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DISCOP Abidjan in partnership with the African Animation Network (AAN) will host the 3rd annual  Animation du Monde pitching competition next month and entries are now open.

As Africa’s animation industry continues to develop, and  in recognition of the challenges that creators face in being able to reach a market, there will be a strong focus on animated short film and series.

 

DISCOP Abidjan is the second of 5 preliminary rounds of the Pan-African Animation du Monde 2020. Through the DISCOMICS footprint– an initiative run by DISCOP Markets and AAN– and which includes partnerships with 3 of Africa’s longest running comic conventions, AAN will be hosting 4 regional prelims in Johannesburg (at ICON CGC), Abidjan (DISCOP Abidjan), Lagos (at Lagos Comic Con), and Nairobi (Nairobi Comic Con).  Because the partners are always looking to create new opportunities for creators across Africa, AAN has partnered with the Accra Animation Film Festival (AAFFia) to add a 5th regional preliminary round.

 

 

The MIFA Pitches are arguably the biggest animation focused pitching forum in the world and take place against the backdrop of the Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA (Annecy/MIFA). A place where filmmakers can celebrate the craft while building relationships and a deeper understanding of the industry. Contestants have until the 17th of May to submit their project and can do so by clicking HERE.

 

Animation du Monde’s mission is to give animation projects in developing animation industries from across the world the opportunity to participate at the highest level internationally during the MIFA Pitches.

 

Video pitches will be accepted for those not able to attend the preliminary regional round at DISCOP Abidjan however, candidates who are able to attend the event will be given preference.  The competition regulations can be viewed HERE.

 

“The value of entering a pitch competition like Animation du Monde goes far beyond winning or losing. Through it you build relationships, your confidence to sell your project, and most of all the insight of industry professionals with years of experience with projects from around the world.” says Nick Wilson, Head of Projects & Content at AAN.

 

During the 2018 Animation du Monde finals in Annecy Ingrid Agbo, from Togo, secured a pre-sale for her project L’arbre à Palimpseste which is currently in pre-production.

 

Ingrid qualified with her project through the 2017 regionals run by AAN at DISCOP Abidjan and won one of two places to represent Africa at Annecy/MIFA 2018 via the Animation du Monde 2017 Continental Finals at DISCOP Johannesburg Through her journey she was able to connect with other African animation filmmakers who were able to help her refine her project through to the 2018 finals in France.

 

Ingrid shared her Annecy experience with us,  “My Annecy experience was so unexpected. Winning the opportunity to pitch my project there was a huge pleasure but also a real challenge for me.  This festival was like a gauge for my project. There were so many and different, great projects coming from all around the world.”

 

Jerome Soffo Simo, President of Tous’Anime Association & Organizer of CANIMAF in Cameroon, had this to say about his about his experience, “Firstly, the Annecy Pitch Contest taught me that you have to write, draw, structure, and then put together your animation project and that story is the most important part, because, a successful animation is a well-told story. The story will guide you in choosing the style to adopt and the rest will follow.”

 

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At the Huawei Global Analyst Summit 2019, Huawei and Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) held a media roundtable meeting with the theme of “Wi-Fi 6, Unlocking Business Value.” At the media roundtable, Huawei announced AirEngine as its new Wi-Fi brand, which will be applied to its full series of enterprise-class Wi-Fi 6 products. Additionally, with global media and analysts present onsite, Huawei highlighted that its Wi-Fi 6 products have been deployed on a large scale in five major regions worldwide.

 

 

Emerging applications such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and 4K require more bandwidth, higher concurrency, and lower latency, which poses challenges to traditional Wi-Fi networks. These challenges must be resolved as quickly as possible during enterprises’ digital transformation. That’s where Huawei’s AirEngine comes in. AirEngine is proof of Huawei’s commitment to high-quality Wi-Fi networks. It serves as a wireless connection engine that accelerates the digital transformation of enterprise services.

 

 

Three compelling benefits make AirEngine stand out: ultra-high performance, optimal user experience, and enablement of new business. AirEngine features the industry’s best performance, as verified by Tolly, an influential international testing organization. AirEngine builds on technical strengths originating from Huawei 5G smart antenna technology and intelligent application acceleration technologies, and achieves intelligent optimization for optimal user experience and service continuity. AirEngine can also accommodate new applications such as 4K and VR, and leverage in-depth cooperation with partners to achieve wireless transformation for teaching, research, manufacturing, and other mission-critical services, enabling new business.

 

 

Zhao Zhipeng, President of Campus Network Domain of Huawei Data Communication Product Line, shares his insightful ideas about AirEngine

 

 

“With unmatched technical strengths, Huawei AirEngine enables wireless networks to efficiently and reliably carry traditional wired network services. Typical benefits include smooth VR/AR teaching in education, 4K high-definition conferences and wireless offices for enterprises, as well as packet loss-free Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in industrial manufacturing environments. Huawei AirEngine will accelerate digital transformation of enterprises across various industries,” said Zhao Zhipeng, President of Campus Network Domain of Huawei Data Communication Product Line. “Huawei, a leading contributor to the Wi-Fi 6 standard, has been actively promoting the development of the entire industry. Huawei is the first vendor to release commercial Wi-Fi 6 products. Currently, our Wi-Fi 6 APs have been deployed in five major regions around the world.”

 

 

At the media roundtable, Kevin Robinson, Vice President of Marketing for WFA, shared the latest Wi-Fi 6 industry developments and forecasts and gave insightful ideas about the impact of Wi-Fi 6 on enterprises’ digital transformation. He stated: “We appreciate Huawei’s great contributions to the development of Wi-Fi 6, from standards and prototypes all the way to commercial use. WFA believes that 2019 will be the year of Wi-Fi 6 commercial use, and it will launch a Wi-Fi 6 certification program in the third quarter of 2019.”

 

 

AirEngine is specifically designed for the building of leading high-quality Wi-Fi networks that feature high-performance connections, optimal user experience, and enablement of new business. Huawei and partners will collaborate closely to provide ubiquitous connectivity and pervasive intelligence for government and enterprise customers. In addition, Huawei will continue to use the Digital Platform to integrate new ICT, helping customers to navigate digital transformation.

 

 

[Source: Huawei]

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has finalised the process for developing a Findings Document and Position Paper on Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB), following an inquiry into the use of DSB in South Africa.

 

In coming with the findings and positions, ICASA relied on extensive submissions from interested stakeholders, desktop research conducted on the proposed Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB+) and Digital Radio Mondial (DRM), digital sound broadcasting trials conducted by broadcasting service licensees as well as international study visits to Australia, Germany, Norway, USA and United Kingdom.

 

 

Having embarked on international study visits and research, ICASA found that there is clear evidence that DSB technologies are beneficial for South Africa and have proven to be successful in countries visited, such as Norway and Australia. ICASA further notes that even though analogue medium wave (AM) frequencies are ample, the sound quality is generally poor, with higher transmission costs.

 

 

ICASA notes that even though FM still offers good quality sound, spectrum scarcity and high transmission costs necessitate consideration for digital  sound broadcasting services. Therefore, DSB is necessary to keep up with technological developments and to encourage spectrum efficiency.

 

 

In keeping with international trends, and national imperatives, the findings further note that it will not be necessary for a total analogue switch-off, as analogue transmission can co-exist with digital services until such time that there is enough up-take of receivers and there is a policy pronouncement on analogue switch- off.

 

“The written and oral submissions received did not advocate for a total switch-off, but rather suggested that a moratorium be imposed to allow incumbent licensees to establish themselves and the market for DSB; and only then would new players be licenced ,” says ICASA Councillor, Adv. Dimakatso Qocha.

 

The Authority’s position on the frequency network is that it will deploy a hybrid model (SFN and MFN) as this model caters for all three tiers of broadcasting categories. Furthermore, the commercial and public sound broadcasting services can be operated by one MUX operator on SFN, while  different MUX operators  could be considered for community broadcasting services on MFN basis.

 

Based on the findings and position, ICASA will develop the draft regulations on DSB in the current financial year (2019/20).

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The unique Afrosymphonic concert brings together diverse acts including South African soulful house band Mi Casa; the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra; Afrikaans singing sensation Refentse Morake; acclaimed dramatic soprano Andiswa Makana; jazz songstress Zoë Modiga and stage & screen stars Samantha Peo & Craig Urbani, under the baton of Maestros Richard Cock and Brandon Phillips.

 

Filmed under magnificent Cape skies, on the iconic Great Lawn at the Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West in March 2019, RMB Starlight Classicsis a South African cultural institution that captures the magic that happens when rooted African rhythms, hot pop hits, legendary operatic arias and soaring classical scores combine to make something truly unique. The RMB Starlight Classicsconcerts are held twice a year, in March and September.

 

 

Also part of the lineup are South African singing ambassadors, the Drakensberg Boys Choir; the Cape Town Opera Chorus; renowned jazz saxophonist Karendra Devroop and operatic stars Sipho Fubesi & Bongani Kubeka.

