Cameroon 25 – 30

AfrikaBurn Festival

Northern Cape 26 Apr – 1 May Pink Loerie Mardi Gras

Knysna, South Africa


Matrix, Klas van 2011

Cape Town

Laurie Botha Entertainment Dir: Laurie Botha Reality

Mentalist Martial Arts

Panache Video Productions Dir: Ryan Blumenthal Training Mutshenzhe

Dzivha Production Exec Prod: Walter Gumbu Feature Film My Perfect family

Bunt Onion Productions Prod: Rethabile Ramaphakela Comedy National Heritage Council Educational Outreach Programme

Pananche Video Productions Documentary PROGRESS

Periphery Films Dir: Simon Taylor Feature Documentary ROCKING FUTURE

Summertime Productions Prod: Sean Gardiner / Tanya Vandenberg Educational Video Sweet Serinity

Our Time Productions Dir: Juan de Meillon Corprate TIMELAPSE

Team GR8 (for 48 HFP) Writers: Carl Roddam / Deon van der Merwe Short Film THE BETRAYAL

Shakarny Inovations Prod: James Kingston Feature THE MEDUPI WAY

Panache Video Productions Exec Prod: Adele De Klerk Corporate Your Love Never Fails: Fred de Meillon

Our Time Productions Dir: Juan de Meillon Corprate

Supreme Launch Video (Joe Public)

Fuel Media Productions Dir: Paul Llewellyn Corporate VISCOUNT DOWN

Food with Friends

WEC Projects Corporate Video

Msasa Enterprises Dir: Harmon Cusack Feature PSP Productions Dir: Philip Schedler Corporate


Luna Films / On Land Productions Prods: Bridget Pickering / Richard Pakleppa Feature


Plexus Films Prod: Miki Redelinghuys Documentary

Clifton Publications Gerald Cubitt Photographic book publication Studio Republic Prod: Darren Kerr Talk Show

Events |

1 – 5 May


The Cilect Congress

Harare International Festival of Arts

Harare, Zimbabwe 3 – 6

The Awareness Film & Arts Festival

Los Angeles, CA 7 – 11

INPUT 2012

Sidney, Australia 16 – 27

Cannes International Film Festival

Cannes, France 21 – 24

The TV Show Africa


JUNE 7 – 24

Encounters South African International Documentary Film Festival

Cape Town / Johannesburg 17 – 23

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Cannes, France

JULY 19 – 29

33rd Durban International Film Festival

Durban 20 – 23

3rd Durban FilmMart

Durban 20 – 24

5th Talent Campus Durban

Durban 7 – 15 July

Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF)


OCTOBER 13 – 21

FCAT Córdoba African Film Festival

Córdoba, Spain content&view=article&id=94:convocatoria-cine home&catid=1:latest-news 30 – 31

IP&TV ME and North Africa 2012


Screen Africa relies on accuracy of information received and cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur. E-mail production updates to:

NOVEMBER 27 – 28


Dubai April 2012 | SCREENAFRICA | 41

Continued from page 1 | Film zooms in on Durban “Most of the work that comes into Durban is service work generated by production companies based in Johannesburg and Cape Town. So, we believe it’s important to re-engage with these producers and encourage them to shoot in Durban,” says the DFO’s acting CEO Toni Monty. The DFO is also gearing up for the 3rd Durban FilmMart (DFM) – a joint venture between the DFO and the Durban International Film Festival – which provides selected African filmmakers with the opportunity to pitch film projects to leading financiers. The DFM also facilitates networking opportunities in order for African and international filmmakers to form alliances for future collaborations, as

