Saturday, September 14, 2019

After a quarter century CNN International looks back at iconic sitcom with an insider TV special, Friends Forever 25 Years of Laughter.


25 years after that first conversation on the Central Perk couch, CNN International (DStv 401) will take a special look back at Friends on Monday, with producers and insiders sharing new on-set secrets about the iconic TV series.

In Friends Forever: 25 Years of Laughter on Monday, 16 September at 04:00 South African time, Alisyn Camerota looks back at the NBC sitcom that was broadcast on M-Net since its debut in 1994 for a decade.

On Friday night at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York, the creators told the audience of the Friends 25th anniversary panel discussion that unlike Will & Grace, Murphy Brown, BH90210 and the flurry of other recent American TV reboots, that there won't be any reboot series or reunion show.

"We will not be doing a reunion show, we will not be doing a reboot," Marta Kauffman Friends co-creator and co-executive producer, said at the panel. She will also be appearing in the CNN International Friends Forever TV special.

"The show was about that time in life when friends are your family," she said."A reboot isn't going to beat what we did".

David Crane, co-creator and co-executive producer, said "We did the show we wanted to do. We got it right and we put a bow on it".

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Mzansi Magic's Knuckle City from director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka is South Africa's entry for the 92nd Oscars best foreign film category.


Mzansi Magic's Knuckle City, the new film from director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka and produced by Yellowbone Entertainment for Mzansi Magic Movies has been chosen as South Africa’s official entry for the best foreign film category for the 92nd Academy Awards.

Makhosazana Khanyile, CEO of the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF), made the announcement after the film's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). 


"What an amazing journey Knuckle City has had thus far, the film is as hard-hitting as its title suggests. It's quintessentially South African but also a very universal tale and touches on so many themes making it dark and relatable all at once," said Khosi Khanyile.

"I think Jahmil is a fearless storyteller and we wish this film the very best as it competes on an international scale."

Knuckle City that has Thembekile Komani, Siv Ngesi, Faniswa Yisa, Awethu Hleli, Nomhle Nkonyeni, Zolisa Xaluva, Owen Sejake and Angela Sithole as part of the cast, follows an ageing Eastern Cape boxer Dudu Nyakama (Bongile Mantsai) who tries one last time at a chance for success.

Set in the rural Eastern Cape town of Mdantsane, Knuckle City follows the descent of two brothers into a hellish life as they are driven to the brink by toxic masculinity. "We are exceptionally proud of this achievement," says Layla Swart, producer, who co-owns Yellowbone Entertainment with Jahmil X.T. Qubeka.


"It's a harrowing tale of a man lost, who tries to look after his family even as he is trapped in the seedy world of underground boxing. The film packs an emotional punch as hefty as any of the gruesome on-screen ones as it explores greedy commercial exploitation, poverty, violence, race, and what it means to be a man." 

 Knuckle City is distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution (IFD) and is Jahmil X.T. Qubeka's 4th feature film. The film will be released in South Africa on 26 December 2019.

In April the Academy Awards decided to rename the foreign language film category to the international feature film category.

Zee Africa's French-dubbed Bollywood channel, Zee Magic, added to China's StarTimes and StarSat in Africa.


Zee Africa has added channel carriage of its Zee Magic channel that broadcast general entertainment content in French to China's StarTimes and StarSat satellite pay-TV service, widening its reach of Bollywood content under African audiences.

Zee Magic (StarSat 41 / StarSat 618) is now available to French-speaking audiences in African countries including Senegal, Gabon, Mali, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Cameroon and Sierra Leone.

"It is an exciting time for Zee Africa; it offers a fantastic platform to reach previously untapped parts of the francophone audience in Africa. We look forward to growing our French-speaking viewership with exceptional entertainment from Zee Magic, enjoyed by audiences across Africa," says Harish Goyal, CEO of Zee Africa and Asia Pacific.

Shows on Zee Magic include series like Gangaa, Mehek and Les Changement Du Destin (Twist of Fate). Zee Magic which is also available on Canal+ was launched October 2015 as Africa's first fully French-dubbed channel.

After eNCA anchor Vuyo Mvoko is found in breach of Broadcasting Code with Orania opinion in a news bulletin, eNCA loses appeal and is ordered to run an on-air apology.


eNCA (DStv 403) has been ordered to apologise after adding opinion to a TV news bulletin and losing its appeal after the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) found that the TV news channel breached the Broadcasting Code by including "unfounded opinion" into a news show.

On 17 April 2019 during the channel's prime time news broadcast, the eNCA anchor Vuyo Mvoko added personal comment after an insert about Orania, saying "that black people are only welcome there if they are domestics or if they are garden boys, there is no other recognition than this".

Two viewers complained.

eNCA visited Orania in its Election Bus shortly before the general elections earlier this year.

The BCCSA adjudicator said that "One of the principles that news anchors must adhere to, is to conduct a news bulletin in a neutral way, without stating personal opinions".

"In a national news bulletin a few weeks before an election, it is, to say the least, an unwise decision to broadcast such a preconceived perception that is adhered to regardless of preceding clarifying arguments, especially in the volatile situation that the country currently finds itself in."

The BCCSA found that "the final comment by the anchor cannot be seen as news reported truthfully, accurately, fairly and in the correct context, without intentional departure from the facts and thus it constitutes a contravention".

eNCA appealed the BCCSA decision and said that the broadcast in question did not qualify as news as defined in the Code and that the complaint should have been decided based only the part of the code of conduct which deals with comment - although eNCA in its initial response to the complainants itself indicated that the broadcast was a "news story".

The BCCSA said that "The method in which news is structured or packaged does not change the fact that the programme is news." The BCCSA said that "where a news broadcast is founded on opinion, this must be clearly indicated, however this was not the case in the last comment of the broadcast in question".

"The result thereof is that an incorrect impression was created in the eyes of the public, and the public could easily be misled into believing that the newsreader’s comment was fact or based on fact."

"The problem with the final comment made by the newsreader is that it put to the viewers a statement of fact," the BCCSA found.

"After the comment, there was no further room for engagement with the respondent. The comment was made in a news programme, identified as a news programme by the Appeal Tribunal and named as such by eNCA."

"The comment was thus not fair and was not based on facts but on opinion, however the comment was not presented in such a manner that clearly indicated that it was based on opinion or even allegations and rumours."

The BCCSA ordered eNCA to broadcast an on-air apology during the same news programme and in the same timeslot, noting that it apologises for the unfounded comment.

ESPN embarrassment for Disney Africa and FOX Africa as flipped FOX Sports channels fail to appear as promised ESPN on StarTimes's StarSat and Cell C black in South Africa.


Empty promises are what South African pay-TV subscribers got, and massive embarrassment is what Walt Disney Africa and FOX Networks Group Africa sit with after the FOX Sports channels that flipped to ESPN failed to materialise on either StarTimes' StarSat or Cell C black in South Africa.

