The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for coming to this workshop on the Issues of Local Content Inclusion and Representation, Strategies to Enable and Make Sustainable Local Content.
I'm Bertrand Mouillier, and I will be the moderator. And I'm delighted to present our four scintillating speakers. To my right here, Sarika Lakhani from One Fine Day Films. Next to her, Vanessa Sinden from Triggerfish Animation in South Africa. Next to her, Sigrun Neisen from Deutsche Welle Akademie. And last, but certainly not least, Santiago Schuster Vergara who is currently a professor of law at the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile, but also was one of the heroes of the construction of the licensing system for musicians in Latin America, and I mean this directly.
I also want to introduce Victor Owade, who is going to be our online moderator. Thank you for your help. We have a bit less than 90 minutes now to cover quite a bit of issues. This is a workshop, not a seminar or conference.
We thought what might be opposite -- this is not moving. Can I have the next slide. Would be to really make -- there is something missing there, never mind.
To make sure that you have -- you have a chance to really hear from working professionals in the professional audio visual and music content industries, what are the issues that these people face every day in terms of developing, producing, financing and accessing distribution networks for culturally relevant local content.
We are going to make it very case studies rich. Stay away from theory and the high flight policy considerations.
But I will be asking speakers about what they think their needs are in terms of enabling regulatory environment and incentives and so on to move closer to sustainability, economic and social, of local content.
I want to stress that these are not -- we are not giving you the full panoply of situations regarding local content, it's an illustration of some of the issues that face the professional creative industries in some parts of the world. So we're not pretending to be exhaustive, but we intend to be powerfully illustrative, I think, of various scenarios and dilemmas that occur in the very perilous task of developing and producing and disseminating local content.
Without further ado, I think you can read so I won't read them for you. These are the policy questions I suppose the workshop is asking of itself, which means not just our speakers but also you here as participants with a lot of things to say. I will make sure we build in sufficient time for questions and answers and points to be made by you as participants, bearing in mind the inclusiveness of IGF, which is one of its strong points. But, as I said, without further ado, let me introduce Vanessa Sinden who is going to take you through not just material about who Triggerfish are and what they are trying to do in Southern Africa and the rest of Africa with the complex business of producing locally relevant animation.
But she also says things that are more generic and very useful, so about the value chain in the division for professional content and difficulties involved in trying to place the content within that value chain. Bearing in mind the drastic evolution, this is where the connection occurs with internet that we are seeing now this supercharged distribution system in the shape of the broadband internet and the services that have arisen from the infrastructure.
So how does that affect her business in terms of developing, financing, producing and distributing animated features and short and television series.
She's going to show you this, and also talk, I think, a little bit about her role in helping African creators develop local content in the animated aesthetics and format. And especially women across Africa through a project called Triggerfish Story Lab, I think. So away. Thank you.
>> VANESSA SINDEN: Thank you, Bertrand. Hi, everybody, and thank you for attending this session. And thank you to the partners for this session. It's great to be here.
I absolutely love enabling local content. That is really the focus of the session today. And I have been film producing for about 20 years, and 13 of those years I have been focused in the animation space. And most relevant for this conversation is with Triggerfish for the last 11 years.
I have some slides as well.
It's so much better than seeing myself on screen. Triggerfish Animation is an independent animation studio, and we have been around for about 22 years. We're focused on creating our own content, African content that will travel the world.
Could I get the slides on the screen, please? Thanks. Thank you. I'm going to be using visuals quite a lot because I think it just helps bring context to the conversation.
I will give you a quick overview of the studio. We are Africa's leading animation studio. Two of our feature films while I have been at the studio that I've produced are still two of the top five African films that have ever been produced, and that is global box office success.
The first one being "Zambezia" was the very first animated film I produced as well as the studio. It's a CG film. And I love the African tenacity that when you go into a project it's like we've never done this before. But what could be so tough, how bad could it be? With ambition and vision and a little bit of stupidity we made Africa's first big box office release that was done in stereoscopic 3D as well. Throw in another challenge while we're at it. And it was a huge success. This film traveled to over 150 countries and was dubbed in over 27 languages. And it's is still a wonderful picture of what African film making in the animation space looks like.