SAFTAS soldiers on However, there was a mention of indicating that it was not happy with the SAFTAS going ahead with announcing the channel’s winners.” Mkosi stresses that the NFVF does not believe any damage was done to the SAFTAS reputation. “We would like to emphasise that the SAFTAS needs all industry stakeholders, including all the broadcasters, to ensure that all South African talent is recognised, regardless of

well as a series of masterclasses and workshops led by international guest experts on the subject of film finance models and project packaging. Monty elaborates: “The team has just finalised collation of the 2012 project submissions which are currently being evaluated by the reader panel. It is a very exciting time for the DFM team. I have personally noted an improved quality of projects this year and I am looking forward to receiving the official 2012 selection at the end of April. “The project evaluation process also guides the team as to the profile of overseas participants that need to be targeted – it’s like a matchmaking process – and the team will be working diligently over the next six weeks to which channel their work is being broadcast on, to make the SAFTAS the premier film awards in the country.” In the statement released by on 5 March, head of Channels Monde Twala said: “We have tried to address our concerns on numerous occasions in the last two years with the SAFTAS committee and through the NFVF representatives. The credibility of the SAFTAS should be a priority and therefore there is a greater need for transparency, fairness, a particularly well

finalise these preparations in good time for the event which runs from 20 to 23 July.” “We are in the process of reviewing several DFO projects and part of the process involves working with very young filmmakers in the city who are making films according to the Nollywood model. “These proactive emerging filmmakers have approached the DFO for help,” explains Monty. “They have recently established the Ethekwini Filmmakers Association to represent emerging filmmakers in Durban and we’re working with them to better understand their particular market. The DFO has been conducting ongoing research into the exact workings of a number of micro-filmmaking models, outlined judging process and formalised structure. Some critical decisions are made outside the involvement of committee members, hence our effort to achieve a structured committee that has clear objectives and takes full accountability for the process.” Zama responds: “As we have indicated in previous comments, all the broadcasters are required to express their dissatisfaction or concern during the SAFTAS committee meetings. At the time released its statement, the committee was unaware of any dissatisfaction. “The committee comprises all stakeholders including the broadcasters. During the interactions, the representative, who was present at the meetings and copied on all communication, was always aware of all matters discussed but never uttered any dissatisfaction.” Screen Africa received this comment from Twala in response: “The channel has consulted with all its stakeholders internally on the matter – this includes production companies, cast and crews who work closely with us. Our concerns about the SAFTAS are industry-wide issues and we need to promote excellence across the various disciplines in the industry. We believe we can achieve this if we work together openly.”

7de Laan When the SAFTAS nominations were announced on 16 February, the press highlighted that two-time previous winner of the SAFTAS Best Soap category, 7de Laan, chose not to enter the competition and was thus not eligible for the public vote which decides the winner of this category. Said 7de Laan line producer Colin Howard: “It wasn’t our intention to grandstand or publicly boycott the SAFTAS. We just felt that, given what we felt were shortcomings in the process, we wouldn’t participate. Of course the popular press ran with the story. “However, we were unaware that we would not be eligible for the public vote for Best Soap. The judging process is 42 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

including the Nollywood and even Bollywood models, to see how the DFO could support a similar local model. “The Ethekwini filmmakers are a new breed of independent filmmakers, even smaller than what are known as ‘micro filmmakers’. They make films for between R100 000 and R150 000. They have captive audiences and township stars are beginning to emerge. “It is an interesting model that should not be ignored when considering the developmental challenges in our local industry. I believe there are some important lessons to be learned here. This dynamic is not unique to Durban and is happening in other South African cities but I don’t think enough attention has been given to this space. handed over to the public, then why not the nomination process?” According to Zama, it will still be a requirement in all future SAFTAS competitions that an official submission must be made for projects to be eligible for nominations. “The rules state that for all projects or programmes to be eligible for SAFTAS entry, they should be submitted to the NFVF before the closing date. 7de Laan did not submit any entries.” Regarding their rationale for not entering the 2012 competition, Howard stresses that the 7de Laan producers had mentioned their concerns to the SAFTAS committee previously. “We believe the performance judging panel should be made up of peers, preferably with soap experience. There also needs to be sufficient representation of all the languages soaps are broadcast in on the panel. Finally, rather than requesting episodes, producers should be able to submit compilations of scenes (as soaps are a continuous, daily body of work), showcasing their best work, for each entrant. And of course the panel needs to be as impartial as possible. “In other SAFTAS categories there are awards for wardrobe, directing, set design, writing etc. Yet the SAFTAS will only consider these in the soap category if specially motivated. I don’t understand why the SAFTAS makes exceptions of the creative people working for soaps,” explains Howard. He stresses that awards like the SAFTAS have an important role in promoting the local industry. “However, if the major players in the industry are not part of the awards, everyone is cheated and even the achievements of the winners are diminished, which is unfortunate.” At the moment the SAFTAS is fully funded by the NFVF – an arrangement that was never meant to be a long term. Zama concludes: “The NFVF is excited about the future of the SAFTAS and we would like to call upon all the stakeholders and business to invest in the awards. We are investigating the viability of establishing an independent Academy to run the SAFTAS.”

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Continued from page 1 |

Slate funding latest Johannesburg-based Fuze Films is a female and majority black owned media company, awarded the slate funding with the aim of empowering women filmmakers. Zikethiwe Ngcobo will head up the producing element, Mokopi Shale the development and story components and Cati Weinek will focus on creative excellence. “The funding allows us to get onto the first rung in the film industry and become a sustainable production company. We are new voices that can reflect on previously unseen aspects of life in South Africa,” note Ngcobo, Shale and Weinek. They have started development on their first four features – two comedies, an epic romance and a thriller. “Our mission is to generate uniquely African content, made by women, that is market and profit-driven, while challenging the established benchmark of quality and production. We are going to develop women feature film directors as well as producers,” they add. According to RealEyes Films’ Judy Naidoo, she and producer / director Sara Blecher partnered to submit a proposal for slate funding because they share the same vision. “Throughout this process, the aim is to

44 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

levelling the playing field – Junaid Ahmed

advance women on all levels of the production chain. In terms of development, the funds allow us to adequately compensate talent for their efforts and support them in their growth. It also enables us to function as a proper structured company with systems and processes, which will ultimately establish a strong foundation from which to grow,” explains Naidoo.

Two of their three films for development this year have been approved by the NFVF, and they intend to pitch the third project soon. She notes that producers often have to dig into their own shallow pockets to finance films. “With the slate we have the opportunity to develop nine films in three years! This is a huge blessing. We have the opportunity to build our credibility as filmmakers and provide investors with confidence in our ability to deliver outstanding films. Just as important an outcome is that women’s voices will be heard telling their own stories in their own unique way.” Zwana notes that the three production houses all encompass a strong training and development ethic as well as a real desire to unearth previously disadvantaged and undiscovered emerging talent in the fields of producing, directing and writing. “They were also

intent on engaging with the public in attempts to uncover the ‘real’ stories and help to get these stories put to script and hopefully eventually to the big screen.” Over the past five years the NFVF has awarded slate funding to two production companies with specific developmental and sustainability objectives. “The first slate, awarded to Dv8 Films, was very clearly targeted at providing black directors a shot at their first feature in a supportive environment and also involved the training of black heads of department. The second slate, in its second year, was awarded to Rogue Star Productions on the basis of a unique low budget commercial concept. They have released 31 Million Reasons which performed well at the box office and proved commercial viability. They are currently developing their second feature, which should be going into production early next year,” notes Zwana. – Linda Loubser

Mission impossible? “There may be a headlong rush to do it without proper planning. Job creation may go out of the window and we may not be able to build content industries. And what about universal access to the DTT signal? If we throw out all our development goals what does that do to public investment? I believe that migration should be a legacy project,” stated Dr Boloka. He noted that when digital migration planning commenced in South Africa in 2005 there were dedicated people attached to the project and the government and TV industry worked well together. “Now most of those people are gone and the industry has divided interests. There have been many changes in administration and priorities at the DOC since 2005, which has adversely affected projects like DTT.” On 22 March Minister of Communications Dina Pule formally launched the public awareness campaign to educate the South African public about the impending migration to DTT. The Minister confirmed that the commercial launch of DTT would take place in the third quarter of this year. At the CTO Forum Dr Boloka pointed out the emerging risks associated with DTT: immense cost of migration; readiness of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) broadcasters to fund new channels; accessible information for the public and raising awareness around the benefits of DTT; and a potential flood of noncompliant digital TVs and set top boxes (STBs). “We need decisive regulators to deal with competing interests,” continued Boloka. “Regulators must aggressively drive the DTT project in the public interest. What about the original value proposition of DTT to the consumer