 

 

“RMB Starlight Classics isn’t only for classical music fans – it’s a celebration of the power of all types of music and song,” says director Darren Hayward. “It’s amazing to see diverse performers like Mi Casa’s J Something and opera star Sipho Fubesi collaborate on performances like ‘Perfect Symphony’, experience the power of the Drakensberg Boys Choir performing Vangelis’ ‘Conquest of Paradise’ and see the full cast lending their amazing talents to mash-ups of Bruno Mars’ ’24K Magic’, ‘Uptown Funk’ and Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’”.

 

 

“We’re proud of the huge success of Starlight Classics – and more so, how the audience leaves the concert on such a positive note, re-energised to tackle the daily magic and madness that is South Africa,” says RMB’s Carolynne Waterhouse.

Don’t miss this truly unique musical fusion experience on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) on Sunday 21 April from 15:00-16:30.

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Game of Thrones S8 episode 2 preview

Posted by radio On April - 19 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

The first episode of Game of Thrones S8 was relatively death-free and peaceful… we doubt that’s going to last.

*Spoilers ahead if you haven’t caught up with episode one*

Not even Jon’s epic first ride on a dragon could lighten up what was a very dark start to Season 8. Speaking of Jon, or rather we should say, Aegon Targaryen, what will happen between him and Queen Daenerys now that he finally knows he’s the rightful heir to the Iron Throne?

And why isn’t he freaking out that she’s his aunt?

Thank goodness this preview for episode 2 is out, or the fan theories would drive us nuts.

We can’t wait for next week’s episode to drop – especially as each one is getting just a little bit longer.

  • Season 8, Episode 1 will be 54 minutes.
  • Season 8, Episode 2 will be 58 minutes.
  • Season 8, Episode 3 is one hour and 22 minutes.
  • Season 8, Episode 4 is one hour and 18 minutes.
  • Season 8, Episode 5 is one hour and 20 minutes.
  • Season 8, Episode 6, the finale is also one hour and 20 minutes.

What’s happening in episode 2?

The Kingslayer looks like he has bigger things to worry about than throwing Bran out of a window when he’s brought before Daenerys. She is not amused to meet her father’s killer. But we’re not sure that she’ll have time to mull over it because Winterfell is under attack! Has the army of white walkers arrived?

Watch Game of Thrones S8 on Mondays on M-Net (only) at 03:00, and later the same day on M-Net and Showmax at 22:00.

 

 

[Source: Showmax blog]

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During a press conference on Monday, 15 April in Paris, Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA announced their exciting animation film line-up whilst also welcoming Nora Twomey as MIFA Campus’ first female patron. Twomey, a partner at Cartoon Saloon, directed the critically acclaimed The Breadwinner.

 

The MIFA Campus is an exciting opportunity for students and professionals from around the world to meet with recruiters, attend various master-classes and discuss initiatives and schemes in the animation industry.

 

As the custodians of the Animation du Monde brand in Africa, the African Animation Network (AAN) who are proud to be associated with an organisation that places such great importance on empowerment, a cornerstone of AAN’s mandate as a social enterprise.

 

African animators are therefore invited to take part in the first preliminary round of the Pan-African Animation du Monde pitch season that will take place at ICON Comics & Games Convention (ICON CGC) from the 20th to the 22nd of April at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

 

The pitch competition is part of the build up to the Festival International du Film d’Animation d’Annecy that was created in 1960 and takes place at the beginning of June in the town of Annecy, France.  The MIFA Pitches are arguably the biggest animation focused pitching forum in the world and  the Pan-African Animation du Monde preliminary pitch season specifically creates opportunities for African animators on a global scale.

 

Contestants have until the 18th of April to submit their project and can do so by clicking HERE.

Video pitches will be accepted for those not able to attend the preliminary regional round at ICON CGC however, candidates who are able to attend the event will be given preference.  The competition regulations can be viewed HERE.

 

AAN have also assembled an exciting panel of international judges & mentors for this year’s MIFA Pan-African Final that will take place at DISCOP Johannesburg in November 2019.

 

The first of the judges & mentors to be announced is Rathan Sam George (Chief Operating Officer Toonz Media Group), who has the following to say of his involvement; “We at Toonz Media Group produce over 10,000 minutes of animation a year and have recently seen the raw potential of African creators. Partnering with AAN has created opportunities for us to share our knowledge, as well as reach out to these creatives in a way that will grow the animation industry locally.”

 

 

Previous African Animator Winners

Although this is only the 3rd edition of the competition, it has already created opportunities for African animators and producers that haven’t existed before.