Frank Rutten, who was the executive vice president for sports at Fox Networks Group and now oversees the rebranded ESPN for Europe and Africa, in a supplied statement in mid-August said that "Rebranding as ESPN is a natural transition following the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company".

"The ESPN brand is synonymous with sports, is one of the most valuable brands in the world and has an established global reach."

Christine Service, senior vice president and country manager at The Walt Disney Company Africa, said that "We are excited to grow our broadcast offering under the new ESPN banner, with our existing programming and intellectual property forming part of the plans for the future. We look forward to developing both channels in the months and years ahead."

As part of the ongoing international restructuring of its combined channel portfolios following The Walt Disney's takeover of 21st Century Fox, Fox Sports (StarSat 244 / Cell C black 401) and Fox Sports 2 (StarSat 245 / Cell C black 402) was supposed to flip to ESPN and ESPN2 from 30 August 2019 as part of Disney's backdoor rebranding and channels consolidation alignment.

A week and a half later there is still no ESPN channels on either China's StarTimes and StarSat, or Cell C black that is starting to implode and lost all of its linear TV channels.

StarSat was asked where the promised ESPN channels are but failed to respond to a media enquiry.

FOX Networks Group Africa (FNG Africa) was asked why the promised ESPN channels are not available as promised on StarSat but failed to respond to a media enquiry.

Walt Disney Africa  was asked by the promised ESPN channels are not available as promised on StarSat. A Disney Africa spokesperson told TVwithThinus that "we are aware of the fact that ESPN and ESPN2 are no longer broadcast on the StarSat platform. We are currently investigating this issue with StarSat".

"In terms of Cell C black, we defer to Cell C for comment."

The struggling Cell C abruptly no longer carries any linear TV channels on its downsized Cell C black which explains why this platform doesn't have the promised ESPN channels after it previously carried the FOX Sports channels.

Openview adds comedy pop-up channel, 21 Days of Comedy, for September.

Openview has added a pop-up comedy channel, 21 Days of Comedy, on the free-to-air satellite-TV service that started on Monday 9 September and that will run until 29 September 2019.

21 Days of Comedy is available on Openview channel 111 and replaced the eForce action films pop-up channel.

The 21 Days of Comedy channel has films like TrainWreck, Bean, Cheaper by the Dozen, Couples Retreat, Ice Age, Tooth FairyThe 40 Year Old Virgin, Evan Almighty and Date Night.

e.tv says that Openview has officially surpassed 1.7 million household activations.

"Our overall marketing efforts are proving to be fruitful for South African viewers who are in search of alternative viewing experiences," says Marlon Davids, managing director of e channels.

"We look forward to the Spring season and our viewers feeling light on their feet and knowing that there is a channel available for them to completely unwind."

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Apple TV+ video streaming service will be launching worldwide on 1 November at R73 per month.

Apple TV+, Apple's relaunched video streaming service, will start on 1 November 2019 in America and 100 other countries, including South Africa, at a cost of $4.99 (R73.17) per month.

Apple TV+ will be available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online at tv.apple.com in Safari, Chrome and Firefox, with a 7-day free trial.

In March 2019 Apple TV+ held a content upfront shedding light on some of the content it would offer at launch.

The launch of Apple TV+ on 1 November will come a few days before The Walt Disney Company's Disney+ streaming service that will launch on 12 November but which Disney won't be making available in South Africa or elsewhere in Africa.

Apple+ will compete in South Africa with MultiChoice's video streaming service Showmax from its Connected Video division, MultiChoice's planned streaming version of DStv it wants to launch before the end of the year, Netflix South Africa, Amazon Prime Video, the struggling and cut back Cell C black and some smaller players in an increasingly getting crowded over-the-top (OTT) digital video straight-to-consumer market.

"With Apple TV+ we are presenting all-original stories from the best, brightest and most creative minds, and we know viewers will find their new favourite show or movie on our service," says Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video, in a statement Apple released on Tuesday evening.

"Each Apple TV+ original offers its own unique story, fresh perspective and powerful message - all meant to entertain, connect and inspire cultural conversations."

"Apple TV+ is an unprecedented global video service with an all-original slate. We look forward to giving audiences everywhere the opportunity to enjoy these compelling stories within a rich, personalized experience on all the screens they love."

At launch, most Apple TV+ series will premiere with 3 episodes, with one new episode to roll out each week, while full seasons of some series will be available all at once.

Audiences worldwide can watch Apple TV+ originals subtitled and dubbed in nearly 40 languages, including subtitles for the deaf or closed captions (CC). Apple TV+ series and movies will also be available with audio descriptions in 8 languages.

The initial new and original content on Apple TV+ will include the drama series, The Morning Show set behind-the-scenes of a troubled American morning show with Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell.

See, a new drama series with Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard, is set 600 years in the future after a virus has decimated humankind and rendered the remaining population blind. When all humanity has lost the sense of sight, humans must adapt and find new ways to survive.

Dickinson will be a darkly comedic coming-of-age story, exploring the constraints of society, gender and family through the lens of rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson.

For All Mankind, a new series from Ronald D. Moore, imagines what would have happened if the global space race never ended and the space programme remained the cultural centrepiece of America’s hopes and dreams.

The Elephant Queen is a documentary film to a species on the verge of extinction, following a majestic matriarch elephant and her herd on an epic journey of life, loss and homecoming.

Ghostwriter is a reinvention of the beloved original series, following 4 kids who are brought together by a mysterious ghost in a neighbourhood bookstore and who must team up to release fictional characters from works of literature.

Oprah Winfrey will join the world’s most compelling authors in conversation as she builds a vibrant, global book club community and other projects to connect with people around the world and share meaningful ways to create positive change.


Upcoming content
Apple says that it will continue to add Apple TV+ Originals monthly after the initial burst of new content at launch. This will include:

Servant, a new psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, following a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.

Truth Be Told will be a new series starring Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul, exploring America’s obsession with true crime podcasts and navigating urgent concerns about privacy, media and race.

Little America will bring to life the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising stories of immigrants in America.

The Banker is a feature film, inspired by a true story, starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson as two black American entrepreneurs who try to circumvent the racial limitations of the 1950s and quietly provide housing loans to the black community in Jim Crow Texas.

Hala is a film that follows a high school student struggling to balance being a suburban teenager with her traditional Muslim upbringing.

INTERVIEW. Marc Buckner, The Bachelor SA's new bachelor, on why he's doing it, the love he's looking for - and maybe even shaving for television.


Marc Buckner, the new bachelor of The Bachelor SA on M-Net, says he doesn't want a woman who is looking to get him into bed but rather out of bed: A go-getter girl who loves to travel and who is willing to experience the adventure of life with him.

