Johannesburg will once again host the world’s largest and most important Sub-Saharan African entertainment content market, DISCOP Johannesburg and welcome some of the most ambitious and talented people on the Continent, South Africa’s next generation of film and TV creators, producers and deal-makers.
The 6th edition of DISCOP Johannesburg will take place from October 25th to 27th at the Sandton Convention Centre, specifically scheduled so that it does not conflict with the American Film Market, enabling many more international delegates to attend.
Over 1,500 delegates representing multi-platform entertainment content businesses from across Africa and the globe will converge in Johannesburg for three days of deal-making and networking. Participants come from over 70 countries and include distributors, acquisition and development executives, producers, and financiers.
Confirmed exhibitors for this year’s event include the likes of Fox, NBC Universal, BBC, ZEE Entertainment, CBS, Viacom, Lionsgate, Dreamworks, Televisa, Indiacast, Kanal D, Turner, TV5 MONDE, Deutsche Welle, NHK, CCTV, SkyVision, Telemundo, TV Azteca, ZDF, Paramount, Mondo TV, Global Agency and others leading film and television companies.
Over the years, DISCOP Johannesburg has also established itself as a pivotal destination for independent creators and producers seeking knowledge-transfer, funding, partnerships, and distribution opportunities.
To further service this interest and to provide further opportunities for independent distributors, DISCOP Johannesburg will present a new sidebar initiative dubbed, THE NEXT GEN PROGRAM, aimed specifically at assisting South Africa’s next generation of film and tv creators, producers, and deal-makers to learn from the pros, perfect their pitch projects, and network with key industry players.
“The program aims to guide and nurture the next wave of South Africa’s talented producers and provide them with expert guidance and top-level industry networking opportunities to develop content and monetize entertainment content,” explains Patrick Zuchowicki, founding manager of the DISCOP markets.
Asa result of a new partnership with DISCOP Johannesburg, announced by The African Animation Network (AAN), up and coming animators will be able to take part in the continent’s only pan-African animation pitching competition planned with the support of Africa’s leading animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics associations (AVGC).
Nick Wilson, Project Manager of AAN explains further, “True to the AAN mandate, we provide AVGC associations across Africa with an open network and platform to market themselves at the DISCOP Abidjan and Johannesburg markets, the world’s premiere destinations for content made in Africa. We’re excited to explore the diversity of the African animation industry with the possibility of creating co-production and collaboration opportunities across borders and regions whilst simultaneously building capacity within the sector.”
The development, production, and monetization of short formats tailored to reach audiences via varied digital distribution streams will take center stage. A pitching competition sponsored by mahala.tv, Africa’s newest innovative distribution and funding platform and filmmaker community, will see a concerted outreach to independents, especially those creating short formats.
Mahala.tv CEO and well known South African director Gerhard Mostert has this to say of the partnership: “To celebrate the launch of mahala.tv, and to promote the importance of short formats within the digital space, mahala.tv has partnered with DISCOP Johannesburg to put out a call for short format content that will be showcased at the 3-day industry gathering. Mahala.tv is especially excited to be hosting the pitching competition and will be offering funding support to winners, as well as welcoming all independents to become part of a new global community of producers that will enable them to create, share, and monetize content.”
DISCOP Johannesburg’s NEXT GEN PROGRAM will also focus on the increasing potential of virtual reality, a new hot trend in the industry, with the global augmented reality and virtual reality markets expected to generate US$ 80 billion in revenues by 2020.
Major broadcasters such as Arte, France Television, National Geographic, Discovery, ZDF, Sky, BBC, ABC and NBC, to name a few, are already searching for virtual reality content.
As part of the program, producers can attend a series of master classes, talks, and round-table discussions with leading VR producers who will share their forecast for this exciting landscape and their vision on what role Africa can play in the VR industry. A VR Cinema hosted by INVR.SPACE. will allow participants to immerse themselves in the best virtual reality content, an experience that will inspire a new generation of projects for the years ahead.
Sönke KIRCHHOF, CEO of the German VR Studio INVR.SPACE, says: “We are more than happy that our partner DISCOP Johannesburg is featuring Virtual Reality as a serious and promising topic and invited us to present a selection of the latest and most impressive Cinematic VR content. We believe that VR can expand the limits of storytelling and can offer a new approach to cinematic experiences. As content from African continent and Filmmakers is still rare, we are especially excited to host this VR Cinema in South Africa and participate in a dialogue between German and African producers.”
Cooperation between independents from South Africa and Germany will also receive a major boost. The NEXT GEN PROGRAM will show how producers can use the South Africa- Germany film and television coproduction treaties to their advantage and how their cross-border cooperation incentives can deliver feature films, TV series, and documentaries that work around the world and would otherwise be impossible to finance.
“When it comes to setting up international partnership, South Africa has an obvious advantage and offers one of the most effective co-production treaties. The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is pleased to once again partner with DISCOP Johannesburg, in our efforts to increase relations between South Africa and Germany and enable the development and promotion of a transformed and thriving audiovisual industry in both countries,” adds Peter KWELE, NFVF Head of Marketing and Communications.
DISCOP organizes two industry gatherings a year in Abidjan (May) and Johannesburg (November) that are aimed at Sub-Saharan Africa’s fast emerging multi-platform marketplace. 2,500+ delegates attend both markets each year including 250+ global and regional sellers of feature films, television content, adaptation rights and packaged channels.