DISCOPRO Being Extended to East & West Africa


JOHANNESBURG: On the heels of the successful fourth edition of DISCOPRO, plans are underway to increase the presence of the pitching, learning and matchmaking program, which currently takes place during the Johannesburg edition of DISCOP Africa.

The expansion will include two additional satellite events next year in Abidjan from May 31 to June 2 alongside DISCOP Africa Abidjan, and in Nairobi from August 24 to 26 during the Kalasha Festival. Independent producers will be offered incentives to participate in these three industry gatherings, which are meant to speed up the development of their projects, help them access expert advice and network with funding and creative execs working in Africa’s TV business. In addition to cash prizes and hands-on support from top-level professionals, pitching competition winners and runners-up will—for the first time—receive basic representation and development assistance to help guide their projects through the stages of funding, production and distribution.

This year’s DISCOPRO, which wrapped on November 6, was attended by more than 420 producers from 31 countries. There were umbrella booths representing South Africa, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, the Caribbean, Ghana and Botswana, along with a matchmaking lounge, an innovation zone presenting new production and broadcasting technologies, and three campus theaters featuring a curated learning program focused on the development, funding and monetization of content. Thirty television projects from across the continent in the categories of formats, TV series, web series, comedy, animation and documentary were pitched to programming and commissioning executives, advertisers, potential investors and more.

Wangeci Murage, the managing partner of Media Pros Africa, remarked: “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.”

Murage coordinates the organization of the DISCOPRO pitching competitions with co-managing partner Risper Muthamia, who said: “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 co-production 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,” added Gert Botes, DISCOPRO’s recently appointed Johannesburg-based project manager.