— the diversity of local content as opposed to programme repeats and foreign content? “There is also the issue of escalating costs versus ongoing economic downturns and declining revenues. In South Africa how we will deal with STB subsidies for poor households is going to be a big challenge, not to mention the administration costs involved. It’s easy to make decisions but difficult to implement them. Plus there is an ever increasing number of TV owning households in South Africa. “In terms of nationwide DTT coverage, areas like the Northern Cape are vast with sparse populations so terrestrial transmission will be very expensive. Satellite may be a better option for these non-primary markets.” He revealed that the South African government has allocated over R2.1bn to parastatal signal distributor Sentech, public broadcaster SABC and for STB subsidies. “We need to revise our DTT plans for a lasting public contribution. Critical actions such as these require regionalisation and the creation of economies of scale in manufacturing capacity. African countries must build viable and bigger content markets, share skills and relax policies to foster regional integration. Ownership and control rules and local content quotas are both regional and continent issues,” concluded Boloka. According to figures in Russell Southwood’s Balancing Act, an online publication, only five out of 54 countries in Africa have launched DTT; 10 countries are in the pilot stage; 20 countries are doing nothing; and the status is unknown in the remaining countries. – Joanna Sterkowicz

January 2012 This monthly feature selects prominent local productions and ranks them in terms of audience ratings (ARs). Selected foreign programmes are shown only for comparison. ARs are weighted over the period of transmission and the number of transmissions during the calendar month. Data is supplied by the South African Advertising Research Foundation and processed by Interactive Market Systems (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd.

The cream of the local productions

Key: Day/s refers to the day or days of the week the programme is transmitted. Frequency refers to how often it is transmitted – D=Daily, W=Weekly, S (followed by a number) indicates a series of that number of episodes. Television Universe estimated at 5.232 million households. One ratings point of all viewers

Jan 2012 AR

Dec 2011 AR

16: 40 M-F S5









Docu 19: 30 Mon W




7de Laan

Soap 18: 30 M-F S5




Carte Blanche

Maga 19: 00 Sun




SABC3 Rank Programme 1 Mr Bones 2: Back From The Past 2 Mr Bean’s Holiday 3 Top Billing 4 Survivor Samoa 5 Isidingo – R M-Net Rank Programme 1 Carte Blanche 2 Inception 3 The Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage of The Dawn Treader 4 Gulliver’s Travels 5 The Green Hornet Rank Programme 1 Lotto Draw Live 2 Dr Dolittle III 3 Rhythm City 4 Aquamarine 5 Godzilla

Date Genre AR 03/01/2012 Dram 16.4 10/01/2012 Vari 11.0 11/01/2012 Sitc 9.8 12/01/2012 Actu 9.3 20/01/2012 Docu 8.9


Actu 18: 30 Sun






Soap 20: 00 M-F S5




Gospel Gold






Isidingo: The Need

Soap 19: 30 M-F S5




Jam Alley






Live Lotto Draw

Quiz 21.30 W/S S2




Date 29/01/2012 07/01/2012 31/01/2012 30/01/2012 10/01/2012

Genre AR Movi 10.8 Movi 7.4 Maga 6.7 Real 6.1 Soap 6.0

Morning Live

Maga 06: 00 M-F S5





Dram 21: 00 M-T S4




News at Seven

News 19: 00 Daily D




News at Seven on 3

News 19: 00 Daily D





Maga 19: 30 W





Rhythm City

Soap 18: 30 M-F S5




Date Genre AR 29/01/2012 Maga 1.1 22/01/2012 Movi 0.9


Dram 19: 30 M-T S4






18: 00 Wed W




Special Assignment


21: 00 Thu W




08/01/2012 Movi 01/01/2012 Movi 15/01/2012 Movi

0.9 0.9 0.9

Top Billing

Maga 20: 00 Tue





Y-Ent Vari Vari D e 1.8 2.2

Date Genre AR 21/01/2012 Comp 12.8 21/01/2012 Movi 12.5 23/01/2012 Dram 11.9 14/01/2012 Movi 11.7 28/01/2012 Movi 11.0