Before filming starts in October on the new season, Marc spoke to me about why he agreed to be the new bachelor and what his friends and family said of his big decision, what type of woman he's looking for, his dog and tattoo, if he's a romantic - and maybe shaving for the show.


How did this come about? Did you seek out the production company Rapid Blue or did they approach you, and why did you decide to do this?
Marc: Rapid Blue did find me and that was a few weeks ago. I decided to go ahead because it's the right timing in my life.

I managed to put everything aside for a while and I feel ready to hopefully meet the one. And I'm obviously far more mature than what I was in the past. Now is the time.


You're from Cape Town and I want to ask you your view on the dating scene. Is the Cape Town dating scene difficult, how would you describe dating in Cape Town?
Marc: Up until recently I was doing a lot more travelling - spending most of the year out of South Africa.

Now I have come back to the country, spending some more time here. Cape Town is ... its ... I think Cape Town is a different kettle of fish.

The thing is I'm so busy when I'm home between the different jobs that I do, so The Bachelor SA is an opportunity where I can just forget about everything else and rather focus on meeting someone.



What did your friends and family say when you told them you're doing this and what were their reservations and suggestions or feedback?
Marc: So, obviously a lot of people were congratulating me and super happy. And some felt that I was very brave. It's not a usual situation to put yourself in, you know? Obviously, you're putting yourself out there and it's out in the limelight and on TV. To put it delicately, "brave" is how they worded it.

Who or what qualities are you looking for?
Marc: I'm looking for somebody who is mature and goal-orientated, someone who wants to travel and is like-minded but when I say that, I mean a go-getter, someone who wants to get out there, get me out of bed and who says "let's go create something". That's definitely the person who I would love to spend my time with, or potentially, hopefully, my life.


As a male model you have some experience with the media and how the media industry works and photography, how prepared do you think you are in taking part in a dating reality show on television?
Marc: This is actually very different to what I'm used to. It's a whole other world but I'm excited to find myself in a different spot. I feel that when I do that, that it helps me grow and mature. So it's a different world for me. I'm very open-minded and just trusting the whole process.



You are obviously a model as well, you've been on the cover of various different countries' issues of Men's Health magazine, and in local and international advertising campaigns and there are a lot of shirtless photos of you out there. 
What would be your message for women who haven't entered The Bachelor SA yet and who perhaps have reservations about you and think "This guy as a male model is too egotistical" or that they don't have a chance?
Marc: The thing about my social media is that it has been directed towards future work and I don't think that up until now it has really reflected who I am.

But that's the whole thing - when you get to meet someone you get to show them your true self and that's what I'm hoping for through this whole Bachelor SA process. Women have got until Wednesday 11 September to enter, so if they would like to, go to mnet.tv





You have differing levels of chest hair and a beard. When M-Net announced you as the new bachelor, the woman I saw your photo with said you look like Wolverine. Will you be shaving for the show?
Marc: I am not entirely sure. I'm sure there'll be some point where I will. But to be honest the real reason that I don't is that I just leave things to be as they are. I'm not too "metro" lets put it that way. But ja, I think I may be shaving at some point. I'm not sure, we'll see.



Would you describe yourself as romantic?
Marc: Yes. Absolutely. I have many, many different dates planned. I have many dates in mind. If I can give you the ultimate date for me really is just at a fireplace - I used to have one in my old home in Cape Town and a fireplace with a glass of wine and an amazing dinner that we've cooked together. That would be for me the ultimate date.



Have you perhaps watched the first season of The Bachelor SA and what did you maybe learn?
Marc: I've watched snippets of it. I've actually done some catch-up recently. I don't have any preconceived expectations. There were some really fantastic dates and I think the nice thing about it was that it helped Lee Thompson to discover who he's meeting and likewise on the other side for the date to understand who she is spending her time with and if she would like to continue spending time with him.


Do you think you're a good discerner of character? How will you figure out whether women are there for fame or to be on TV, or really there for you?
Marc: It's obviously a difficult one. I'm just going to trust my gut with it and obviously the M-Net team as well. I'm hoping that spending time with everybody that that will come out.


I see that you have a tattoo that looks like Africa on your back. Can you tell me a little bit about the symbolism and meaning and when and why you got it?
Marc: You know, you're the first person to ask me, and I'm glad you did. I went to Thailand with my mom, I was living in Germany at the time; I hadn't seen her for a while, so we decided to do a hike over to Burma to the opium farmers; refugees actually.

I wanted to get a tattoo done with bamboo, I had something underneath it actually that was a cover-up. So I put the mountains, ocean - which each has its own symbolism, it's own meaning. So the mountains are maturity, the ocean is wisdom. I didn't want words. I wanted something real.



I think you have a dog or dogs. What type of a dog or dogs do you have, and what is the name and why do you have it?
Marc: My furry child - that is Luna Lulu Dog. She came into my life about 8 months ago and she's a rescue. She was abused previously. I don't know what she is - maybe other people could tell me. I think Africanis, Whippet, Doberman, probably a bit of everything actually. She does everything with me; goes everywhere with me.


The issue came up during the first season of The Bachelor SA - if you find love, would you be willing to move elsewhere in South Africa, would the woman have to move to Cape Town? Is the location where you'll live or have to live a relationship deal-breaker?
Marc: I love Cape Town but I'm very flexible. I've lived and travelled in and to so many places and I think that's what helps me to enjoy life but also to grow. I'm open to it. I have lived in Durban previously. So who knows? It would be great to travel to those areas and to see what it's like.

SOAP REVOLVING DOOR. 7de Laan loses Theodore Jantjies; adds Duncan Johnson and Nazli George as new Peterson family.


Theodore Jantjies known as Xander is the next longtime actor exiting SABC2's 7de Laan, with the Afrikaans weekday soap adding Duncan Johnson and Nazli George as the new Peterson family joining the fictional Hillside-set community.

After 14 years of portraying Xander Meintjies, Theodore Jantjies will have his last on-screen appearance in 7de Laan on 14 January 2020.

Meanwhile Duncan Johnson as Marvin Peterson and Nazli George as his wife Ivy Peterson will appear from Christmas Day, 25 December 2019 in the Danie Odendaal Productions show.

"It is always sad to say goodbye to a beloved character like Xander Meintjies. Theodore is highly talented and the consummate professional and we wish him the very best in his future," says Thandi Ramathesele, 7de Laan's executive producer.

Theodore Jantjies says "Xander Meintjies has been a part of my life for 14 years, and we have shared ups and downs, tears of joy and heartaches".

"For more than a decade, I have had the privilege to get to know this character and share him with all of you, in all his perfect and often imperfect glory."


"To be a part of one of South Africa's most beloved shows, 7de Laan, has been one of the highlights of my career as an actor, and I am most grateful to Danie Odendaal and Annie Basson for the opportunity they granted me 14 years ago." 

