Organised for the fourth consecutive year in Johannesburg, the African market television programmes went into high gear. With 2,200 participants, 58% more than in 2014, DISCOP became the most important trade meeting of the year, for buyers and sellers of African content. The organization of an extra edition mid-year in Abidjan, did not divert the Francophones from going to South Africa. On the contrary, there were more and more people going to Johannesburg to deliver programmes, while in the first edition, the profile of Francophone participants was more of a buying one.
The « Sœurs ennemies » series bought by Africa Magic
One year after they first appeared at DISCOP, the French group, Lagardere, was there through its 3 African spearheads: the distributor DIFFA, the Senegalese production house Keewu and the kids channel Gulli Africa. On TV5 Monde side, they brought their new youth channel Tivi5 Afrique (whose launch has been confirmed in 2016) and a Gabonese version of the French TV series, “Parents, mode d’emploi”. Among the distributors of African content, the 3 francophone operators: Côte Ouest Audiovisuel, DIFFA and RTI-Distribution- were offering English dubbed series (with the support of OIF). The RTI has been the first to complete a sale of this kind of programme. This is the South African group M-Net that bought the series « Sœurs ennemies » (by Erico Sery) for one of their channel « Africa Magic ». This was the same company that bought a subtitled francophone series (« Les rois de Ségou » in 2013, by Malian, Boubacar Sidibé) offered by DIFFA.
If the Francophone are making efforts and progress to sell their programmes to Anglophone people, they will also find more and more Francophone buyers. When it comes to the position of series on the market, one does not only go to TV5 Monde and Trace TV, which launched its SVoD service in Africa, at DISCOP Abidjan. As for Nollywood TV, besides the 300 Nigerian movies it broadcasts yearly, Francophone series are also part of its programming.
Serial dubbing at Francophone Distributors
The RTI was the only African francophone channel at DISCOP, to offer programmes through its distribution branch. It sold hundreds of hours, thanks to a more and more diverse catalogue (28 in total), that is quickly growing due to its ambitious programming. Indeed, the new contest « Nouveaux talents » has been successful, and the series « Cache-cache », discovered at this event is in production. Top Radio, whose pilot was introduced at FESPACO 2015, will be shot in 2016 (in co-production with Keewu Productions) after they receive funding from the Images de la Francophonie fund. As for the series « L’ambre », that was also supported in 2014, its founder Binta Dembélé, was also in Johannesburg, where she spent many weeks on a writing residency with a South African co-author.
A Strong Presence of the Producers
Many independent producers were present at DISCOP : Adama Roamba is in production for a new season of the series «Du jour au lendemain». Jean-Hubert Nankam is about to launch «P’tit bisou», written and made by Mike Danon, the star of the movie «Le mec idéal». « P’tit bisou » tells the story of a little girl, funny and touchy, juggled between the passionate and sometimes destructive behaviour of the adults. The series has been pre-ordered by the RTI.
Alexandre Rideau, of Keewu productions (Lagardère group) is close to launching the second season of «C’est la vie» in Senegal, while he is setting up the shooting of «Bruits de tambours» in Burkina Faso and Top Radio in Abidjan (with Alex Ogou as the filmmaker and Karamoko Touré as the executive producer). He is also starting the development of the series «Enquêtes africaines» driven by French-Senegalese, Philippe Niang.
Also in Johannesburg, was the Malian, Aïda Mady Diallo, author of « Karim et Doussou » and whose new séries, « Bamako, la ville aux trois caïmans » (Afribone Mali production) will air from February 2016, on TV5 Monde.
To be noted was the presence of the French producer, Philippe Giangreco (De père en fil company, Lagardère group), author of the « Villa karayib » a series, shot in Guadeloupe with the Ivorian actress Emma Lohoues. Philippe Giangreco is currently working on a new series project « L’Afrique d’en face », with the Beninois writer Florent Couao-Zotti.
Source : Images Francophones, Pierre Barrot, November 17th, 2015, translation by Mokolo