3 Talk


3rd Degree

Actu 21: 30 Tue

brought to you by

Statistics shown are for the period February 2012. The Collective Dream laboratory in Cape Town and the FILM LAB @ Media Film Service have chosen not to release statistics at this stage. The Johannesburg Lab is going through a slow period with no feature work and a minimal number of commercials processed. Bulk printing reveals that 38 features have been printed as well as 850 trailers and 752 commercials. These figures are again down on the previous period and tend to indicate a general falling off of print and processing work. Media Move reports that it did 832 transfers of commercials in February, while Adstream reports 730 commercial deliveries, which is more than double for the same period last month. We would like to thank the Johannesburg Laboratory, Media Move and Adstream for the information they have supplied to us. We make no attempt to identify the title of the production, or the



18: 00 Fri


Top foreign shows Days of Our Lives

Soap 17: 40 M-F S5




WWE Wrestling Smackdown

Spor 20: 30 W





The Bold and the Beautiful

Soap 18: 30 M-F S5




The above represents a selection of programmes only, and is calculated on the total calendar month’s weighted average of the total audience over all age groups. If you want a particular programme included please contact Enid Venter on +27 (0)11 339-1051 or email The purpose of the schedule is to show the types of programmes South African audiences view, and to what extent.

We feature the top five shows viewed for each of the channels.




SABC2 Rank Programme 1 Muvhango 2 Powerball 3 Moferefere Lenyalong 4 Speak Out 5 In The Name Of Love

Date Genre AR 23/01/2012 Soap 23.4 03/01/2012 Dram 19.2 09/01/2012 Dram 18.3 05/01/2012 Dram 16.8 24/01/2012 Dram 16.6

Start Time


represents about 145 590 viewers.Key to genres: Actu: Actuality, Docu: Documentary, Dram: Drama, Educ: Education, Maga: Magazine, Musi: Music, News: News, Quiz: Game Show, Real: Real life, Reli: Religion, Sitc: Sitcom, Soap: Soap, Spor: Sport, Vari: Variety, Y.Ent: Youth Entertainment,

The top five programmes   SABC1 Rank Programme 1 Generations 2 Soul City 3 Zone 14 4 Skeem Saam 5 Montana

| Audience Ratings

Statistics for February 2012 Through the labs: Johannesburg Features 0

Shorts Commercials 0 0

Doccies 16mm 35mm 2 1 1

Commercials submitted to broadcasters via: Media Move for February 2012: 832

Adstream for February 2012: 730

production house or any other information as this is often confidential information – we supply simply the numbers. We rely on the co-operation of broadcasters, suppliers of commercial material to broadcasters and local film laboratories for information, however at the moment local broadcasters are not forthcoming in providing these vital statistics. Efforts will continue to be made to build on this statistical data base in order to improve the accuracy, and should readers have comments or other ideas in terms of statistic gathering, please send an e-mail to Your comments would be appreciated.

April 2012 | SCREENAFRICA | 45

The Red Carpet



Gemma Nkadimeng, Siphei Mashishi and Petros Terro (head of Performing and Arts DAC)

Dennis and Aggy Maake with Thapelo Pila

Gavin Lombard and Rachelle Keeling

Trusty Ndimande and Naomi Mokhele

Marc Schwinges (Underdog)

Antoinette Engel (Penguin Films), Dylan Valley (Afrikaaps) and Dylans MacDonald

Wilma Rall (Big Fish), George Finnis, (Campus of Performing Arts), Connie Mosegedi (Big Fish), Akhe Beku (editor), Dr Melanie Chait (CEO Big Fish), Karabo Mangena (friend), Sanele Makhubu (director) and Phumlani Veto (Big Fish graduate)

Award Winners

Sonja Hodgen and Alistair Hetherington

Mabatho Ramagoshi (NFVF) and Joyce Maluleke

Trevor and Lucille Gumbi

Mathapelo Mofokeng, Brendan Barnes. Zee Ntuli, Benita Khoosal, Karien Goosen Front: Themba Ntuli

Junaid Allie and Cherel Dys-Allie

Bernadette Maguire and Dudley Saundos

Themba Ntuli and Adelaide Joshua-Hill

Joe Mafela

Best Talk Show: Urban Brew Studios (Tonight with Trevor Noah)

Best Variety Show: Studio 1 (Magic Factory)

Best Magazine Show: All Access Mzanzi EP3 & EP14 (Homebrew Films)

Best Game Show: Kom Ons Karaoke (Urban Brew Studios)

Best Music Show: Club 808 (Red Pepper). Cecil Barry

Best News & Actuality Programme: Speak Out (Red Pepper)

Best Reality Show: Jam Sandwich (Meerkat Media and Mahala Media)

Best Editor of a Wildlife Programme: Elmien Fourie (Crocodile Ganglands)

Best Producer of a Wildlife Programme: Peter Lamberti, Phil Fairclough and Benjamin Hewett (Cameramen Who Dare – Shark Swarm)

Best Wildlife Programme: Big Cat Odyssey (Wildlife Films)

Best Student Film: Umkhumbi Wethu (Our Ship) (AFDA)

Best Short Film: Dirty Laundry (Stealth Donkey Moving Pictures)

Photos by Trevor Ou Tim

Best Animation: Jungle Beat – This Little Light of Mine (Sunrise Productions)

Best Cinematographer of a Documentary: Ryley Grunenwald (Dawn of a New Day)

Best Documentary Short: Made in China (Born Free Media)

Best Documentary Feature: Surfing Soweto (Cinga Productions). Sara Blecher

The Red Carpet


Larissa Peters and Renate Schulz

Phuti Khomo (actress, radio DJ, Kgotso and Jo-Anne Twala television presenter and model)

Lele Ledwaba (The Wild, Stokvel)

Award Winners

Pearl Thusi and Boity Thulo

Best TV Drama: Curious Pictures & Ants Multimedia (Intersexions)

Zwai Bala (musician) and Vusi Kunene (Isidingo)

Khanyisile Nxumalo and Sandile Nxumalo

Katlego Danke (Generations)

Bongi Sikakane and Themba Sibeko

Bhoza Mphela and Thabo Maserumule

Boikie and Mary Pholo

The Wild’s Milan Murray and Josette Eales

Sarah Kozlowski (actress / model)

Nothemba Madumo and Melanie Bala

Best Editor of a Feature Film: Tanja Hagen and Adam Broer (Paradise Stop)

Best Supporting Actress of a Feature Film: Desire Gardner as “Erika Rademan” (Roepman)

Best Supporting Actor in A Feature Best Actress in a TV Soap: Best Writer / Writing Team Film: Patrick Mofokeng as “Willie” Karin Van Der Laag as “Maggi” of a TV Comedy: Writing Team (Isidingo) (Master Harold And The Boys) (Proesstraat). Karen Meiring accepting on behalf of Proesstraat

Best Actress in a TV Comedy: Mimi Dishego as “Josephine” (Ga Re Dumele)

Best Director of a Feature Film: Oliver Hermanus (Skoonheid)

Best Ensemble in a TV Comedy: Stokvel (Penguin Films)

Bailey Schneider (radio personality) Rolie Nikiwe (director) and and Susana Kennedy (actress) Khobi Ledwaba

Samson Khumalo (The Coconuts) and Meme Ditshego (Ga Re Dumele)

Skoonheid actors Michelle Scott and Deon Lotz

Best Writer / Writing Team of Etana Insurance Best Feature Best Cinematographer of a a TV Drama: Brent Quinn, Linda Film: Black Butterflies (Spier Films). Feature Film: Giulio Biccari Bere and Team (Intersexions EP20) Paul Raleigh and Michael Auret (Black Butterflies)

Muvhango’s Themba Nofemele

Zenande Mfenyana (Generations)

Shoki Mokgapa (Retribution)

Calvin and Kgomotso Christopher

Tsholofelo Maforah and Thato Molamu (Generations)

Best Sound Designer of a Feature Film – Simon Ratcliffe (Retribution)

Best Music Composition in a Feature Film: Philip Miller (Black Butterflies)

Best Costume Design of a TV Drama: Nadia Kruger, Phillipa Heydenrych and Themba Quongo (Zone 14)

Best Technical Team of a TV Soap: M-Net (The Wild EP1)

Best TV Comedy – Gauteng Best Supporting Actress in a TV Drama: Harriet Manamela as “Ntombi Maboneng (Engage-Entertainment, Rous House Productions) Ntshebe” (Sokhulu and Partners)

Best Writer / Writing Team of a Feature Film: Timothy Greene (Skeem)

Best Ensemble in a TV Soap: Isidingo (Endemol South Africa)

Photos by Kobus Loubser

Social | Inkaba launch, Urban Brew Studios

Alby Michaels

Magic Hlatswayo

Nompilo Gwala

Dr John Kani

Scandal’s 1 500th Episode Celebration

Petronella Tshuma and Nthati Moshesh

Indra De Lanerolle (executive producer – Ochre Media)

Brian Khawula

Mzansi Magic’s Nkateko Mabaso, Lebone Maema and Thabo T Mokwele

National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) distribution and marketing forum

Brighton Ngoma, Siyabonga Shibe and Kagiso Modupe

Minki Thulo from SABC acquisitions and Kevin Fleischer, executive producer of Otelo Burning

NFVF council member Paul Raleigh and Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat of Light and Dark Films

Ilse van Hemert (series producer)

Corlene Furstenberg (costume designer) and Lindi Badenhorst (props mistress)

Natalie Prinsloo, Line Producer and Sello Maake kaNcube

CTO Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum Fireworx Media’s Neil Brand, NFVF council member Trish Downing and Dezi Rorich of Metal Moon Marketing

T T Gumede and 0 Dipatane, both from Botswana’s Digital Migration Task Force

Russell Southwood (Balancing Act) with Christoph Limmer (SES)

Lynn Mansfield (SADIBA),

Director of Otelo Burning, Sara Blecher, the Durban Film Office’s Toni Monty and the NFVF’s Thandeka Zwana

Bashir Patel (CTO) IDC’s Doris Mpela, director/producer Akin Omotoso and Trishana Thevnarain of the IDC

Head of the IDC’s Media and Motion Pictures unit Basil Ford and Zanele Mthembu of Sabido Productions

Advertisers List | Gumani Malebusha, Hangwani Nditsheni, Portia Mkhwanazi, Victor Nkwane (green shirt) and Ramagoma Mahape, all from ICASA

Bethuel Makola (ICASA) and Pearl Seopela (Department of Communications)

Aldred Dreyer (NBC), Lindiwe Ludonga (DTVI Technologies), Gladwin Letsoalo (Ludonga)

M-Net launches MasterChef South Africa

Amy Kleinhans Kurd, Benny Masekwameng, Ashley Hayden 48 | SCREENAFRICA | April 2012

Rozanne McKenzie, Mellinda Bam, Amy Kleinhans Kurd and Natasha Wadvalla

Faye Peters and Michelle Bradshaw

AJA Video Systems.......................19 Atlas Studios..................................39 Avid..................................................25 Avmark Systems ..........................40 BlackGinger......................................7 Blackmagic Design........................11 Blade bfx...........................................1 Case Connection, The.................40 Durban Film Office (DFO) ................................FC Foreground Music.........................42 General Post .................................38 Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) .............................................45 Harambe Technologies................... IBC Harris...............................................21

IDC..................................................43 Inala Broadcast..............................17 Jasco..................................IFC Jaycor...............................................35 Keystone...........................................5 Motion Pix......................................30 Obeco..............................................44 On Air Systems............ OBC Panasonic........................................15 Photo Hire.....................................33 Pro-Sales.........................................23 Puma Video...........27 / 38 / 39 / 40 Sony...................................................9 Syntech............................................35 Telemedia........................................29 Vision Cases...................................38 Visual Impact..................................30

No. 35, 11th Road, Kew, Johannesburg, 2029


Gauteng, South Africa

| Tel +2711 809 5240


Fax +2786 581 8337