Wednesday, July 30, 2014

JUMPING THE SHARK. Sharknado 2: The Second One coming to Studio Universal on Thursday; DStv adds sharkfest movies to DStv Catch Up.


This is an important public service announcement: Don't leave those umbrellas at home. It's a dark and stormy night and 'em sharkies are pouring down in a Sharknado. Sharknado Two. Feed my lovelies, feed!

Sharknado 2: The Second One, the sequel in the schlock movie franchise that's so bad, it's bad, is coming to South African viewers on Studio Universal (DStv 112) at 04:00 South African time on Thursday morning, 31 July as the film makes its debut in America.

DStv subscribers will again be able to watch as a killer storm of flying sharks decimate New York City on Thursday night at 20:00 when Sharknado 2: The Second One is shown during primetime on Studio Universal (DStv 112), less than 24 hours after the 'nado has hit New York.

MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform is ready to jump the shark as well with the Sharknado pop culture phenomenon and is giving South African DStv subscribers the opportunity to join in the sharky silliness.

MultiChoice is placing Sharknado 2: The Second One on DStv Catch Up which means that DStv subscribers will be able to watch it on their PVRs and DStv Explora whenever they want over the course of the next seven days after the movie debuts on Studio Universal.

Also on DStv Catch Up will be the original Sharknado, as well as two other shark movies, Ghost Shark and Two-Headed Shark Attack as part of a shark horror movie schlockfest.

In Sharknado 2: The Second One Ian Ziering from Beverly Hills, 90210 fame and now a Chippendales male stripper, and Tara Reid (they obviously survived the first one) reprise their roles as Fin and April. But like all movie buffs know, in a sequel there's never any certainty that the original characters will continue to survive. 

As a sharknado of … well, sharks … pummel New York, viewers can look forward to guest appearances (usually code for "“they're dying in unexpected, silly, gory and shockingly delicious ways) from Kelly Osbourne, Vivica A. Fox, Kari Wuhrer, Mark McGrath and Andy Dick.

Following Sharknado 2 on Studio Universal … Shark Month of course, on Discovery Channel on DStv in August.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BREAKING. kykNET fined R30 000 by Broadcasting Complaints Commission over deliberately using Tourette's Syndrome for comedy.


kykNET (DStv 144), M-Net's Afrikaans language supplied TV channel to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform has been fined R30 000 by the Broadcasting Compaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for using Tourette's Syndrome and incorporating it as "humour" in the improvisation comedy sketch show Proesstraat.

kykNET went ahead broadcasting the episode of Proesstraat on 10 March after the DStv TV channel was previously warned about a similar occurence where Tourette's Syndrome was used as a comedic device in an episode on 10 February 2014.

Actress Elize Cawood told two actors in Proesstraat to pretend as if they had Tourette's Syndrome to make the audience laugh.

kykNET told the BCCSA that the intention of Proesstraat is "to entertain the audience" and that it is "an opportunity to escape through laughter and to forget about daily depression and concerns" and that the scene did not contravene the Broadcasting Code.

"The mimicry amounted to a serious impairment of the dignity of persons who suffer from Tourette's Syndrome, and the comedic nature of the episode exacerbated the effect," the BCCSA found, calling it a "serious" impairment.

The depiction of Tourette's Syndrome was not in a TV drama which would have been different, but as comedy and to make people laugh at the Tourette's Syndrome sufferers.

"The portrayal concerned a minority that is in dire need of respect and sympathy, and which should not be made the laughing stock of of light impromptu theatre, which is broadcast to a wide television audience," the BCCSA ruled.

"A further aggravating factor is that the producer had been made aware of the sensitivities in this regard after an earlier episode where Tourette's Syndrome had been included."

kykNET has until 31 August to pay the fine of R30 000 for contravening the Broadcasting Code.

BREAKING. e.tv fined R10 000 by Broadcasting Complaints Commission for broadcasting man stripping with an erection during family viewing time.


You're reading it here first. 

e.tv has been fined R10 000 by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) for broadcasting "distasteful" sexually suggestive trash programming at 17:30 when children are watching in which a man started stripping, got an erection and had to be pulled off a woman after groping, in the show Eye for an Eye.

Although the BCCSA found e.tv guilty of contravening the Broadcasting Code, e.tv didn't feel that the TV channel did anything wrong to show it during the timeslot.

e.tv had the audacity to tell the BCCSA that the programme "carried a PG10 rating and was broadcasting just before news at a time when a large number of children would not be in the audience".

The BCCSA received complaints about Eye for an Eye, a revenge court show in which a judge awards "payback" instead of money.

