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Live sale for rare SA whisky

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A rare single malt whisky from South Africa’s leading distiller is being sold online today in a one-of-a-kind live shopping experience.

Today, 27 October, consumers are able to purchase the first of 800 limited edition Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt Single Cask PX Finish whiskies from a live store, watching as the purchase is fulfilled. The experience, which is a first in South Africa, follows the launch of South Africa’s first single-cask PX Finish from the Three Ships team.

Using live streaming and innovative technology to augment the online shopping experience, the live store (www.themasterscollection.co.za) will enable consumers to interact in real time as they select the hand-numbered bottle of their choice. Consumers will see their selected bottle being collected off the shelf and watch as master distiller Andy Watts signs their name on a certificate and prepares it for delivery.

Three Ships marketing manager Liezl Dippenaar said this innovative way of making the whisky available to consumers fits in seamlessly with the limited edition nature of the product.

“To create excitement and awareness we needed a platform that’s unique in the world of online shopping to mirror the pioneering spirit of the Three Ships brand which has created many firsts for the South African whisky industry.

“The process emulates the Old World appeal of walking into a cellar, hand-picking a numbered bottle and meeting the crafter of the product as he signs and wraps your purchase. In our fast-paced life consumers seek authentic, unique experiences, meaningful engagement with the crafter and the opportunity to own a limited edition.”

Three Ships has partnered with SnapScan for the payment method. Consumers will be able to purchase only one bottle at a time to ensure that as many whisky lovers as possible can add this long-awaited whisky to their collection.

The process works as follows: The shop will be open for business from 12h00 to 22h00 on 27 October. Make sure you download the SnapScan app on your smart phone well in advance where you will be prompted to register your payment details. Visit www.themasterscollection.co.za desktop site and select the number of the bottle you would like to buy. You will be prompted to insert your delivery details and then your unique QR code will be revealed. You will then scan this code, using your SnapScan app. There’s only a 10-minute window to make your payment, so be sure to download SnapScan well in advance.

Once payment has been verified you will see your bottle being removed from the shelf and handed to Andy Watts, all in real-time. On the site you can also view footage and interviews with Andy on the story behind the creation of this limited-edition whisky.

The cost is R850 per bottle with an automatic R100 courier charge to anywhere in South Africa added to the final amount. An email will confirm purchase and delivery is expected to take up to two weeks.

The innovative site and online experience had been created by multi-award winning digital agency Quirk. Andrew Bloom, executive creative director, said they are extremely proud of the project.

“It’s not every day we get to create what pushes the digital envelope. So it’s been a fun challenge to combine the technology of a live stream with an interactive overlay, content and an e-commerce experience. Most of all we’re excited about how it makes a cold e-commerce experience human, interactive and engaging. We’re giving back to the connoisseurs a little bit of Old World romance; it’s what being a collector is all about, right?”

The Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt Single Cask PX Finish whisky was distilled in 2005 and initially matured for eight years and ten months in American oak where after a small quantity was aged for a further 14 months in a cask in which Pedro Ximènez (PX) sherry had previously been matured in.

The whisky forms part of the Master’s Collection which, over the next few years, will see a limited edition being launched each year under the Three Ships brand.

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Load-shedding leads
local searches

South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.

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With more 1 million search queries generated in the space of 76 hours, load-shedding was by far the top trending search on Google South Africa this week.

Valentine’s Day came a distant second.

After news emerged last Sunday of the impending stage 3 load shedding, South Africans had generated more than 1-million load-shedding search queries by the time Tuesday came around:

  • “Loadshedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Eskom load shedding” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding Cape Town” – generated more than 50k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 400k on Monday
  • “Load shedding Johannesburg” – generated more than 20k searches on Monday
  • Load shedding schedule” generated more than 200k search queries on Tuesday

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, South Africans generated close to 300k search queries related to the romantic festival, including searches for quotes and gift ideas:

  • “Valentines Day” generated more than 100k search queries on Thursday
  • “Happy Valentines Day Images” and “Valentines Day Images” generated more than 10k search queries each on Thursday, with “Happy Valentines Day 2019” generating more than 20k search queries on Wednesday
  • “Valentines Day Specials 2019” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Love quotes” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Valentines Day quotes” generated more than 100k search queries and “Valentine messages” generated more than 50 000 search queries on Wednesday

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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Showmax invites
student films

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Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.

Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.

So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.

But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before. From 18 February, eighteen of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.

Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said: “AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s ground-breaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”

Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-PunchaJunior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.

Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.

Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said: “There’s immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax is as follows:

Film titleDirectorGenre
Lullaby from the CryptKeenan Lott & Raven DavidsAnimation
Ko Ga CherenyaneSibonokuhle MyatazaDocumentary
IzilwaneKyllian RouxDrama
MallemeuleJaco Van BoschDrama
Canal StreetBrodie MuirheadDrama
On the FenceWarrick BewsDrama
The Righteous FewLindo LangaDrama
Hlogoma PeakLuke AhrensDrama
Frozen FlameCameron HeathmanAnimation
WolfBrett van DortFantasy
The Walk HomeSisanda DyantyiDrama
BearWesley RoodtDrama
JuniorBert DijkstraDrama
O-PunchaAdam HansenDrama
UmngenoSiphosethu NdungeDrama
DoreenLuvuyo Equiano NyawoseDrama
ForeverLindo LangaMusical
Sicela AmanziMlu GodolaDrama

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