Running alongside DISCOP markets since 2014, the DISCOPRO instructional, development, screening and networking program is aimed at the next generation of talented and passionate storytellers and producers from Africa and the Middle East who are ready to make the big multiscreen hits of the future.
These parts of the world, which encompass 69 countries, are on the rise. They will soon exercise huge economic influence on the global entertainment and media industry. Lower internet costs, better infrastructures, expanding mobile connectivity, fast-rising smartphone penetration, greater fiber uptake and the desire to improve the regulatory environment will make multiscreen audiovisual content more readily available and soon put tens of millions of new customers in play.
Most important, Africa and the Middle East, with their vast reservoirs of untold stories and diverse talent, can also have a persuasive impact on getting cultural nuances right and help projects aimed at multicultural audiences take off.
Our 2019 DISCOPRO gatherings will take place in Johannesburg (20/22 November) and in Cairo, (15/17 December). Both programs will share many similarities, and a strong emphasis will be placed on the fast-growing relations between Africa and the Middle East. Speakers ready to share their experience are already being recruited and a detailed agenda for both events will be ready soon. It will include:
Panel Discussions around Seven Key Pillars | What buyers want; the relationship between global streamers and Africa and the Middle East; the content monetization challenge; cross-media success stories from public broadcasters; the emergence of e-Sports as mainstream entertainment; the rise of the animation sector; and the renaissance of radio fiction.
A Masterclass program centered on multicultural content production | Given the growth predictions of diverse consumers, cultural competency is key to cross-cultural success and creating content that appeals to a multicultural audience is an important competitive advantage. This program will address how writers, directors and producers can best adapt to the fast-paced world of multicultural television production.
A Tutorial program focused on coproduction opportunities | The Johannesburg program will highlight benefits available in the context of the United Kingdom / South Africa coproduction treaty. The Cairo program will discuss partnerships with Saudi Arabia, a country with many competitive incentive programs in place. In both locations, the best practices of experienced international producers will be put under the spotlight.
An Exploratory track unveiling the new frontiers of coproduction | As coproduction in the entertainment industry expands, Africa and the Middle East can play an increasingly influential role in getting projects off the ground. Up and coming countries offering many versatile backdrops and a wealth of creative talent will be put under the spotlight. The Johannesburg program will highlight Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Uganda. The Cairo program will highlight Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Jordan.
Avant Première Screenings of remarkable TV shows | At the end of each day, exclusive previews of original and international television series will be dedicated to the most creative voices responsible for the current golden age of television.
The ‘First Look’ series of innovative ideas | Intertwined in the general agenda, this series will feature a line-up of inspiring presentations from companies and entrepreneurs who have the edge on how independent producers and storytellers can improve their crafts, generate more revenue and expand their reach.
THE PITCHING COMPONENT
A pitching competition with bigger and bolder ambitions will take place in Johannesburg and Cairo respectively. Sixteen projects will be selected for each competition and regrouped under four different categories (four projects per category).
1. Television series
The ‘Call for Projects’ for the pitching competitions will be launched mid-July and will end two months later. Eligible projects must be in the final stages of development with minimal financing and distribution already in place.
Shortlisted producers will be announced one month prior to DISCOPRO. The pitching sessions will take place over a whole day in front of a live audience of key entertainment industry players seeking fresh talent and new ideas.They key players can also make a difference in leveraging influence on a project across Africa and the Middle East. One month before DISCOPRO, these key play will be able to access a 10-minute audio version of each pitch.
Candidates will have twenty minutes to present their shows, answer questions and interact with four ‘Judges’ who have the duty to select one winner per category.
An ‘Awards Ceremony’ will take place at the end of each pitching day in a move to create a higher rate of event engagement and add this extra layer of prestige to the overall program. Winners in each of the four pitching categories will receive their price on stage and share in the media exposure DISCOPRO gets.
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