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South Africa Supports Black Filmmakers with $7.7m

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South Africa Supports Black Filmmakers with $7.7m

By Dipo Olowookere

South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has disclosed that it would have spent R100 million (about $7.7 million) to support emerging black filmmakers through its Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive by the end of March 2018.

This was announced by the Director of Film Production at the dti, Ms Nelly Molokoane, at the Emerging Black Filmmakers Workshop at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). The workshop was targeted at emerging film producers who want to access the incentives scheme.

According to Ms Molokoane, since its launch, the Incentive scheme has managed to support 40 projects of emerging filmmakers as part of the R100 million budget, but in terms of finalising those projects and productions, producers still find it difficult accessing additional funds to close their projects due to financial constraints.

She said the dti has now partnered with the Industrial Development Cooperation, National Film and Video Foundation, South African Broadcasting Corporation and provincial film commissions to assist filmmakers.

“The scale of projects has been increasing since the inception of the scheme in 2014. The department approved 15 applications thereafter it increased to 40 over a period of three years.

“Partnership with these institutions will yield positive results in the near future and we will see more productions being supported. We are planning to host intense workshops in various provinces to assist filmmakers access this support,” said Ms Molokoane.

She adds that the workshop at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) was in essence hosted to assist those that needed training on the incentive scheme and, guidelines. It also aimed at educating producers on crucial information needed by the dti if one wants to access the funding.

The Director of the Marikana documentary Miners Shot Down, Mr Rehad Desai who is also a beneficiary of the incentive said the scheme was the most singly important development for the South African film industry in that it allows producers to go out into the country, continent and the wider world as equal partners with other producers.

“We are seeing far more films being produced since the launch of the scheme and this means funding of projects happens in a lot short space of time and one can go into production quicker. This also means our production companies are becoming sustainable but the incentive can be made more accessible as some of the costs are regarded as non-qualifying and this affects the production qualification,” said Desai

DIFF is an annual film festival that takes place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. It is one of the oldest and largest film festivals in Southern Africa and presents over 200 screenings celebrating the best in South Africa, African and international cinema.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Funa Maduka, 15 Other Jurors for 2023 Sundance Film Festival

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Funa Maduka

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A Nigerian filmmaker, Ms Funa Maduka, has been announced as one of the 16 jurors granting awards at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. She is one of the three jury members of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, alongside Shozo Ichiyama and Annemarie Jacir.

The jurors of the 2023 edition are Jeremy O. Harris, Eliza Hittman, and Marlee Matlin for U.S. Dramatic Competition; W. Kamau Bell, Ramona Diaz, and Carla Gutierrez for U.S. Documentary Competition; Shozo Ichiyama, Annemarie Jacir, and Funa Maduka for World Cinema Dramatic Competition; Karim Amer, Petra Costa, and Alexander Nanau for World Cinema Documentary Competition; Madeleine Olnek for the NEXT competition section; and Destin Daniel Cretton, Marie-Louise Khondji, and Deborah Stratman for the Short Film Program Competition.

According to a statement, the festival kicks off on Thursday, January 19, in Utah, the United States, and will end on Sunday, January 29, 2023.

The jurors will grant awards to filmmakers for feature and short films. The winners are expected to be announced on Friday, January 27.

Ms Maduka is an award-winning filmmaker and the former head of International Original Films at Netflix, where she worked with the world’s top global and emerging filmmakers.

Over six years, she was positioned at the frontline of the company’s global expansion, managing the launch of the film offering across 100+ countries. She pioneered Netflix’s move into international film production, building a development slate across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Meanwhile, her film acquisitions brought Netflix its first film nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.

Previously she worked at Participant Media, developing and managing campaigns for film and television projects.

Ms Maduka is an award-winning filmmaker credited with writing, producing and directing the first Nigerian film to world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. She holds a BA from Cornell University and a Masters from Harvard Business School.

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GistHouse to Celebrate Don Jazzy as African Icon January 20

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Don Jazzy

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Friday, January 20, 2023, has been set aside to celebrate maverick beatmaker, Mr Michael Collins Ajereh, otherwise known as Don Jazzy, as the Black African Icon of the Month.

