The upcoming edition, which will be held from Wednesday, 20 November to Friday, 22 November, will strive to put a strong emphasis on African television projects in development, partnerships with South Africa, the booming animation sector and the export of content produced on the continent.

According to DISCOP Johannesburg, co-production in international television is expanding and Africa can play an increasingly influential role in getting projects off the ground. Competitive incentive programmes are already available in countries such as South Africa, Kenya and Senegal.

This year's edition of DISCOP Johannesburg will aim to focus on African content producers with works in progress to reach out to key players in Africa and beyond who could bring added value to projects in development.

"Not since the invention of television has Africa exercised such an influence on the creation of original multiscreen content," says Patrick Zuchowicki, president of DISCOP. "DISCOP Johannesburg [2019] will see three times more projects with cross-border potential brought to the market by African producers than in 2018."

The event will focus on works in progress and fostering co-productions, which will be brought to life via the side-bar DISCOPRO programme. DISCOP that will see more than 50 speakers, including many intrepid disruptors on stage for panel discussions.

Discussions will orient the eight key pillars of the industry’s current transformation:  

  1. What buyers actually want
  2. Exporting African content
  3. The content monetization challenge
  4. Stop fake news
  5. Empowering women in media
  6. The united world of animation
  7. The nascent and super fast-growing video gaming competition sector
  8. Why dubbed content is so important
Additionally, 16 works in progress of international standard and with a set delivery date will be pitched by their producers in front of key regional and international industry players that can help these projects take off.

They will be regrouped into four categories:
  • TV series
  • Formats
  • Documentary
  • Animation
Sponsored by The Africa Channel, a series of masterclasses and a panel discussion led by experts from around the world will aim to address how independent producers can export their content and best adapt to the fast-paced world of multicultural television.

Four sessions will provide a course of study on what makes a project aimed at multicultural audiences actually sell in today's challenging environment.

"Broadcasters, premium cable channels and streaming platforms from around the world are starting to recognise the value of African content," says Narendra Reddy, general manager of The Africa Channel.

"However, producers on the continent need to be proactive and actively participate in creating opportunities for distribution. Furthermore, while production should continuously evolve to global standards in terms of technical quality, producers should endeavor to develop stories that are authentic, local and culturally specific," Reddy adds.

A tutorial track will put the country's rebates system under the spotlight and will strive to examine the benefits available through co-production treaties that exist between South Africa and The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada and Australia.

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