We followed this up with "Khumba." And both of these films are really heartwarming. African stories tend to be somber and deep and moving because of our history across the continent. And these ones speak to that as well. "Khumba" was proudly dubbed into not only English but two other official South African languages. We have 11, and that is quite small compared to the continent.
Both these films are award winning and they have traveled worldwide. Our model is very much taking African stories to the world as opposed to making content for Africa. We find that in the space of cinematic releases, only 4% of Africa are consuming our films. And as a business model, we have to stick to what is going to bring in money to pay back our investors.
So we're very much focused on what's going to work internationally. The stories have to be universal and children in New York to Israel to Ghana need to be able to love and fall in love with our characters and that's what drives our story making.
We had a little bit of a gap where we decided to do some BBC specials, which was such a joy because these are the TV specials that we see at Christmas time. "Stickman." "Revolting rhymes" won -- didn't win, but it will soon. We got an Oscar nomination two years for this film. There were two shorts. We will win that Oscar soon. But this was Proudly Berlin and Proudly Cape Town coproduction.
"The Highway Rats" and "Belly Flop," which has been to screen twice with IGF already with a female director. "Zog," another Christmas short. And all of these have been produced locally in Africa, in South Africa and distributed worldwide.
So, as I've mentioned, our model is about creating and enabling local artists to create and giving them space to do that. The focus, though, is enabling local content growth.
And what I would love to do is just paint a little bit of a picture of what the current market looks like in these various business models just to give you an idea of what we are up against.
And that takes us into the business side of this session. But let's quickly take a look at -- these slides are moving faster than me.
In order to enable local content, it really means about the local industries growing and flourishing, people have work, it is exciting, it's vibrant, we're creating our own content. That really is what a growing, healthy industry looks like.
When it comes to access for all, this is really where out studio, we can't just produce content but we have to make sure that the artists who are working in our studio represent diverse cultures who represent previously unrepresented people groups. And for us that is quite important because we start from secondary high school level and we provide online resources, what is it like to have a career in animation? The parent persuasion kit because most parents go like you're going to be an artist, you're going to be a film maker, are you nuts?
And what we're trying to do is to provide information and content to potential artists wanting to move into animation to say this is what it looks like. There's free online education, it's a part of our Triggerfish Academy.
And why I'm sharing all this because you can't just have a healthy business making content, you actually have to be more organic about the full picture. There are huge gaps between access for all, content online for African film makers.
Education is expensive. And so we have traditional scholarships, but we also have free online courses because we know that if you don't have the money to go to university, you are certainly going to try and learn online.
I did that for my graphic design course. Many African animators and artists have learned and are self-taught. And I love that about emerging markets where the material's online, we are going to teach ourselves. And so we as an industry, South African animation industry as Triggerfish need to make sure the information is online and that it's accessible to all.
And then as a vital part of the industry, we spot so many gaps. What we see is a lot of talent in Africa but we see huge disconnect to the opportunities, to the investors, to the know-how, to the pitch readiness, to the workshops. And so what we do is bridge a couple of gaps in that area as well. And I'll go into more detail on that in a second.
But I would love to just give you a sense of the business landscape, because it is tough out there. As an African producer, we are up against the world. As South Africans, we don't have state support like the French animation model where we can create for creativity sake, we have to create in order to pay the investors back. And sometimes you need to create just to find your feet, but we don't have a lot of room for that.
What we need to do is create an industry where a lot of that is happening already, but an artist feels supported and confident to create. We at the moment are very focused on the cinematic release and what that typically looks like.
You've got an animated film, it's 90 minutes, you release worldwide. You find your distribution model, your sales agent is based somewhere in the world and they open up the world and territories for you. And you then hope that they will book as many movie theaters as possible, and your film needs to be marketed and hopefully thousands and thousands and millions of tickets are bought and bums on seats. That is a traditional cinematic release.
