On Saturday, 4 November 2017, animators and storytellers across Africa will be able to hear first-hand what it takes to develop a TV series for worldwide distribution as Triggerfish takes them through the stages.
During an Animate Africa webinar streamed on YouTube Live, Triggerfish Animation Studios will share insights from two years of developing TV series through The Story Lab, that had the support of The Walt Disney Company and the Department of Trade and Industry. The Story Lab, to date, has led to two worldwide distribution deals for series set and made in Africa.
In 2015, Triggerfish ran a search for animation writers throughout the African continent. The Triggerfish Story Lab attracted 1 378 projects from 30 countries across Africa, with eight chosen to be taken into full development.
At the webinar, Triggerfish will discuss what made those eight projects stand out and also share some of the feedback they’ve received from international distributors.
Last month, Triggerfish announced its partnership with leading kids’ entertainment specialist CAKE to co-produce one of these, the comedy action series, Mama K’s Super 4.
Aimed at 6-11 year olds, Mama K’s Super 4 is set in Lusaka, where four teenage girls are recruited by former secret agent Mama K to help her save the world. Fighting rich and powerful opponents with limited resources means the girls will have to be smart and resourceful in a show in which taking down the bad guys and turning in your homework is all in a day’s work!
At the webinar, Zambian creator Malenga Mulendema and her Cameroon-born character designer, Malcolm Wope, will discuss Mama K’s Super 4 as one of four case studies of projects generating international interest from Africa.
Vanessa Sinden, who produced the Story Lab, will also give some highly practical tips on how to get your concept into a pitch document that can be shown to distributors.
Other confirmed speakers include award-winning Kenyan filmmaker (and Story Lab alumni) Wanuri Kahiu; Raffaella Delle Donne, co-writer of two of South Africa’s five highest-grossing films of all-time, Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba; Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest; and the founders of two other South African animation companies: Bugbox and Sanusi Chronicles.
Delegates will be able to ask questions via Facebook and Twitter.
“If you have ever thought about bringing your own characters to life as an animated TV series, this webinar is for you,” says Triggerfish CEO Stuart Forrest. “The Triggerfish Story Lab proved again that Africa is full of amazing stories, at a time when there’s a global demand for more diverse content, so it feels like African animation is at a tipping point.”
The webinar is organized by Animate Africa, with the support of M-Net 101, Toon Boom Animation, Triggerfish Animation Studios and the Walt Disney Company Africa, in partnership with African Digital Art, AnimationSA, Animation West Africa, Animation Xchange, Arterial Network, Association of Animation Artists, Cape Town International Animation Festival, Cape Town International Film Market and Festival, CGAfrica, Comexposed, Design Indaba, Digital Lab Africa, Fan Con, Kawkab El Rasameen (Painter’s Planet), Kwazulu-Natal Film Commission, Lagos Comic Con, Lusaka Comic Con, Naiccon, Tanzania CGI Artists, The Animation Club Africa, The National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, Wesgro, and Writers Guild of South Africa.
Register for the free webinar at https://www.animateafrica.org/.
Saturday 4 November
13h00 SAST: Creating an animated TV series
Session 1: The global stage and where Africa fits in (Stuart Forrest, CEO Triggerfish)
Session 2: Content that is local but global (Anthony Silverston, Head of Development, Triggerfish)
Session 3: Putting together a TV pitch package on a budget (Vanessa Sinden, Story Lab Producer)
Session 4: Writing for children (Raffaella Delle Donne, Head of Story Lab TV series)
Session 5: From Africa to the world: challenges and opportunities (Babalwa Baartman & Thulani Simantov, Sanusi Chronicles)
Session 6: Art without agenda: why frivolity and fun are important (Wanuri Kahiu, award-winning Story Lab alumni)
Session 7: Q&A
20 minute break.
15h00 SAST: Case Studies
Session 1: Ninja Princess (Kelly Dillon & Marc Dey)
Session 2: Mama K’s Super 4 (Malenga Mulendema)
Session 3: Designing Mama K’s Super 4 (Malcolm Wope)
Session 4: Musi and Cuckoo (Tim Argall & Candice Argall)
Session 5: Cloud Life (Andrew Phillips)
Session 6: Q&A
Small South African town goes smartphone-only
Vodacom partners with farming business to upgrade all residents of Wakkerstroom from 2G devices to smartphones
All residents of the small town of Wakkerstroom, which straddles Mpumalanga and kwaZulu-Natal provinces, have had their 2G feature phones upgraded to 3G devices.
The initiative is a result of Vodacom partnering with BPG Langfontein, a farming business that employs the majority of the people living in Wakkerstroom. It is now the first smartphone-only town in South Africa. This is a model the network provider says it hopes to replicate across the country as part of its mission to connect people who live in deep rural areas and are still dependent on 2G networks.
