Midem has announced the 11 finalists in the Midem Artist Accelerator (MAA), the international music career booster to fast-track talent on the world stage, and it includes three South African artists.
The 2018 finalists are: AKA (South Africa), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban; AGAR AGAR (France), pop; BEZ (Nigeria), world; BIGSTAR (South Africa), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban; CLIENT LIAISON (Australia), pop; DAMIAN LYNN (Switzerland), pop; DYLAN WILLIAMS (United Kingdom), R’n’B/hip- hop/urban; HAUTE (France), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban; HYPHEN HYPHEN (France), pop; LA DAME BLANCHE (Cuba), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban; and T$HEGO (South Africa), R’n’B/hip-hop/urban.
Home of the global music community, Midem takes place in Cannes, France, from 5 to 8 June.
Now in its fourth year, the MAA has a solid track record for bringing rising talent to a wider global audience. Following the 2017 edition, participating artists BE CHARLOTTE signed to Columbia Deutschland/Sony Music Germany while IRIS GOLD signed a global deal with Playground Music Scandinavia after being both spotted in Cannes. Another MAA alumni M.ANIFEST, has been booked for several festivals and also struck a deal with an experienced music consultant who helped him negotiate recording contracts for singles and for music placements in film.
This year’s MAA Artist Ambassador, South-African DJ and producer BLACK COFFEE will be keynoting in Cannes and sharing his know-how with the 11 hot new acts. “As Midem puts the spotlight on Africa’s bourgeoning music scene, I’m truly honoured to be this year’s Artist Ambassador of the Midem Artist Accelerator. I’m thrilled to discover the 2018 finalists and be able to share with them my own experience as an artist,” said BLACK COFFEE.
All finalists will perform live on the Midem Beach in Cannes in a series of concerts during the event, and will benefit from a tailored programme during the tradeshow, including coaching sessions and unique networking opportunities.
Discover the 11 finalists and vote for your favourite here before 6 May. The artist with the most votes will play live at the Midem 2018 Opening Night Party.
The finalists also have a unique opportunity to be recognised and mentored by a Committee of execs from UTA, Viacom, OkayAfrica & more.
The Artistic Committee of top-notch industry players for the 2018 MAA includes: Abiola Oke, CEO & Publisher, OkayAfrica (USA/Africa); Alex Okosi, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa/BET International (Africa); Christian Bernhardt, Agent, United Talent Agency (USA); Devraj Sanyal, Managing Director & CEO, Universal Music Group South Asia/EMI Music South Asia/Enchanted Valley Carnival (India); Emmylou Prevett, Creative Content & Programming Manager, Vevo (France); Julian Marshall, Global Head of Content, Shazam (UK); Leila Cobo, Executive Director of Latin content and programming, Billboard (USA); Patrik Larsson, A&R and Label Manager, Playground Music Scandinavia (Sweden); Rob Hallett, Founder, Robomagic (UK); Willy Ehmann, Artist Manager (Germany); Yoon-Young Kong, Founder and Executive Producer, Zandari Festa (South Korea); and Yoshinari Hirayama, Promotion & Marketing Chief Manager, Creativeman (Japan).
In addition, the finalists will receive further mentoring from a pool of experts as part of their Midem experience. Among those offering mentoring services are: Data Analytics (real–time charts, playlists, airplay and social monitoring) by David Weiszfeld, Founder & CEO of Soundcharts, the Market Intelligence platform for the Music Industry; navigating the streaming services and the use of the Spotify platform with Wilbert Mutsaers, Head of Spotify Benelux, Shows and Editorial; free legal consultation from the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (IAEL); the use of a messenger bot and fan messaging platform with Sam Taylor, COO of I AM POP. Finalists will also have access to the Global Sync and Brands Summit, the gathering of the music supervision community, and to a series of dedicated workshops around music sync and placements, digital and social media strategy, and the artist-fan relationship.
Netflix to make SA series
The world leader in streaming movies has announced the first South African production to join its Originals roster.
World leader in entertainment streaming services Netflix this week announced its first Original series in Africa, with South African series Queen Sono.
The news comes immediately in the wake of local rival Showmax announcing it’s first original drama production. In this context, it heralds a new phase in the evolution of streaming video-on-demand in South Africa.
The action-packed series follows Queen Sono, the highly trained top spy in a South African agency whose purpose is to better the lives of African citizens. While taking on her most dangerous mission yet, she must also face changing relationships in her personal life. The series will be created by Director, Kagiso Lediga and Executive producer Tamsin Andersson.