 

During the Animation du Monde 2018 finals at Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA, Ingrid Agbo, from Togo, secured a pre-sale for her project L’arbre à Palimpseste which is currently in pre-production. Ingrid qualified with her project through the 2017 regionals run by the African Animation Network (AAN) at DISCOP Abidjan and won one of two places to represent Africa at the Animation du Monde 2017 Continental Finals at DISCOP Johannesburg.

South African producer Isaac Mogojane, winner of the MIFA Pitches Winner 2018 (Disney Prize) shared with us his experiences in pitching at MIFA. “ I have had the privilege of presenting projects at MIFA twice. Last year, our second project, “Junk Pilots” was accepted into the global TV pitches category and this time round, it took home the Disney prize. Presenting your ideas at Annecy and MIFA is a great way to build a profile around your project. Each year, the market gets bigger, more projects are picked up and more deals are concluded in Annecy.”

 

At the 2017 Animation du Monde Continental Final, South Africa’s Wendy Spinks’ & Clea Mallinson’s short film “Mumue” was also selected to represent Africa at Annecy/MIFA 2018.  Although “Mumue” didn’t win during the pitch sessions in 2018, Spinks went on to win the Digital Lab Africa NEF Animation – Nouvelles Ecritures pour le Film d’Animation International Residency with  another project “I am Chuma”.

 

Wendy had the following to share about her experience: “Pitching at Annecy/MIFA has been a personal goal for me for some years and it was a real humbling moment that it would come via “Mumue”, which is a project that really allowed me to bring forward my personal creative and authentic voice and to address a social cause I care deeply about.”

 

At the most recent 2018 continental finals held at DISCOP Johannesburg, “The Troublemakers” presented by Nildo Essa (of Mozambique) and “The Makerbolts” presented by Dami Solesi (of Nigeria) won the two places to represent Africa at the 2019 Animation du Monde Finals  that will take place later this year in Annecy.  Nildo shared some insights on his journey thus far: “We wanted to create little heroes that our children could relate to. After some very needed guidance by the event judges and mentors we were one of the winners and now we are going to pitch our series project “Os Pestinhas” or “The Troublemakers” at Animation Du Monde at Annecy this year!”

 

Through its DISCOMICS footprint– an initiative run by DISCOP Markets and AAN– and which includes partnerships with 3 of Africa’s longest running comic conventions, AAN will be hosting 4 regional prelims in Johannesburg (at ICON CGC), Abidjan (DISCOP Abidjan), Lagos (at Lagos Comic Con), andNairobi (Nairobi Comic Con).  Because, the partners are always looking to create new opportunities for creators across Africa, AAN has partnered with the Accra Animation Film Festival (AAFFia) to add a 5th regional prelim.

 

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Liberty Radio Awards winners announced

Posted by radio On April - 15 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

The top performers of the South African Radio industry were acknowledged at the Liberty Radio Awards gala banquet in Sandton on saturday evening. The annual awards programme which draws entries from all sectors of the radio industry is regarded as the “Oscars” of South African radio and the stars of the radio industry were out in full force to celebrate.

 

The Liberty Radio Awards is a credible, well-judged programme that promotes excellence in radio with a view to ensuring that radio remains one of the foremost media choices in South Africa.

 

 

“Our aim is to promote excellence in radio,” says Lance Rothschild, CEO of the Liberty Radio Awards. “Excellent performance and content rewards listeners for the time that they spend listening to a station or program and compels them to remain tuned-in for longer. It also reinforces the relationship between a station or program and the listener, which ultimately contributes to the sustainability of radio.”

 

 

“The standard of this year’s entries was exceptionally high and adjudication scoring was incredibly close, but I am confident that the results reflect the best work within the industry.”

 

 

Killy Bacela, Divisional Executive of Group Brand & Marketing at Liberty says: “Liberty applauds all the nominees and winners from this evening’s awards, all of whom have demonstrated consistent excellence and the highest standards in the creation and production of captivating radio programmes. The winners play a part in the enrichment of people’s lives. This is the same purpose we at Liberty strive for, through our continued demonstration of making financial freedom possible.”

 

 

Click here to view the finalists and winners of all the categories

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Samsung Science & Technology Foundation last week announced 44 research projects chosen for funding in the first half of 2019, which include pioneering research in physics and life sciences, new engineering solutions for the clean environment as well as breakthrough projects in artificial intelligence (AI).

The foundation was established in 2013 to help foster development of basic science, materials engineering and information technologies, with a total of KRW 1.5 trillion (R18.5 billion) in grants to be endowed on research projects for 10 years. It has so far provided about KRW 667 billion (R8.2 billion) in funding for 517 research projects from universities and public research institutes in Korea. The foundation will look to expand its support in the areas of future technologies, such as AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, as well as projects that aim to improve local communities.