This followed his emergence as the African Icon for January through the first Afrocentric audiovisual conversation platform, GistHouse.

“We are most excited and privileged to announce Michael Collins, popular as Don Jazzy, a colossus of music in Africa, as the Afrocentric Icon for The Month of January 2023,” the founder and Gistmaster at GisthHouse, Mr Ope Banwo, said at a press conference in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Mr Banwo explained that the Delta State-born influencer and entrepreneur was chosen through a voting exercise by users and management of the application with consideration for the most outstanding black Africans.

“Don Jazzy was chosen out of dozens of other worthy African icons for his lifetime body of work in elevating the music industry globally in the context of the Afrocentric experience.

“He has not only excelled as a record producer, performer, and music executive, he literally pioneered a whole new genre of music and style of music performance with his iconic MoHits and Marvin Records labels,” he said.

“While Don Jazzy didn’t start international cross-over music in Africa, he brought a delightful new swagger, panache and an amazing financially rewarding dimension into African music with his unforgettable partnership with the inimitable D’Banj in MoHits Records, among others.

“After MoHits, he took his pioneering talent to a higher level with Marvin Records that gave us instant superstars like the sultry Tiwa Savage, super crooner Wande Coal, Dr Sid, and Korede Bello, among others,” Mr Banwo further disclosed at the briefing.

“Beyond establishing himself as a superstar music producer/performer, Don Jazzy has also mentored and helped a whole generation of Africans to turn their talents as musicians into a full-time occupation and impactful vocation,” the GistHouse app creator stated.

Shedding more light on events to celebrate Don Jazzy, the filmmaker and serial entrepreneur noted that GistHouse will celebrate Don Jazzy as its January Icon of the Month in several ways during the month of January.

“As part of celebrating Don Jazzy, we shall be declaring Friday, January 20, as the Icon Celebration Day with Don Jazzy on the GistHouse platform with different special rooms dedicated to celebrating him and his body of work, and also hosting him to a special conversation on the GistHouse platform,” he concluded.

GistHouse provides a safe and rewarding environment for people of all colours to host different audio and video rooms on any topic and provides advanced features for rewarding conversations on everything, including business, politics, religion, personal development, self-development, dating, business meetings, networking, friends and family meetings etc.

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Ticket Price Raises Box Office Revenue by 46% to N6.94bn in 2022

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box office revenue

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigerian cinema operators generated revenue of N6.94 billion in 2022 against the N4.74 billion generated in 2021, a 46.4 per cent growth year-on-year.

This was disclosed by the National President of the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), Mr Opeyemi Ajayi, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

This indicated a continued post-pandemic recovery after the majority of businesses were closed during the year 2020, with Mr Ajayi adding that Nigeria’s movie industry continues to lead the recovery in Africa.

“The box office raked in N4.74 billion in 2021, N2.1 billion in 2020, N6.4 billion in 2019, and N5.98 billion in 2018.

“For 2022, the increase in average ticket price led to revenue growth, and admissions remained flat in the previous year.

“Nigeria continues to lead a recovery in Africa, post COVID on the back of strong local industry. Also, Hollywood continues to focus on African content, and engagement is very positive for the box office.

“We observed that Black Panther is on track to become the first N1 billion movie,” he said.

Giving an outlook for the year 2023, the CEAN President added that a 10 to 15 per cent increase in ticket price would potentially drive box office revenue in 2023 as he expected positive growth by a minimum of 20 per cent as independent cinemas constituted 25 per cent of the market share at present.

He added that factors had been observed to drive growth in the new year as five cinemas were opened in the fourth quarter of 2022, and a minimum of 3 new locations were expected to open in the first half of 2023.

“This will be a positive addition to the box office. Collaborations between Hollywood and Nollywood on content are expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

“And with the breakout success of big Nollywood movies such as Brotherhood, Battle on Buka Street, and King of Thieves, to mention a few, 2023 is expected to have a larger budget movie and potential release outside the West African territory.”

He also noted the top 5 highest grossing Nollywood films in 2022 as Brotherhood, King of Thieves, Battle on Buka Street, Ijakumo and Passport and: Black Panther, Woman King, Dr Strange, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Black Adam for Hollywood.

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