Wakkerstroom, is the second oldest town in Mpumalanga province, on the KwaZulu-Natal border, 27 km east of Volksrust and 56 km south-east of Amersfoort.
“There are growing expectations for big corporates the size of Vodacom to serve a social purpose, and for us to use our resources and core capabilities to make a significant contribution in transforming the lives of ordinary people,” says Zakhele Jiyane, Managing Executive for Vodacom Mpumalanga. “We are helping to remove communication barriers, so that citizens in the area can be part of the digital revolution and reap the associated benefits. By moving the more than 1400 farm workers from 2G to 3G devices, this will also free much needed spectrum and this spectrum can be re-farmed to provide for faster networks such as 3G and 4G.
“Crucially, the move opens a new world of connectivity for farm workers in Wakkerstroom. As a result, most people in the area will now be able to use the Vodacom network to connect on the net and access online government services, eHealth services such as Mum&Baby and eCommerce. Learners can now surf the internet for the first time and access Vodacom’s eSchool free of charge and those who are actively looking for jobs can start using their smartphones and tablets to apply for jobs over the internet on Vodacom’s zero-rated career sites. This will be key for driving growth to the benefit of people living in this area.”
Vodacom has already deployed 4G base stations in Wakkestroom as part of this initiative.
For the next phase of this project, says Vodacom, it is going to educate the farm workers about data and the benefits of the Internet. Vodacom will also look at various ways in which it can help empower members of this community in areas of education, gender-based violence and health.
10 more African countries join Facebook fact-checking
Facebook today announced the expansion of its Third-Party Fact-Checking programme to 10 additional African countries, which now join Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and Senegal in the project,
In partnership with Agence France-Presse (AFP), the France 24 Observers, Pesa Check and Dubawa, this programme forms part of its work in helping assess the accuracy and quality of news people find on Facebook, whilst reducing the spread of misinformation on its platform.
Working with a network of fact-checking organizations, certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network, third-party fact-checking will now be available in Ethiopia, Zambia, Somalia and Burkina Faso through AFP, Uganda and Tanzania through both Pesa Check and AFP, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d’Ivoire through the France 24 Observers and AFP, Guinea Conakry through the France 24 Observers, and Ghana through Dubawa.
Feedback from the Facebook community is one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review. Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of our fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.
Kojo Boakye, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa, said: “The expansion of third-party fact-checking to now cover 15 countries in a little over a year shows firsthand our commitment and dedication to the continent, alongside our recent local language expansion as part of this programme. Taking steps to help tackle false news on Facebook is a responsibility we take seriously, we know misinformation is a problem, and these are important steps in continuing to address this issue. We know that third-party fact-checking alone is not the solution, it is one of many initiatives and programmes we are investing in to help to improve the quality of information people see on Facebook. While we’ve made great progress, we will keep investing to ensure Facebook remains a place for all ideas, but not for the spread of false news.”
When third-party fact-checkers fact-check a news story, Facebook will show these in Related Articles immediately below the story in News Feed. Page Admins and people on Facebook will also receive notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false, empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.
Providing fact-checking in English and French across eight countries, Phil Chetwynd, AFP Global News Director said: “AFP is delighted to be expanding its fact-checking project with Facebook. We are known for the high quality of our journalism from across Africa and we will be leveraging our unparalleled network of bureaus and journalists on the continent to combat misinformation.”
Eric Mugendi, Managing Editor from Pesa Check who will provide fact-checking services in Swahili and English added: “Social networks like Facebook haven’t just changed how Africans consume the news. Social media is often the primary access to digital content or the ‘Internet’ for many Africans. They shape our perceptions of the world, our public discourse, and how we interact with public figures. This project helps us dramatically expand our fact-checking to debunk claims that could otherwise cause real-world harm. The project helps us respond more quickly and directly. We’re seeing real positive results in our interactions with both publishers and the public itself. The project also helps our fact-checks reach a far larger audience than we would otherwise. This has helped us better understand the information vacuum and other viral dynamics that drive the spread of false information in Africa. Our growing impact is a small but tangible contribution to better informed societies in Africa.”
Caroline Anipah, Programme Officer, Dubawa (Ghana) said: “Dubawa is excited to be in Ghana where the misinformation and disinformation have become widespread as a result of technological advancement and increasing internet penetration. Dubawa intends to raise the quality of information available to the public with the ultimate aim of curbing the spread of misinformation and disinformation and promoting good governance and accountability.”
Derek Thomson, editor-in-chief of the France 24 Observers, said: “Our African users are constantly sending us questionable images and messages they’ve received via social media, asking us ‘Is this true? Can you check it?’ It’s our responsibility as fact-checking journalists to verify the information that’s circulating, and get the truth back out there. Participating in the Facebook programme helps ensure that our fact-checks are reaching the people who shared the false news in the first place.”