 

 

“Our goal is to support building the foundation for future science and technology,” said Seong-Keun Kim, Chairman of Samsung Science & Technology Foundation. “We hope to make a lasting contribution to the society by advancing basic science, bringing innovations and redefining the technology industry.”

Mr. Kim, Professor of Chemistry at Seoul National University and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, was elected as the new chairman this week by the foundation’s Board of Directors.

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Apple recently  announced Apple TV+, the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries, coming this autumn. Apple TV+, Apple’s original video subscription service, will feature a brand new slate of programming from the world’s most celebrated creative artists, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Octavia Spencer, J.J. Abrams, Jason Momoa, M. Night Shyamalan, Jon M. Chu and more. On the Apple TV app, subscribers will enjoy inspiring and authentic stories with emotional depth and compelling characters from all walks of life, ad-free and on demand.
“We’re honoured that the absolute best lineup of storytellers in the world — both in front of and behind the camera — are coming to Apple TV+,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “We’re thrilled to give viewers a sneak peek of Apple TV+ and cannot wait for them to tune in starting this autumn. Apple TV+ will be home to some of the highest quality original storytelling that TV and movie lovers have seen yet.”
Additionally, Apple debuted the all-new Apple TV app and Apple TV channels coming in May 2019. The all-new Apple TV app brings together the different ways to discover and watch shows, movies, sports, news and more in one app across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, smart TVs and streaming devices. Users can subscribe to and watch new Apple TV channels — paying for only services they want, like HBO, SHOWTIME and Starz — all on demand, available on and offline, with incredible picture quality and sound; enjoy sports, news and network TV from cable and satellite providers as well as purchase or rent iTunes movies and TV shows all within the new, personalised Apple TV app.
Beginning in May, customers can subscribe to Apple TV channels à la carte and watch them in the Apple TV app, with no additional apps, accounts or passwords required. Apple TV channels include popular services such as HBO, Starz, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade, Noggin and new services like MTV Hits, with more to be added over time around the world.
The new Apple TV app personalises what viewers love to watch across their existing apps and services while developing a secure and comprehensive understanding of users’ viewing interests. The app will offer suggestions for shows and movies from over 150 streaming apps, including Amazon Prime and Hulu, as well as pay-TV services such as Canal+, Charter Spectrum, DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue. Optimum and Suddenlink from Altice will be added later this year.1
Additionally, the Apple TV app will become the new home to the hundreds of thousands of movies and TV shows currently available for purchase or rent in the iTunes Store.
Availability
  • Pricing and availability for the Apple TV+ video subscription service will be announced later this autumn.

  • The all-new Apple TV app is coming to iPhone, iPad and Apple TV customers in over 100 countries with a free software update this May, and to Mac this autumn.

  • Through Family Sharing, users can share Apple TV+ and subscriptions to Apple TV channels.

  • The Apple TV app will be available on Samsung smart TVs beginning this spring and on Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future.

  • Later this year, customers with eligible VIZIO, Samsung, LG and Sony smart TVs will be able to effortlessly play videos and other content from their iPhone or iPad directly to their smart TVs with AirPlay 2 support.

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SABC launches News App

Posted by radio On April - 13 - 2019 ADD COMMENTS

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has introduced a new mobile tool, the SABC News app, to expand its content distribution platforms. The app was developed by the SABC’s news and technology divisions, and is available and ready to download from Android (Playstore) and iOS (App Store). The SABC News app provides access to daily breaking news and updates, as well as live streaming of the SABC News channel (currently available only on the DStv platform), news videos and live listening to all the 19 SABC radio stations.

The SABC is cognisant of the fact that accessibility, immediacy and audience engagement are fast becoming the essence of broadcasting. Therefore, the SABC News app will allow for greater interactivity, anytime and anywhere.

 

In addition, this mobile app is aimed at reaching out to a younger market and audiences beyond South Africa. The SABC’s Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) Mr. Madoda Mxakwe said that “we are very proud to have taken yet another step in positioning the SABC within the multi-platform and multi-device broadcasting environment. Most importantly, this initiative indicates our ongoing resolve to provide a comprehensive universal news and information service and access to the South African public. As the only public service broadcaster in the country, we have an enormous task to deliver an important social service to all citizens wherever they are. The SABC News app serves as a perfect platform to reach audiences who are on the move and not only relying on traditional media platforms such TV and radio”.

 

In addition, the GCEO stated that “we are also very excited that this milestone comes at a
time when we are about to deliver one of the country’s important events, the elections in
May.

 

Watch Morning Live on SABC 2 and SABC News channel on Monday, 15 April 2019 for the official launch

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