South African actress, Pearl Thusi, will star as Queen Sono, with the character having been created with her in mind. Thusi is also known for her performance in the romantic dramedy, Catching Feelings, available on Netflix.
“We are excited to be working with Kagiso and Pearl, to bring the story of Queen Sono to life, and we expect it to be embraced by our South African users and global audiences alike.” said Erik Barmack, Vice President of International Original Series at Netflix.
“We are delighted to create this original series with Netflix, and are super excited by their undeniable ability to take this homegrown South African story to a global audience. We believe Queen Sono will kick the door open for more awesome stories from this part of the world” added the director and executive producer of the series, Kagiso Lediga.
The series is due to start production in 2019.
Showmax shoots its first local drama
Showmax has completed filming its first commissioned drama, as it builds out its roster of original content.
The Girl From St Agnes, Showmax’s first original drama, wrapped on 28 November 2018 after filming in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Johannesburg. The eight-part whodunnit premieres on Showmax on 31 January 2019. It is the second series in a programme designed to build out its roster of exclusive, original content.
As Netflix takes hold as South Africa’s preferred streaming video-on-demand service, Showmax owner MultiChoice has made a string of strategic announcements designed to take the DStv paid satellite broadcasting service into the streaming era. Original content is critical to this strategy, as Netflix is on track to become the world’s biggest movie studio.
Showmax is available in 70 countries.
“Our first Original – last year’s light-hearted comedy Tali’s Wedding Diary – had the most successful launch day of any series on Showmax ever,” says Candice Fangueiro, head of content at Showmax. “This is a complete change of direction: The Girl From St Agnes is a dark murder mystery that will keep you guessing and taps into the current conversations in South Africa about #metoo and teen sexuality.”
At St Agnes, a prestigious all-girls boarding school in the Midlands, a popular and beautiful student is found dead at the base of the old mill. Fearful of the scandal it might cause, the school is quick to declare the death of Lexi Summerveld a tragic accident.
But drama teacher Kate Ballard doesn’t believe it. On the night of her death, an upset Lexi had been trying to contact her, and Kate had ignored her. Now wracked with guilt, Kate attempts to piece together the terrible truth.
The more she investigates, the more Kate realises that she didn’t know Lexi or the school at all. Behind the imposing walls of St Agnes, Lexi’s killer won’t be the only person exposed…
Newcomer Jane De Wet was handpicked to play Lexi by legendary South African casting director Moonyeenn Lee (Tsotsi), who’s been nominated for two Emmy Awards in the last three years, for The Looming Tower and Roots.
Kate is played by Nina Milner, who modelled for Vogue Germany and at Paris Fashion Week last year and most recently starred in Troy: Fall Of A City as Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons.
Jane and Nina are joined by an impressive supporting cast that includes internationally recognised South African talent like Robert Hobbs (District9), Tyrone Keogh (24 Hours To Live), Tessa Jubber (Wallander), Karl Thaning (Dredd) and Shamilla Miller (Troy: Fall Of A City) opposite local favourites like Celeste Khumalo (The Queen), Richard Lukunku (Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word), Zakeeya Patel (High Rollers), Graham Hopkins (The Lab) and three-time South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) winner Jerry Mofokeng (Heist, Tsotsi), not to mention hot new talent like Paige Bonnin and Tristan de Beer.
The Girl From St Agnes is being produced by Quizzical Pictures, winners of the SAFTA for Best Drama for six of the last eight years, as well as a Peabody. Producer Harriet Gavshon, Quizzical Pictures’ managing director, is drawing on her own private school experiences, which sparked the original idea for the show. This is the first time Harriet has produced a series, rather than just executive producing, since 2009’s Hopeville, which won Best Drama and Miniseries at Rose d’Or, was nominated for an International Emmy, and was a finalist at Monte Carlo.
Catharine Cooke, who won this year’s Best Director In a TV Drama SAFTA for iNumber Number, co-directed the shoot with Cindy Lee, a commercials director helming her first drama series, having previously worked as the social media director on the Emmy-winning Black Mirror. Double SAFTA winner Gillian Breslin (Umlilo; 4Play: Sex Tips For Girls) is head writer. This makes Girl From St Agnes a rare TV series commissioned, produced, written and directed by women.
“What links Girl From St Agnes, Tali’s Wedding Diary and the other Showmax Originals in the pipeline is our aim to work with the best South African talent and be the home for brave, quirky and at times edgy local stories you wouldn’t find anywhere else,” says Candice. “Creating new characters that audiences come to love and follow is an incredibly rewarding experience and we want to establish a platform for more ‘Tali’s’ across varied genres.”
All eight episodes can be binged on Showmax from 31 January 2019.