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JOHANNESBURG, 25 November — Following the record-breaking attendance which marked the 4th edition of the DISCOPRO pitching, learning and matchmaking program earlier this month, plans are already in motion to further develop DISCOPRO — which runs parallel to the Johannesburg-based edition of the twice-yearly film, TV content and adaptation rights market DISCOP AFRICA. This expansion will include two additional satellite events in 2016 in Abidjan, from 31 May to 2 June, alongside DISCOP AFRICA Abidjan, and in Nairobi, from 24 to 26 August, alongside the KALASHA FESTIVAL.

This year’s event, which wrapped on 6 November, saw 426 producers from 31 countries showcasing the exponential growth of what has become the world’s fastest-growing marketplace for aspiring and established producers. Umbrella booths hosting producers from South Africa, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, the Caribbean region, Ghana and Botswana were on display alongside a constantly busy “matchmaking lounge”, a vibrant “innovation zone” showcasing new production and broadcasting technologies, and three “campus theatres” featuring a meticulously curated learning program designed to navigate the process of content development, content funding and content monetization.

Thirty TV projects from across the continent in the categories of formats, TV series, web series, comedy, animation and documentary were pitched in front of programming and commissioning executives, advertisers, potential investors and other key industry leaders.

“This past edition of DISCOPRO saw a diverse selection of excellent pitches with huge international potential. With three editions now scheduled, DISCOPRO will be a must-attend event for producers and commissioners in 2016 as we expect an increase in the quantity and quality of submissions,” said Wangeci Murage, Managing Partner of Nairobi-based MEDIA PROS AFRICA. Murage coordinates the organization of the DISCOPRO pitching competitions with Co-Managing Partner Risper Muthamia, who added, “The greatest achievement this year was to see our jurors express immediate licensing, commissioning and co-production interest to the pitching participants. This is a testament to the fact that the DISCOPRO pitching competition is a platform where dreams are realized for content producers in Africa and beyond.”

“Designed to stimulate coproduction and distribution opportunities between Western, Eastern and Southern Africa, these expansion plans underscore the critical importance of intra-African trade to develop and strengthen sustainable content production and distribution industries across the continent,” commented Gert Botes, DISCOPRO’s recently appointed Johannesburg-based project manager.

Independent producers will be provided with incentives to take part in these three industry gatherings, which will be specifically designed to accelerate the development of their projects, help them access expert and critical guidance, and rub shoulders with funding and creative executives playing a key role in Africa’s booming television ecosystem.

In addition to the cash prizes and hands-on support from top-level professionals already provided, pitching competition winners and runners up will, for the first time, benefit from basic representation and development assistance to help them carry and package their projects through the vital stages of funding, production and distribution.

Launched in 2008 and held twice a year in South Africa and Cote D’Ivoire, DISCOP AFRICA is organized by Basic Lead, a B2B trade-show organizer, with offices in Los Angeles and Johannesburg that specializes in active, fast-growing business sectors across developing world regions.


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