Discovery Networks Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) recently launched a series of short films at Promax Africa in Johannesburg. The short films will be aired on Discovery across

Karin Heijink
the Middle East, Africa and Turkey from November 2007. The participants of the session were the first to view the short films before they went on air on the Discovery Channel.

The new shorts, aired between programmes in the current schedule, provide an increasingly local flavor to Discovery Channel Africa. Shorts made in South Africa cover a variety of subjects, from extreme skateboarding to the environment, and feature real people living real lives. All the films have been made by local directors and producers from around South Africa. Discovery Channel expects to commission further films over the coming months as part of a rolling programme.

Kashaf Chaudhry
In focus spoke to Karin Heijink, Channel Director Emerging Markets, Discovery Networks Europe, and Kashaf Chaudhry, Commissioning Editor for Emerging Markets at a Johannesburg hotel during a recent visit.

Heijink comments. “We had a great response to the short films we did in South Africa last year about South Africans and their vehicles. Based on this success, during 2007 we commissioned films in South Africa, Turkey, Middle East and Russia. All of them tell a local story, produced by local talent but have strong international appeal.

I like working with new people, it’s stimulating and exciting. We want to work with companies here, and we want films from South Africa – both from experienced directors and newcomers and we would encourage people to submit proposals.”

Chaudhry adds. “We are looking for two minute films and a one minute cut down. The format can be anything from 16mm to DVCAM and we will be looking for between 12 and 15 shorts. They have to be good stories and should cover a variety of subjects, and it should be born in mind that our target audience is men between 25 and 39”.

Heijink concludes.  “Our job is to nurture these programmes. There is great scope in terms of the subject matter, and I would urge directors to submit a half page or a short paragraph for consideration”.

Proposals can be e-mailed to: