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Discop Africa is the main yearly event for the professional workers of Film and Television on the continent. The last gathering, held in South Africa, proved to be the stage of a pan-African cultural renaissance. Companies and private stakeholders from the five continents met and mingled to pursue unique business opportunities and celebrate the awakening of cinema and popular culture in Africa.
win-win cooperation is the key word of the 2016 Discop gathering for the professionals of Film and Television in Africa. The business-to -business-based event was hosted in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Showcasing representatives from across the world, Discop will be the perfect stage for television and production companies to surf the booming industry of entertainment and information in Africa.
International participants found in the continental market a fertile land for business. The previous edition, that was organized last November in Johannesburg, South Africa, put together producers and creative minds of the industry in an effort to enhance the artistic and business aspects of the show business. With a constantly growing base of viewers and an expanding network of broadcast companies, Africa is the perfect ground for investments and for the export of audiovisual products. “Over the last two years,” said Christoph Limmer of Eutelsat, “I’ve witnessed the highest ever demand for broadcast services in Africa”.
Low costs policies and an abundance of unique scenarios for shoots have also caused an increasing presence of major film productions on the African soil. The choice ultimately contributed to the growth of expertise of the local workers in the industry and to a broader financial influx in the local market. Among many blockbusters filmed on the continent, “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2014) features numerous scenes shot in Johannesburg and Soweto (South Africa), and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) was shot in South Africa and Namibia.
If Hollywood is capturing Africa into the big screen, Bollywood and the Asian industry of entertainment are rapidly becoming the top exporters of movies and television formats on the continent. South African DStv announced the opening of three new channels that will broadcast Indian movies and television shows. China, guest country of last year’s Discop, was the second most represented at the gathering, after South Africa. Presenting movies, documentaries, TV formats and radio shows, the Chinese pavilion buzzed with business opportunities on the promise that the future of broadcast in Africa will be under the wing of the Asian dragon. European companies are also prepared to receive a share of the African Pandora box. France, traditionally bound to the West Coast by historical, cultural and linguistic ties, was the most active European country at Discop. The French Canal+ presented its expansion on the continent through sports. “We have 1.5 million subscribers in Africa,” stated François Deplanck, Director of Channels and Contents for the company, “and we host more than 50 channels in 20 different countries.” The palimpsest of Canal+ offers national and international football, basketball, fight sports, rugby, tennis, F1 and golf, as well as independent cinema and reality shows. “One of our most successful shows,” states Deplanck, “is a competition between hairdressers in Kinshasa.”
The revelation of Discop is the increase in local trends. Combined with the cooperation of countries of the likes of Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Cameroon, the growth of African-based companies and productions is impressive. Nadira Shakur, CoFounder of Nollywood Week Film