"I am grateful to the 7de Laan management, cast and crew, who have entrusted me with a wide variety of storylines that could move, inspire and motivate viewers. I am humbled by how these opportunities have challenged me as an actor."


That being said, the time has finally come, for a new adventure and for me to bid farewell to 7de Laan and Xander Meintjies."


Xander arrived in Hillside 14 years ago as law graduate fresh out of university and ready to fulfill his ambitions of becoming a lawyer. As Neville’s youngest son, Xander has always been more reserved than his brother, Vince.

Xander married the love of his life, Vanessa, and they went on to parent Karmen. Family secrets and shocking revelations, such as finding out he didn’t share the same father with Vince as they were led to believe, threatened to tear the Meintjies family apart.

As if that wasn’t enough, he fell in love with his brother’s wife Bonita, and fathered a child, Daniel, with her. True to his character, Xander worked hard to mend broken relationships and still reaps the consequences of his actions, trying to co-parent his children.


Peterson's set to stir
Marvin will enter 7de Laan as a family man "focused on providing a comfortable life for his wife and children, but life throws him a curve ball" the descriptor of the new character reads.

Ivy Peterson will be "a doting wife and mother to Marvin and their children".

"A woman’s resilience is portrayed through this character, who stands by her husband for better or for worse, but how much can one woman endure?" this character's initial descriptor says.

7de Laan says the soap is "confident that viewers will be entertained by Duncan Johnson and Nazli George's portrayal of Marvin and Ivy Peterson".

Monday, September 9, 2019

Adam Stotsky leaving as president of E!.

Adam Stotsky is leaving as president of E! and will be existing the entertainment TV channel from NBCUniversal International Networks after just 3 years, with no immediate replacement.

Adam Stotsky was appointed as E! president in February 2016 and has been with the company for 18 years.

Frances Berwick, president of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment's lifestyle channels will take over Adam Stotsky's responsibilities for the time being.

In a note to "Team E!" staffers Adam Stotsky writes that "the past 5 years with E! has been incredible".

Here is Adam Stotsky's note:

Team E! (and colleagues across NBCU),
 
I wanted to share with you that after 18 years I will be leaving NBCUniversal, a company I respect and people I have loved working with.  It’s been a journey of great pride and accomplishment.
 
I feel blessed to have had four distinct lives inside NBCU --  SYFY, NBC, Esquire Network, E! Entertainment.  Each offered a different challenge, yet there was always a passionate and dedicated team ready to rise to the occasion and push the brand and business forward. 
 
The past 5 years with E! have been incredible.  Together we transformed a singular hour of TV news and a popular website into the market-leading multi-platform publisher of pop culture/entertainment news, now delivering over a billion engagements a month.  

We launched our first scripted efforts, expanded E!’s signature live coverage beyond red carpets to our own award show with “People’s Choice Awards” and earned our status in fashion via partnerships with The Met Gala and New York Fashion Week.  And most importantly, we cemented E!’s position as a global pop culture powerhouse.
 
Thanks to our extremely talented team, we have accomplished what we set out to do and E!’s future is bright.   I will be working closely with Frances over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.  It has been an honor and privilege to work by your sides.
 
With respect and gratitude, Adam.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

M-Net reveals Marc Buckner as the bachelor for the second season of The Bachelor SA who is 'husband material' and this time looking for love and a lady.


M-Net (DStv 101) on Saturday afternoon revealed Barc Buckner (36) as the bachelor who will be looking for love and a lady in the second season of The Bachelor South Africa.

M-Net describes Marc Brent Buckner as a "mature, witty, energetic, smart, adventurous and compassionate, globe-trotting action man and multiple property owner and currency trader and investor".

Marc Buckner will be introduced on Sunday night, 8 September 2019, just after Carte Blanche on M-Net in an on-air promo, with entries for women who want to possibly meet him in the second season of the reality show that will be closing on Wednesday 11 September 2019.

The second season of The Bachelor SA follows after the first season that had Lee Thompson as the bachelor and is again being produced by Rapid Blue as a localised version of the dating show format of Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP).


His full name is Marc Brent Buckner and he "is the type of guy who puts his heart and soul into everything he does," says Lani Lombard, M-Net’s head of publicity.

"Once you’ve seen that twinkle in his eye and have the chance to engage with him in conversations  on a range of topics – from environmental issues, to motorbikes, healthy living, wellness, psychology and news headlines – there’s really only one way to describe him – husband material! And that’s exactly what we want our Bachelor to be."

M-Net says that when Marc Buckner isn't exploring foreign destinations – often in the company of one of his favourite people in the world, his mom – or analysing economic trends to boost his bank account – you will find Marc in the great outdoors.

"Hiking, kayaking, snorkelling, sky-diving or enjoying a 'picnic with a view' count among his best-loved activities. It’s just as important to him to build trusting, close relationships."

"Cooking a meal alongside a loved one and having a meaningful conversation over a glass of wine near a crackling fireplace is right up his alley. Another bonus for the ladies: he loves DIY projects and even builds his own furniture," says M-Net of Marc Buckner.

"Growing his own vegetable garden is on his to-do-list for when he finds 'the one' and starts his own family."

If Marc looks familiar, here's why: a modelling agency approached him at the age of sixteen and since then he’s appeared in commercials for many prominent brands and tested his acting chops in small parts in a couple of  music videos and movies.

"It opened many doors for me and allowed me to go to exotic places and meet many interesting people," Marc says in M-Net's statement.

"But now I'm about to open the most exciting door of them all – the opportunity to meet my other half on The Bachelor South Africa. I have no preconceived ideas of who this woman should be."

"Sometimes opposites attract and I can’t wait to invest quality time in getting to know the diverse group of powerful South African ladies who are as keen as I am to put their hearts on the line for love on a television show."

Jason Greer will again be the host of the second season and be facilitating the rose ceremonies as well as serving as a mentor figure to Marc throughout his reality love journey.

The second season of The Bachelor SA will be filmed between 5 October and 5 December 2019.

TNT on DStv celebrates 80 years of Batman with a September film festival.


The TNT channel (DStv 137) is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the creation of Batman with a film festival in September of all of the Batman movies starting today.

"With TNT’s programming being built on an action-driven, pulse-raising slate, we are proud to be part of this emblematic occasion where our African fans can immerse themselves in the epic Batman blockbusters as they celebrate the 80th anniversary of the greatest superhero of all time," says Guillermo Farré, the head of general entertainment channels at WarnerMedia Africa.

TNT will show two Batman films per Saturday, starting today, and ending with a marathon Bat-weekend.

Tim Burton’s iconic Batman film from 1989 with Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader is up first on Saturday 7 September at 17:55 on TNT, featuring Jack Nicholson as the feared Joker.

Critics at the time praised the film although they said it might be too dark and that Nicholson might be overshadowing the lead character but viewers absolutely loved it.

The sequel, Batman Returns from 1992 will be shown on after it on Saturday 7 September at 20:00, again with Michael Keaton this time pitted against the disfigured Penguin (Danny DeVito) who wants to kills Gotham City’s firstborns and the city’s defender having a romance with Michelle Pfeiffer who dabbles as Catwoman.

On Saturday 14 September at 18:00 on TNT DStv subscribers will be able to watch Batman Forever, the 1995-film with Joel Schumacher in the director’s chair and with Val Kilmer who took over from Michael Keaton in the Batsuit after a salary dispute.

This time Batman is up against new adversaries in the form of Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey) who discover his real identity through mind-control of Gotham’s inhabitants. 

Luckily Batman gets help in the form of his sidekick Robin (Chris O’Donnell). Nicole Kidman stars as well as the psychologist Dr Chase Meridian who Bruce reveals his darkest secrets to.


On Saturday 14 September at 20:00 on TNT it’s time to watch George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell in the body-hugging "nipple costumes" with 1997’s Batman & Robin, with Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. George Clooney replaced Val Kilmer after another contract dispute and this time the threesome are pitted against Mr Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman).

On Saturday 21 September all four of these Batman films will be shown again starting with Batman (09:35), Batman Returns (11:40), Batman Forever (13:45) and Batman & Robin (15:45).

Thereafter will follow Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins (17:45), The Dark Knight (20:00) and The Dark Knight Rises (22:30) which together are known as "The Dark Knight Trilogy".

Christian Bale took over for The Dark Knight Trilogy donning the Batsuit as a reboot of the DC hero film franchise with Michael Caine as butler Alfred and Gary Oldmand and Morgan Freeman joining the trilogy-cast.

In Batman Begins from 2005 with Christoper Nolan as director, the Dark Knight battles Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy).

In The Dark Knight (2008) he tries to outwit the Joker, now played by Heath Ledger, and in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) Batman might have met his match in Bane (Tom Hardy) as his adversary plotting a nuclear explosion, with Anne Hathaway in the role of Catwoman.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

MultiChoice shuts offices and branches in Nigeria and Zambia after protests following xenophobic violence in South Africa; Tiwa Savage cancels on DStv Delicious Festival; Zambia cancels international football match.


South Africa's MultiChoice Group has shut down the pan-African pay-TV operator's offices and branches in Nigeria and Zambia indefinitely following public protest action, with the Nigeria singer Tiwa Savage who has dumped the DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival, while Zambia has cancelled an international friendly football match.

MultiChoice has indefinitely shuttered its offices in Lagos, Nigeria as well as in Lusaka, Zambia following public protests at its offices in these countries.

The protest action follows a horrific spate of xenophobic violence and looting in Alexandra in South Africa directed against mostly immigrant-owned shops across Johannesburg that started in Jeppestown on Sunday and by Tuesday had engulfed Alexandra, Tembisa, Germiston, Kempton Park, Coronation Park, Turffontein and Malvern. Five people have so far died.

Joe Heshu, MultiChoice's head of corporate affairs, says MultiChoice decided to shut its brances in Nigeria and Zambia "to safeguard customers and staff until further notices". These MultiChoice offices and brances will remain closed indefinitely "until the situation is under control".

MultiChoice in a statement on Wednesday said that it urges "all our customers, followers and stakeholders to shun violence".

"MultiChoice is committed to uniting Africans through our programming and cultural initiatives."

"We advocate equality and condemn all forms of discrimination. The ongoing violence in South Africa against foreign nationals, is against the spirit of Africa, and counter-productive to the decades of work done by African leaders and well-meaning organisations to unite the continent."

The company said that "We are a proudly African company and although our story began in South Africa, today we represent the African continent in all its diversity through our presence across the region."

"We embrace and celebrate the diversity of varied nationalities, traditions, cultures and religions from across the continent and beyond."

"This is demonstrated through our multinational staff complement, our multicultural supply chain, as well as the local and international content that we showcase on both our DStv and GOtv platforms."

"We believe Africa’s full potential can only be realised through dialogue, peace, and unity. This is a sombre period for every African on the continent and beyond, and we urge all our customers, followers, and stakeholders to shun violence."


Tiwa Savage, Zambian soccer cancel on South Africa Meanwhile the Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage on Wednesday said publicly that she's done with the upcoming DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival over the shocking xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The 2019 DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival is set to take place at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Midrand on 21 and 22 September.

Tiwa Savage said "I refuse to watch the barbaric butchering of my people in SA. This is sick. For this reason I will not be performing at the upcoming DStv Delicious Festival in Johannesburg".

Meanwhile AFP reports that Zambia has cancelled an international friendly football match which was set to take place in Lusaka next weekend against South Africa. The match was also cancelled over the shocking xenophobic attacks.

"This is because of the security concerns, you never know what can happen," the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) secretary general Adrian Kashala, told AFP. "We want to be sure of the security of (the) visiting team".

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

After days the struggling Cell C now admits that it yanked all its TV channels as its Cell C black streaming service is cut down; first said that the black blackout is because of 'difficulties' that its IT division is trying to resolve.


With chaos inside the struggling and cash-strapped Cell C, the company on Tuesday finally admitted after days of no answers that it had to cut all its TV channels from its Cell C black video streaming service that is being downsized, after first saying the Cell C black blackout is because of "difficulties" that its IT division is "trying to resolve in a timely manner".

Cell C black started to apologise "for the blackout you're currently experiencing" just before the past weekend when Cell C black customers were confronted with a sad face emoji on-screen message instead of the carousel of live linear TV channels on the service.

In a note to scared Cell C black customers that TVwithThinus obtained, Cell C told concerned Cell C black subscribers to "kindly note that there is a current technical disruption with all live TV channels on the black portal".

"We humbly apologise for the inconvenience and would like to assure you that your black experience is important to us. We will update you on the progress once feedback from our IT department is received".


Now the blackout, "difficulties", "technical disruption" and problem that IT had to solve has been turned into a deliberate Cell C service cut, which means that either Cell C black lied to customers or that Cell C black executives and staffers didn't know and themselves were not aware that the TV channels service was abruptly being shut down.

Cell C on Tuesday responded to questions in a media enquiry from TVwithThinus made earlier, saying that Cell C had made a decision to review its Cell C black content strategy "in particular its linear channels and enter into negotiations with its content providers".

Cell C didn't say why it failed to warn the South African TV industry and its paying subscribers beforehand that the channels would go dark leading to speculation that it is channel suppliers who revoked access to their content over non-payment causing the black blackout crisis.

"We are taking the right steps to right-size the business, focusing on revenue generating activities and cutting costs where necessary. Our decision to reconfigure our product and services is part of putting the business on the right track," said Douglas Craigie Stevenson, Cell C CEO, in a supplied statement on Tuesday.

"We need to move forward based on a roadmap that is robust, profitable and in the best interests of Cell C and its customers. "Content remains part of the broader strategy and will continue to be offered, albeit in a different format."

Cell C said that "Cell C black customers will continue to have access to music, series and movies even though linear channels have been temporarily suspended. All impacted linear subscribers will receive alternative black products and services."

Besides offering a catalogue of on-demand programming including series and films, Cell C black also offered a carousel of linear TV channels ranging from entertainment and news to sports, music and lifestyle that viewers could watch through the video streaming service, exactly similar as to using a rooftop satellite dish like DStv or StarSat.

The 40 linear TV channels on Cell C black ranged from FOX and National Geographic, to TNT, Trace and Al Jazeera.

Cell C launched Cell C black, accessed through its own set-top box (STB) called the blackBOX, as well as through web browsers in November 2017 to compete with MultiChoice’s Showmax, Netflix South Africa and Amazon Prime Video in the growing but video streaming consumer market.

The Cell C black channels shutdown brings the Cell C black service perilously close to the group of already terminated and failed video streaming services in South Africa ranging from VIDI and the Altech Node to OnTapTV, Kwesé Play and Kwesé TV and others.


Monday, September 2, 2019

MultiChoice Angola to launch a new VAT-inclusive DStv package to help combat pay-TV subscriber churn as household spending remains under pressure in the country's tough economy.


MultiChoice Angola will launch a new DStv bouquet that will soon be made available and that will already include value-added tax (VAT).

Mercado reports that, according to insider sources, MultiChoice Angola, plans to launch a new VAT-inclusive DStv package with the pay-TV operator looking to combat churn by helping Angolan households in the country's tough economy.

MultiChoice Angola is a franchise division in that country run by Jembas Assistência Tecnica, running the DStv pay-TV service from MultiChoice Africa.

According to Mercado, new consumer market research in Angola has revealed that besides just the lower, middle and upper classes, Angolan households are and can be more specifically subdivided and targeted by companies according to disposable income.

MultiChoice Angola has now apparently put together a DStv package that is supposed to help prevent DStv subscribers from cancelling, with some of the most-watched TV channels combined into a 3300 Kz (R139) subscription package.

The new DStv package will be price-placed between the two lowest and seven highest-priced packages. It will bring the number of DStv packages available in Angola to 10.

First 20 students from the MultiChoice Talent Factory film academy's Southern Africa hub graduate.


The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), MultiChoice's film academy for sub-Saharan Africa held the graduation ceremony on Saturday for the academy's 20 students of the Southern Africa hub at the Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM) in Lusaka, Zambia where where students received their Certificate in TV and Film accredited by the University of Zambia.

Saturday's graduation ceremony of the 20 Southern Africa students at the MultiChoice Talent Factory follows the after the one in Nairobi, Kenya for the East Africa hub, with the one in Lagos, Nigeria for the West African region that will take place on 12 September.

MultiChoice set up the MultiChoice Talent Factory last year, and modelled it on M-Net's successful Magic in Motion film academy in South Africa, with three film academy hubs in Lusaka, Nairobi and Lagos.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory was launched in May 2018 to support and help grow Africa’s creative film and TV industries through the film academy as a training and skills development opportunity for young emerging filmmakers by offering a 12-month fully funded training programme.

Along with their certificates, various students from the MultiChoice Talent Factory in Southern Africa got placements and internships with the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) in New York; an Indian Film Industry "Bollywood" production internship with Nihilent Limited in India, a "Nollywood" production scriptwriting internship on an Africa Magic series produced in Lagos, placement on SuperSport productions, an infinite AVID media composer license, as well as a AVID Pro Tools license by Jasco Broadcast Solutions.

The students who received certificates included Clarence Nyoni, Muchemwa Sinkala, Emmanuel Mwape, Jones Mvula, Mainala Silondwa, Racheal Mbewe and Joshua Kafumukache from Zambia; Sally Jason, Esther Beukes, Toivo Ashivudhi from Namibia; and Chimwemwe Mkwezalamba and Jonathan Kapumba from Malawi.

Serena Serene Mmifinyana and Nikita Mokgware from Botswana; Nobert Mapfoche and Rutendo Mahofa from Zimbabwe; Emanuel Gonçalves and Leandro Lima from Angola; as well as Gerson Amaral and Ludmila Mero from Mozambique were part of the group.

MultiChoice Africa fully sponsored the students' tuition, accommodation and stipend for the duration of 12 months during the film academy programme and they got to keep their laptops and cellphones they were given.

"The MultiChoice Talent Factory academy students have been provided with skillsets to develop their talent, connect with industry professionals and tell African stories through a comprehensive curriculum comprising theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in cinematography, editing, audio production and storytelling," said Nyiko Shiburi, the director of MultiChoice Southern Africa Holdings. 

"As a a company that is deeply rooted in Africa, we understand that many young, aspiring filmmakers have the capacity to learn and strengthen their skillset to give back to their communities but may not be financially equipped to do so."

"The MultiChoice Talent Factory focuses on making sure that those gems are nurtured, and their talent developed to contribute meaningfully to Africa’s creative industry."

The MultiChoice Talent Factory Southern Africa students produced two films, the romance drama Savannah Skies and the horror thriller The Painting that had their premiere screening including a press conference on Friday evening at the Ster-Kinekor at the Manda Hill mall in Lusaka that was attended by 200 invited guests.

Savannah Skies and The Paiting will  be broadcast on M-Net's channels in Southern Africa and will also be made available on MultiChoice's subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) video streaming service Showmax. 

Throughout the past year, the MultiChoice Talent Factory has partnered with various institutions and organisations to ensure the success of the initiative who have delivered expertise in various aspects of the film and television and participated in various touchpoints of the initiatives from training at the academy to upskilling industry professionals through masterclasses.

In April 2018, the MultiChoice Talent Factory partnered with the world-renowned New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA). 

Every year, starting with the first graduating class, one graduate from each of the three hubs will get to enhance their filmmaking skills through a scholarship. The Southern Africa class of 2018's recipient is Mainala Silondwa from Zambia who gets an 8-week internship with the NYFA.

Jonathan Kapumba from Malawi was chosen to receive a 3-week Bollywood production internship. Nikita Mokgware from Botswana was chosen for the 3 to 4-week internship on an Africa Magic series produced in Nigeria.

Jasco Broadcast Solutions is also giving an AVID media composer licence to Emanuel Goncalves from Angola who was chosen as the most-promising film video editor in the Southern Africa region. The AVID Pro Tools licence for the most-promising sound engineer per region for Southern Africa was awarded to Joshua Kafumukache from Zambia. 

Two students, Nobert Mapfoche from Zimbabwe with a director position, and Emmanuel Mwape from Zambia as a producer position will be joining the SuperSport crew in Zambia after graduation.  

“From its inception, the MultiChoice Talent Factory has been a place of inspiration not only to the learners graduating today, but to many that have walked into its doors and from different walks of life," said Mabvuto Sakala, Zambia's secretary in the ministry of higher education at the graduation ceremony on Saturday in his keynote address.

"This is the place where over 100 other filmmakers have gone through high-level master classes in cinematography, sound engineering, lighting and design and storytelling to enhance their skills."

"The local film industry has also been empowered to network with colleagues of like mind from across the continent through the MTF portal that is allowing real-time sharing of ideas for the creatives."


'Enough of this trash!': StarSat subscribers in South Africa fuming, furious and confused over chopping, changing and dropping of TV channels after latest bouquet changes from China's StarTimes pay-TV service.


"Enough of this trash." So say StarSat subscribers in South Africa who are fuming, along with subscribers in other Southern African countries who are furious and confused over the chopping, changing and dropping of TV channels after the latest round of unexplained bouquet changes from China's StarTimes pay-TV service.

StarTimes and StarSat altered its packages since 30 August 2019 which also notably co-incided with The Walt Disney Company and FOX Networks rebranding its FOX Sports channels in Africa to ESPN with the promise that two ESPN channels would be available on StarSat.

However it's not, causing huge embarrassment to Disney Africa, ESPN Africa, and FOX Africa who kept touting the countdown to ESPN replacing FOX Sports and being on StarSat and Cell C black, leading to public anger and outrage under StarSat subscribers asking what's going on and saying they have once again been duped by false promises and marketing.

StarSat held no press conference or media event to inform the press about looming changes to its bouquets and channels structure, with the media none the wiser about the latest range of changes and with StarSat subscribers who are frustrated, left without answers to their many questions, and venting on social media.

StarTimes dropped FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, ST Series E1 and Trace Africa which disappeared as channels.

Also gone is ST Sports Focus, ST Sports Life, ST Sports Arena, ST Sports Premium, ST Sports World Football rebranded into just 3 sports channels: ST Sports 1 HD, ST Sports 2 HD and ST Sports 3 HD.

ST Sports 1 HD and ST Sports 3 HD are available to the Super and Max bouquets. ST Sports 2 HD is only available to the Special bouquet on StarSat.

StarSat said it would be returning the Africa Movie Channel Series (AMC Series). It also said it would add the Indian-infused Colours channel although that channel remains unavailable.

The Walt Disney Company Africa and FOX Networks Group Africa (FNG Africa) were both asked about why ESPN is not available on StarSat as promised but didn't respond with answers to a media enquiry made last week and again on Monday.

StarSat subscriber Frank Wallace said "What happened to channel 125? StarSat is becoming less watchable for me. It seems to be catering more for the Chinese, Nigerian, Spanish, Mexican or whatever audiences. Such a pity. As a pensioner, there is no value for money anymore".

"We are paying for 3 less channels that have disappeared. Let us know and stop keeping us in the dark like you usually do," wrote StarSat subscriber Graham Thomas.

"We demand answers now. Where are the new channels?" asked Kudzai Sanyika. "Why did you remove by FOX Sports when you can't replace it?"

Tatenda Mahachi said "StarSat you need to be serious. How can you remove two sports channels and three music channels? Bring back Trace Africa and FOX Sports."

"StarSat is confusing us," remarked Buti Mbuduma. "What's happening to the rebranding of ST Sports 1 HD etc.?"

"StarSat is going to lose a lot of customers due to their recent changes and I'm one of them," said Tee Mashego.

"Channels 125, 248 and 249 all gone!" said Haroon Vahed. "Please stop beating your own drum! You are pathetic. I suppose we can expect more local, Nigerian and Chinese fare! Please! Enough of this trash. Where are the replacements for the movie channels that you pulled a few years ago? And enough of those badly dubbed foreign stuff."

Cell C black blackout as all its channels abruptly disappear without warning or explanation and customers fear a product implosion similar to Econet Media's shuttered Kwesé TV.


A blackout has hit Cell C black with all of the video streaming service's TV channels that have abruptly disappear without warning or explanation.

Customers not getting what they've paid for or any answers, are fearing that a product implosion similar to Econet Media's shuttered Kwesé TV might be hitting Cell C black.

Cell C black was asked what happened, why all of the linear TV channels disappeared, what message Cell C has for black customers, when service will be restored and whether customers will be getting a refund for the service they're not getting. The company didn't respond with answers to the media enquiry at the time of publication on Monday.

Besides offering a catalogue of on-demand programming including series and films, Cell C black also offer a carousel of linear TV channels ranging from entertainment and news to sports, music and lifestyle that viewers can watch through the video streaming service, exactly similar as to using a rooftop satellite dish like DStv or StarSat.

The 40 linear TV channels on Cell C black range from FOX and National Geographic, to TNT, Trace and Al Jazeera.

Cell C launched Cell C black, accessed through its own set-top box (STB) called the blackBOX, as well as through web browsers in November 2017 to compete with MultiChoice’s Showmax, Netflix South Africa and Amazon Prime Video in the growing but video streaming consumer market. 

In a note to scared Cell C black customers that TVwithThinus obtained, Cell C only tells concerned subscribers to "kindly note that there is a current technical disruption with all live TV channels on the black portal. We humbly apologise for the inconvenience and would like to assure you that your black experience is important to us. We will update you on the progress once feedback from our IT department is received".


On its website Cell C black since Monday morning, 4 days after channels blackout started, now simply says: "We are experiencing difficulties wich are affecting our live TV channels and are working to resolve the issue in a timely manner. We apologise for any inconvenience caused".

It sounds ominously similar to the pro forma platitude message that Econet sent to customers of its now bust Kwesé Play streaming service through a Roku device, its Kwesé TV pay-TV service and its Kwesé Free Sports linear TV channel that it provided to e.tv's Openview platform, that all abruptly went down while Econet kept telling customers it's working on the technical problems only for the service to be placed into liquidation.

Cell C that has sunk millions into its video streaming venture is facing massive financial problems with investors who have been saying that they're being kept in the dark about the growing Cell C cash crisis.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe and other top execs threaten to quit as they reveal shocking SABC board editorial interference and other ridiculous demands like free tickets as board members allegedly 'continue to add chaos and havoc' at the SABC.


The SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe has threatened to quit and is willing to resign and leave the beleaguered South African public broadcaster along with the organisation's other top executives who have revealed shocking SABC board interference in their work, editorial interference and ridiculous demands like wanting free tickets to events they end up being no-show's for.

The Sunday Times newspaper on Sunday reported SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe who said in a SABC board meeting that "SABC board members are continuing to add chaos and havoc" at the SABC, including wanting to give ministers SABC News coverage for "political mileage" and are involved in editorial interference.

Amidst the shocking and detailed allegations, SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe, the outgoing acting COO Dr Craig van Rooyen and CFO Yolande van Biljon have threatened that they're ready to walk over SABC board members' interference in their work and who are not allowed to do so.

One SABC board member allegedly suggested that South African minister be given coverage on SABC News in return for "political mileage" - something that amounts to direct and undue editorial interference.

In other allegations of editorial interference, a state-owned agency demanded that one of the SABC board members be interviewed on SABC News, a state-owned agency where the SABC board member happens to be the CEO.

Shamelessly, SABC board members have allegedly also demanded tickets at SABC board meetings for events ranging from sports and election gala dinners - events to which when they were given tickets ended up being no-shows.

SABC board members are allegedly also unprepared for board meetings and show up late.

The SABC's top executive have labelled SABC board members Mamodupi Mohlala-Malaudzi and Marcia Socikwa as "troublemakers".

Madoda Mxakwe, who described the situation as untenable, told the SABC board in a meeting on 31 July 2019 that it "needs to take a decision whether they want us here or not because these few board members are continuing to add chaos and havoc in this organisation".

"I cannot be expected to lead an organisation where there's constant undermining of what we are doing, particularly in the circumstances we find ourselves in at the SABC."

"It does concern me that these few board members are still continuing to undermine the work that collectively we are doing at the SABC," Madoda Mxakwe told the SABC board.

There's been no statement from the SABC yet.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The SABC appoints the boss of its TV Licence fees division Sylvia Tladi as the South African public broadcaster's next acting chief operating officer.

The South African public broadcaster has appointed Sylvia Tladi, the head of the SABC's TV Licence division as its latest acting chief operating officer (COO).

She replaces Dr Craig van Rooyen who unexpectedly quit as acting COO citing personal reasons and who replaced Chris Maroleng who was fired.

Earlier this week the SABC on Wednesday in parliament, Madoda Mxakwe said that the beleaguered and technically insolvent SABC has a massive problem with SABC TV Licences and that although the SABC's database has 9.6 million SABC TV licence fee payers, only a shockingly low 2.2 million people are still bothering to pay their licence fees, with "455 000 doing it in instalment terms. As you can see the gap is quite huge".

Sylvia Tladi runs the SABC's struggling TV licence fees division since May 2013, with the SABC that out of everybody available Sylvia Tladi "is best suited to act whilst the organisation finalises the process of appointing a permanent chief operating officer".

Sylvia Tladi joined the SABC in 2004 as the manager for business accounts at the SABC TV Licence fees division and became the compliance manager for business and retailer accounts at the division in 2011.

In 2012 Sylvia Tladi was appointed as the acting SABC TV licence division boss and was permanently appointed in the role since May 2013.

Sylvia Tladi has been in charge of managing the entire TV Licence division which has seen multiple ongoing challenges and problems ranging from system issues to the hiring and firing and non-permanent staffers angry over their employment status, and irregularities and allegations of corruption over outsourcing of work to SABC TV licence fees debt collection agencies.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

First 20 students from the MultiChoice Talent Factory film academy's East Africa hub graduate.


The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), MultiChoice's film academy for sub-Saharan Africa held the first graduation ceremony for the academy's 20 students of the East Africa hub at the Nairobi Film Centre in Kenya where students received their certificates from the Kenyatta University accredited training programme.

MultiChoice set up the MultiChoice Talent Factory last year, and modelled it on M-Net's successful Magic in Motion film academy in South Africa, with three film academy hubs in Lusaka, Zambia for Southern Africa, Nairobi in Kenya for East Africa, and in Lagos in Nigeria for West Africa.

Along with their certificates, various students from the MultiChoice Talent Factory in East Africa got placements and internships with the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) in New York; an Indian Film Industry "Bollywood" production internship with Nihilent Limited in India, a "Nollywood" production scriptwriting internship on an Africa Magic series produced in Lagos, an infinite AVID media composer license, as well as a AVID Pro Tools license by Jasco Broadcast Solutions

"We've encountered some challenges as we travelled our way along this journey, but with the remarkable support of our stakeholders, partners and supporters, we soldiered on and have emerged stronger for the creative industry as a whole," said Maharage Chande, MultiChoice regional director for the Northern region.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory was launched in May 2018 to support and help grow Africa’s creative film and TV industries through the film academy as a training and skills development opportunity for young emerging filmmakers by offering a 12-month fully funded training programme.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory's curriculum is run by three regional academy directors, Njoki Muhoho (East Africa), Berry Lwando (Southern Africa) and Femi Odugbemi (West Africa) with 20 students each for a total of 60.

"Those that made the cut have certainly proved their potential, and all the graduates' hard work during the programme has led to this moment," said Njoko Muhoho, the MultiChoice Talent Factory East Africa director.

"It was truly a privilege to witness as the students worked diligently and demonstrated exactly how important a programme such as the MultiChoice Talent Factory academy is for the preservation of Africa’s creative film and TV industry. I couldn't have been prouder of the students for the work they have so far put in, and for what lies ahead of them," said Njoko Muhoho.

Throughout the past year the MultiChoice Talent Factory has partnered with various institutions and organisations to ensure the success of the initiative who have delivered expertise in various aspects of the film and television and participated in various touchpoints of the initiatives from training at the academy to upskilling industry professionals through masterclasses.

In April 2018, the MultiChoice Talent Factory partnered with the world-renowned New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA). 

Every year, starting with the first graduating class, one graduate from each of the three hubs will get to enhance their filmmaking skills through a scholarship. The East Africa class of 2018's recipient is the 26-year-old Kenyan, Hillary Lanogwa.

The 26-year old Jane Moshi from Tanzania was chosen to receive the 2-week Bollywood production internship. The 24-year old Cissy Nalumansi from Uganda was chosen for the 3 to 4-week scriptwriting internship in an Africa Magic series.

Jasco Broadcast Solutions is also giving an AVID media composer licence for the 22-year old Kenya, Hilary Sibuni Sitati, who was chosen as the most-promising film video editor in the East Africa region. The AVID Pro Tools licence for the most-promising sound engineer per region for East Africa was awarded to 24-year-old Anthony Njoroge from Kenya.  

"From the onset, we as MultiChoice believed that working in partnership with creative organisations across the continent and beyond will contribute towards making this initiative a success for the students and broader creative industry," says Cheryl Uys-Allie, the MultiChoice Talent Factory director.

"We truly thank the partners who have come on board to contribute towards equipping our emerging creatives with the technical skills they need to expertly navigate our industry. As the old African proverb says, ‘If you want to run fast, go alone. If you want to run far, go together. It’s our hope that we will see more partners joining us to ignite Africa’s creative industry further."