South Africa, China take centre stage at DISCOP Africa 2015

South Africa and China will be the countries of honour respectively at the two editions of African TV content market and exhibition DISCOP Africa, taking place in Abidjan this week and Johannesburg in November.

DISCOP Africa will become a bi-annual event when DISCOP Africa Abidjan opens at the Sofitel Ivoire Hotel in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire on Tuesday, 2 June.

Trade event organiser Basic Lead said in a statement earlier this month that the three-day Abidjan market would celebrate South Africa as its country of honour, with key industry stakeholders from South Africa on board, while China would be the country of honour at the Johannesburg event in November.

"A series of prestigious events and production initiatives are being designed to recognize the growth in collaborations between Africa and China, highlighting success stories and future opportunities for partnership," the organisers said.

DISCOP Johannesburg will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 4 to 6 November, with 75% of floor space sold out eight months in advance - confirmation of Africa's status as the world's fastest growing television marketplace.

Running parallel to DISCOP Johannesburg will be the fourth edition of Afro-centric pitching, development, financing and co-production platform DISCOPRO. Expected to draw more than 500 independent TV content producers, DISCOPRO gives content creators the chance to network with established production, commissioning and advertising executives.

Headlining the three-day agenda are six pitching competitions - divided into formats, TV series, animation, documentaries, educational content, and comedy - for producers to present their ideas to potential partners.

A 2 500 square metre space will be allocated to DISCOPRO inside the Sandton Convention Center, featuring a "South Africa Village" incorporating a networking area and a VIP lounge with exhibits representing film commissions based in Africa.

Over 2 500 delegates representing around 1 750 companies from 85 countries are expected to take part in DISCOP Africa Abidjan and Johannesburg in 2015.

These will include major US studios and leading distributors of drama and thriller series, reality and competition shows, sports and children's content and documentaries, as well as the largest contingent of producers and distributors of African content to assemble under one roof.

"With Pay-TV revenues expected to surge, swelling middle classes, a booming advertising marketplace and improving infrastructures, the television content business in Africa is worth close to US$1-billion in annual revenues, twice as much as three years ago," said DISCOP Africa founder Patrick Zuchowicki.

"Now in its tenth edition, the growth of DISCOP Africa - which becomes a bi-annual event in 2015 - is a success story which mirrors the increasing importance of the African content industry on the global stage."

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission