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DISCOP Johannesburg 2017
Immediate Release

JOHANNESBURG 30 October | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | The sixth edition of the DISCOP Johannesburg entertainment content market wrapped up last Friday with a record 1,506 attendees from 81 countries including 37 Sub-Saharan African nations. National and regional pavilions hosted delegates from Germany, this year’s Guest Country, France, the USA, China, Francophone Africa, and the Middle East.
Meetings and business were the overall focus of DISCOP Johannesburg, and   many distribution and coproduction deals were reported in market aisles that remained busy until the very end. This year, international buyers who were in attendance were very, very serious about looking at content “Made in Africa” and non-African content distributors and producers felt more competition coming from African content distributors and producers who are offering content that is more affordable, with better production values, and with dubbed versions in English, French, Portuguese and Swahili more readily available.
In fact, DISCOP Johannesburg 2017 saw a 50% jump in the number companies selling content "Made In Africa" in comparison to last year, with many companies from the Continent (IROKO | AFOREVO | RTI | DIFFA ) confirming significant deals.
“During these three days, all signs pointed to intensifying competition between distribution platforms hungry for content. For the first time, sellers had more leverage and ended up with better deals.” says Sheryl NAVARRO, DISCOP’s Head of Customers Relations, who adds, “Competition is also growing between global entertainment brands who dominated the marketplace until now, and home grown content rapidly catching up on quality and cross-border potential.”
A robust and well attended conference and workshop program dubbed Next Gen showcased 35 sessions and 82 international speakers. The program provided delegates with direct access to information on alternative distribution and funding opportunities; virtual reality content production, coproduction opportunities with Francophone Africa and the USA, and many other subjects.
 Organizers announced strategic plans to launch two new DISCOP markets, one in Zanzibar aimed at Eastern Africa to premiere in 2018 from 11 to 13 July, and one in Lagos to be centered on Nigeria’s
For almost two years Cycil Jones Abban, now 37, managed a pharmacy and spent his nights animating. Like the cartoonist Batman of Ghana’s capital, Accra, Abban started by working from his home, and eventually, he became the head of his own studio, Parables Animation Studios (pictured at top).
The movies and shorts that Parables creates breathe life into classic Ghanaian folklore and history by putting modern twists on tales that Abban grew up with. The studio churns out colorful and vibrant 2D cartoons that are inspired by American TV animation, some of which have been viewed 60,000 times on Youtube.
“Children learn from cartoons so it’s an excellent way to incorporate culture,” said Abban as he sat in a sparsely furnished office surrounded by wooden cutouts of characters from his animated series. “We translate our shows into the local languages so that everyone can enjoy them; this ensures that our culture isn’t overshadowed by foreign productions.”

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