In the episode on e.tv, filled with sexually suggestive content inappropriate for children, a man, scantily clad, was forced by a judge to strip and dance.

"It was disgusting for me and my kids to see a guy dancing sexually suggestively and actually having an erection, which he apologised for. There was groping and the guy had to be pulled off the lady," wrote one complainant.

Another complainant also wrote about the "highly distasteful programming on e.tv", saying that "I hope the programming manager of e.tv is fired and decent programming aired".

"The programme Eye for an Eye was aired on e.tv at 17:30 and a man was ordered by the judge to strip in front of several girls with suggestive sexual content. At that point I stopped watching as it was utter trash," wrote a complainant.

"I cannot believe South African viewers are are being bombarded on a daily basis with such trash".

The BCCSA found that "the material should not have been broadcast at such an early timeslot when a large number of children were bound to have been watching television". The BCCSA said that Eye for an Eye "should have been broadcast at least after 20:00" and that e.tv contravened the Broadcasting Code.

"The material broadcast was of an adult nature and should not have been broadcast at that time of day," the BCCSA found in its judgement. "In our view a reprimand would not address the contravention".

e.tv has until 29 August to pay the fine of R10 000.

Monday, July 28, 2014

GALAXY OF STARS: How MultiChoice and M-Net's R1 billion investment per year in local content keeps the SA film and TV industry churning.


M-Net and MultiChoice, running the DStv satellite pay-TV service, on Saturday night celebrated 27 years of bringing South African pay-TV subscribers and the South African television industry premium local TV content since 1986.

To mark the milestone, M-Net and MultiChoice held a Galaxy of Stars celebration event at Gallagher Estate.

Galaxy of Stars as a made-for-TV event will be broadcast on DStv on M-Net (DStv 101) on Saturday 9 August at 14:00 and later the same day on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 21:30.

What DStv subscribers won't see is how entrepreneurs, fueled and supported through M-Net and MultiChoice's R1 billion annual investment in local content, keep the South African film and television industry churning.

Local productions such as Isibaya on Mzansi Magic has been setting the South African TV biz ablaze. The telenovela landed awards at the South African Film and Television Awards and the inaugural Royalty Soapie Awards.

Yet few viewers and pay-TV subscribers who enjoy productions like Isibaya can fathom the incredible amount of hard work, skill and talent it requires to mount, produce and sustain such a TV production.

For the past 27 years MultiChoice has been supporting local film and television industries, investing in production houses and content providers.

Through this support, MultiChoice has indirectly created literally thousands of jobs within the industry, helping to sustain and grow the local industry especially during periods where the South African public broadcaster, the SABC, started to falter and fail in its public mandate to create and broadcast quality local content.

One of the companies that has benefitted from MultiChoice's continued financial investment is Studio Zoo, and award-winning broadcast communications company specialising in on-air promos, commercials and corporate videos.

Studio Zoo offers services which include conceptualisation, copywriting, editing, graphic design, directing, shooting and post-production done by a staff that is handpicked from the best in the industry.

Owners Cathy Ferrara and Adi Leach explain that the company's 15-year relationship with MultiChoice started with the intention to function as an extended branch of the MultiChoice marketing department.

The duo says that the relationship gave Studio Zoo a kick-start in a very daunting industry, adding that MultiChoice has always at the forefront of technology and entertainment. They say that being on the same team as a "big league player" means having to constantly up your game.

"Working with MultiChoice has been a key driving factor in our growth as a company and our technical revolution, on both an infrastructure and skills level".

"MultiChoice's support and trust in our various concepts and initiatives has allowed us to deliver quality work, push creative boundaries and win a myriad of local and international awards".

Cathy Ferrera and Adi Leach also credit MultiChoice as a dynamic force in the South African TV industry, creating jobs, supporting and developing new talent behind and in front of the cameras.


Mentored to become a filmmaker
The Film Talent Incubator (FTI) programme graduate Wiseman Mabusela’s thriving career bares testament to this. The cameraman with a passion for telling stories about environmental issues registered his company, Bluorange Media, in 2008.

In any profession, there is always room for improvement, so Wiseman Mabusela joined the Film Talent Incubator programme in 2011.

He credits the program for giving him the skills he needed to operate as a filmmaker and the confidence to tell the stories he wanted to tell.

"For the first time I felt like I could do a film without being judged," says Wiseman Mabusela. He explains that being mentored by captains of industry in the program contributed to his growth as a filmmaker.

"One of the things I struggled with was being unsure of my proposal," he explains before crediting director Vincent Moloi for challenging him to concentrate on his strengths rather than his shortcomings.

Wiseman Mabusela says MultiChoice's contribution to the film industry "is huge". "What MultiChoice has done, other than starting Mzansi Magic as a platform for upcoming producers to tell our stories on TV, is empower a lot of young people," he says.

"A lot of the people who came out of the Incubator programme have a strong sense of independence. They want to be on their own and that means a sense of leadership is unleashed," says Wiseman Mabusela.


Positive impact 
Make-up artist Anne-Marie Bronkhost shares Wiseman Mabusela's sentiments when it comes to the positive impact that working with MultiChoice has had on her career.

"Working with MultiChoice is not a career, it's a dynamic lifestyle," says Anne-Marie Bronkhorst.

With a major in special effects make up design, Anne-Bronkhorst is currently working on productions such as Kwela on kykNET (DStv 144) and the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Awards.

"I am very privileged to work for MultiChoice as there are opportunities for growth within the ranks of the company".

"MultiChoice has helped me grow both socially, through the interactions I have had with people from different backgrounds, and professionally by giving me a chance to work on creative and exciting projects", says Anne-Marie Bronkhorst.


Simply the Bomb
The company behind the hugely successful telenovela-turned-soapie Isibaya, Bomb, has also enjoyed the support afforded by MultiChoice to production houses in South Africa.

A labour of love and a product of what executive producer Angus Gibson calls "a healthy, supportive partnership with MultiChoice", Isibaya has exceeded expectations with those behind the scenes admitting that it was an adventurous project.

Angus Gibson says that Isibaya was his first project working directly with MultiChoice, although Bomb had been involved in initiatives such as the Vuka Awards.

Angus Gibson believes that MultiChoice has contributed to healthy competition in the film industry, as well as making content available as more and more people engage with local content.

"We made Isibaya as partners. MultiChoice has been a supportive partner. Isibaya was a fresh, energising project and an opportunity to explore and experiment," says Angus Gibson.


Part of the exploring is harvesting new talent and casting director and producer Kutlwano Ditsele, who works with Angus Gibson, says it all comes down to instinct. 

He recalls the process of casting for Thandeka Zungu explaining that Nomzamo Mbatha's picture sold them on her being right for the role.

But it takes more than just a gut feeling to do the job and Kutlwano Ditsele's film career started with a scholarship to study in Los Angeles, although his love for film started way before then. 

When it came to getting the hands on experience he needed, Kutlwano Ditsele kicked off his career with a MultiChoice production, Jacob’s Cross, and has now found his way to being part of the crew behind Isibaya.

Kutlwano Ditsele credits MultiChoice for launching careers of his peers and, echoing Angus Gibson, says the company has managed to create a collaborative space. 

"It's never a 'no' but a 'how do we make this work?' ". Kutlwano Ditsele adds that he studied the vision of Mzansi Magic so closely that he managed to get a drama commissioned to air later in the year.


Sharing the executive producer title with Angus Gibson is Desiree Markgraaff, who says MultiChoice has offered an exciting new content choice for viewers and has created a space for competition which keeps everyone on their toes.

"The experience has been good and they have an amazing team on their side," says Desiree Markgraaff,  explaining her working relationship with MultiChoice. "It's rare to have such a good relationship on a long-running project".

Adze Ugah is part of the award-winning directing team for Isibaya and calls it "a labour of love for both cast and crew". "MultiChoice has given the film industry the momentum it needs to put out good productions".

"MultiChoice is the greatest thing anyone could do for the entertainment industry in Africa. No one body on the continent has done what [they] have done. It has opened up opportunities for many of us to exercise our craft. It's one of a kind," says Adze Ugah.

GALAXY OF STARS: M-Net to create the M-Net Film and Television Academy through M-Net Magic in Motion; will raise up next generation of content creators.


You're reading it here first. 

The premium South African and African pay-television brand M-Net is set to create and establish the M-Net Film and TV Academy in 2015 which will aim to expose, train and raise up the next generation of talented content makers within South Africa's vibrant and growing film and television industry.

The announcement of the creation of an M-Net Film and TV Academy was made by Yolisa Phahle, the new M-Net South Africa CEO, in front of a crowd of 400 high profile TV executives, TV talent, government officials and guilds and union representatives at M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of Stars celebration event held on Saturday evening.

Yolisa Phahle's announcement of the creation of an M-Net Film and Television Academy was met with spontaneous and rapturous applause from the South African film and TV industry power players attending the exclusive, by invitation only, Gallagher Estate event.

The South African pay-TV broadcaster's growing collection of premium TV channels are seen in South Africa and across the African continent on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform and its digital terrestrial pay-TV offering GOtv.

M-Net will set up the M-Net Film and TV Academy through M-Net Magic in Motion, the newly rebranded name of its social investment arm. The M-Net Cares brand has been replaced with the M-Net Magic in Motion brand.

"M-Net is working to implement this exciting new programme to harness the talent and potential of young South Africans. We will groom and grow the next generation of South African film and television," said Yolisa Phahle.

"So starting next year M-Net will deliver an annual film academy that will create a pool of work-ready talented graduates who could hit the industry, bringing with them fresh ideas and new perspectives".

"The launch of this premier finishing school will be preceded next month by a career Exposition, and we're planning to expose students - especially those from previously disadvantaged communities - to the magic that is our world, and also to some of the most rewarding and some of the most challenging and varied opportunities in our industry" said Yolisa Phahle.

"M-Net has a proud legacy of investment and achievement, and with our Academy and our Expo, we will be growing that legacy".

"Most important of all is our continued commitment to the transformation of our industry. Because I believe that all sustainable business is a consequence of not just serving your immediate consumers or viewers or customers."

"I know that the way to do well, is to make sure that you serve not only consumers, but communities, cities, and your country," said Yolisa Phahle.

"It is in this way, with your continued co-operation, collaboration, that together we can create a long-lasting film and television industry in Africa, for Africans".

M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of Stars made-for-TV event will be broadcast on 9 August on M-Net (DStv 101) at 14:00 and on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) at 21:30.

GALAXY OF STARS: 'The R1 billion a year that we invest in local content is a game-changer for the industry,' says Imtiaz Patel, MultiChoice SA CEO.


"I feel privileged to be part of a company that has created the platform for talent to emerge and flourish and to be making a real difference to the lives of our people," said Imtiaz Patel, the CEO of MultiChoice South Africa.

Imtiaz Patel addressed the 400 strong audience consisting out of South Africa's top TV talent both on-screen, as well the TV executives and producers working behind the scenes across various of the M-Net supplied TV channels to DStv. Seated in the audience were also government officials, TV guilds and union representatives, as well as TV critics and press.

M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of Stars was held on Saturday evening at Gallagher Estate.

The Randburg-based South African pay-TV broadcaster and the satellite pay-TV platform running the DStv service, celebrated 27 years of making local TV content and growing the local television industry in the country.

Galaxy of Stars as a made-for-TV event will be broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) on Saturday 9 August at 14:00 and 21:30.

"We're celebrating some of the best local film and television productions that South Africa has to offer. The R1 billion a year that we invest in local content is no doubt a game-changer for the industry," said Imtiaz Patel.

Imtiaz Patel urged the media to report the news of South Africa's film and TV industry; to tell the stories of the business sector and its stars. "We urge you to tell the stories of these incredible talents, of these stars - of this galaxy of stars".

"Lets show South Africa and the rest of the world that we have lots to celebrate and to be proud of - a veritable galaxy of stars," said Imtiaz Patel.

GALAXY OF STARS: 'By investing billions of rand in compelling local content we're able to tell stories that resonate with audiences,' says Yolisa Phahle, M-Net SA CEO.


"By investing literally billions of rand in compelling local content across the continent, we're able to tell stories that resonate with our audiences - not only reflecting the current reality, but also affecting their hopes and dreams for the future," said Yolisa Phahle, the new M-Net CEO for South Africa at M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of Stars celebration event.

M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of Stars was held on Saturday evening at Gallagher Estate.

The Randburg-based South African pay-TV broadcaster and the satellite pay-TV platform running the DStv service, celebrated the billion rand annual investment they're making into local TV content and growing the local television industry in the country and across the African continent.

Galaxy of Stars as a made-for-TV event will be broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) on Saturday 9 August at 14:00 and 21:30.

"Quite rightly we tell local stories in our own languages. M-Net's passion for the continent we call home, translates into an investment of over R1 billion a year," said Yolisa Phahle.

Yolisa Phahle was addressing the 400 strong audience consisting out of South Africa's top TV talent both on-screen, as well the TV executives and producers working behind the scenes across various of the M-Net supplied TV channels to DStv. Seated in the audience were also government officials, TV guilds and union representatives, as well as TV critics and press.

"This investment of R1 billion a year is not only in the people, but it is also in the infrastructure," said Yolisa Phahle.

"Most important of all is our continued commitment to the transformation of our industry. Because I believe that all sustainable business is a consequence of not just serving your immediate consumers or viewers or customers."

"I know that the way to do well, is to make sure that you serve not only consumers, not only customers, but communities, cities, and your country," said Yolisa Phahle.

"It is in this way, with your continued co-operation, collaboration, that together we can create a long-lasting film and television industry in Africa, for Africans".

GALAXY OF STARS: 'Africa's voice at last is beginning to be heard. We're very glad to be able to play a part in success of local TV biz,' says Nolo Letele, MultiChoice SA chairperson.


"We've very, very glad to be able to play a part in contributing to the success of the local television industry," said Nolo Letele, the chairperson of MultiChoice South Africa at M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of Stars celebration event.

M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of Stars was held on Saturday evening at Gallagher Estate, where the Randburg-based South African pay-TV broadcaster and the satellite pay-TV platform running the DStv service, celebrated the billion rands investment they're making into local TV content and growing the local television industry in the country and across the African continent.

Galaxy of Stars as a made-for-TV event will be broadcast on M-Net (DStv 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) on 9 August.

"The drive to develop South African content is also supported by the department of trade and industry, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF)," said Nolo Letele.

Nolo Letele was addressing the 400 strong audience consisting out of South Africa's top TV talent both on-screen, as well the TV executives and producers working behind the scenes across various of the M-Net supplied TV channels to DStv. Seated in the audience were also government officials, TV guilds and union representatives, as well as TV critics and press.

"We have proved that we can produce some great local stories and some of these have received international recognition," said Nolo Letele, referencing South African films such as Tsotsi and District 9.

"The important thing is that Africa's voice at last is beginning to be heard. Taking our stories to international platforms are good for South Africa and it's good for the rest of the continent as well because we are able to display our diverse environment to the whole world," said Nolo Lete.

"As a result South Africa has now become a very sought-after location for international productions. Growing the local television and film industry means making a significant and ongoing investment in local content."

"Although M-Net always has a number of world class local productions on its channels, the other channels on DStv also make a contribution, for example Food Network there is Siba's Table which was sold internationally, and there's many illuminating documentaries showcasing our content on channels like History channel," said Nolo Letele.

"We've got some incredible talent in this country. Tonight we celebrate the 25 year legacy of the phenomenon that is MultiChoice and M-Net. We can't wait to share the next 25 years with you," said Nolo Letele.

RED CARPET. South Africa's TV stars - talent and executives - all come out for M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of Stars celebration event.


South Africa's television stars  -both on-screen talent as well as the executives responsible for making the magic happen - walked the red carpet on Saturday evening at Gallagher Estate at MultiChoice and M-Net's Galaxy of the Stars celebration event.

Whilst not all of the extremely high-profile and notable TV talent and executives from M-Net, M-Net channels' shows and M-Net executives and MultiChoice executives, walked the red carpet but rather went directly to the cocktail area, TV with Thinus managed to lure all who were asked to the red carpet for a photo and they all happily obliged.

The Galaxy of Stars event which celebrated M-Net and MultiChoice's massive contribution to local TV content and local television production in South Africa saw a constellation of star talent and executives come out for the exclusive and premium, invite-only black-tie gala sit down-dinner.

The Galaxy of Stars celebration event looked back at the 27 years of existence of M-Net, as well as towards the future and what M-Net and MultiChoice are doing to invest in the next generation of TV talent in South Africa's television production sector.

Doreen Morris, TV star and executive, and the first black continuity TV presenter on South African television and on M-Net

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of M-Net South Africa

Nolo Letele, MultiChoice South Africa chairperson

John Kotsaftis, CEO of DStv Digital Media

Mark Rayner, chief operating officer (COO) of MultiChoice South Africa

Oluchi Onweagba, model and TV executive

Khanyi Mbau, socialite, TV presenter, reality star, TV talk show host

Vusi Kunene and Kgomotso Christopher, actors, TV soap stars

M-Net Idols and Benny Masekwameng, MasterChef South Africa judge

Randall Abrahams, TV and radio executive and Idols judge

Nonhle Thema, TV presenter and Twitter provocateur

Tumisho Masha, actor, TV presenter, TV soap star

Zwai Bala and Melanie Bala, power couple musician and musical director and TV presenter, actress and talk show host

Derek Watts, (tall) Carte Blanche anchor on M-Net

Bridget Masinga, TV presenter

Akin Omotoso, actor, director, writer, TV soap star

Lele Ledwaba, actress and TV soap star

WALKTHRU. M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of Stars event: See how it all looked from arriving at the red carpet to the gala sit-down dinner.


M-Net and MultiChoice's Galaxy of the Stars celebration event took place at Gallagher Estate on Saturday evening, where the pay-TV broadcaster and the satellite pay-TV platform based in Randburg, South Africa, celebrated the major contribution they are making to local television content.

Here is how M-Net's Galaxy of Stars event and the event venue looked in sights, colour and design - from the red carpet area, cocktail area and the ballroom gala dinner area at Gallagher Estate on Saturday.