This models shows in the center your major studios and your major stakeholders in the cinematic traditional model. This does need to be updated a little, but it does show you quite quickly who the major players are. And the circle just around that are your mini majors. And in the far outskirts with the little shiny stars are all the independent film makers. And what we find is that the major studios are pulling in 75% of box office revenue. But 75% of the content being produced is typically the independent film makers in the outer circle, and only reaping 14% possibly of box office income. So there is a very -- this is a traditional model, it just needs to be challenged and disrupted.
And it is very hard to make a film in the space as an African and compete worldwide and pay your investors back and keep your studio going and the lights on and the salaries paid. It's a challenge.
I will go into a little bit more detail because I'm not sure of the audience. But as an African animation, studio this is typical for us where we need this big tier, this big chain of people to help us get that movie on the big screen with all those bums in seats.
As creators we are sort of at the bottom tier, and we need financiers to help us make this film. We have a sales agent to help us find those regions and territories. And they will then reach out to distribution so that the film gets played around the world from Russia to China to the U.S. to Brazil.
And then there is all these different either theatrical or home entertainment. And what you can see there is quite a lot of people earning quite a lot of money.
>> MODERATOR: By theatrical, you mean cinema?
>> VANESSA SINDEN: Cinema, cinematic or theatrical. What you see is a whole lot of people who are charging 20 or 30% or taking huge markups, 50% exhibitor fees. I won't go into too much detail and you are welcome to ask me questions.
As a south African independent studio, we often walk away with very little profit. And on our first two films hardly anything. And that does make us question, gosh, is this a viable way to make a film? You know, if you are not supported by state or a sugar daddy, you really are in a tough spot where you struggle to make ends meet.
And that does seem challenging and there are certain challenges the cinematic theatrical release model which very much holds -- very much favors the major studios.
I would love to just touch on linear TV, and that's just typical broadcast. In South Africa, we have the SABC. Abroad you have your typical BBCs and every other C.
The TV series model is a little simpler and a little less people involved. Typically, SABC says to us, Triggerfish, we would love to commission a TV series and we will pay for it, we'll cover the production budget. And they would have the benefit of having it air and doing what they want with it. They buy the rights. The real money in this model is actually your offscreen money related to consumer strategy.
So if it is Pip or Pig we're are talking about, gosh, you could have a million dollars -- sorry, let's make it a billion because a million is too little in terms of consumer strategy sales and income. And that is quite phenomenal income when you look at a big TV series. But as an African producer, it is a little bit further for us than your big companies distributing and licensing companies. In this model as a producer we would typically go great, someone is prepared to pay us to make it. We'll take that deal.
And then you say all of a sudden you say goodbye to your TV series and the producers don't have any backing. But moving on, we are able to make the TV series and you go ahead and make that show. And that is your typical broadcast model.
But there are other models. And I'm really a fan of the disruption that's been caused with the streaming platforms because typically you'll have Disney+ or you'll have Netflix or you'll have the HBO Max. Those are the streaming platforms I'm referring to, there's many. In Africa, there is ArokuTV, which very much serves the Nigerian local market.
And what this means is that local creators are able to create, and the streaming platform are paying for the production to be made. And if you are good and savvy at negotiating you will hope that the creators will negotiate their percentage of the equity and that their property would then get the best viewership and creators would be paid well and the production will get made.
So I'm really loving the disruption in this space at the moment. It makes for very authentic content.
In the last five years, I've watched more foreign content than I have ever in my entire life. Hello, this is fantastic, I'm watching Spanish heist movie series, I'm watching Danish thrillers. It is wonderful. And to that mix will be African TV series for kids. And it is just such an exciting time.
And then as film makers, a lot of -- possibly speaking to the content creators in this room, you might want to create a film or an animated short but you would love it to travel the festival circuits. And what that really entails, there is no business model, to be honest, you need a sugar daddy or a really good state support.
But you are creating the film, you need the money to do that, and you need money to take it to festival. And it will hopefully win many awards and you will make a name for yourself as a film maker. There is no business model, and we'd love to be in this space. We've only made one short in the 11 years I have been with Triggerfish because we just can't afford -- we don't have the budget to do it. But we did create "Bellyflop" which has been screened at IGF. And four years of down time in between other films. And we are very proud of it. But it does make for hard -- because film makers want to be able to create, they want their films to travel, but who supports them? Animation is very expensive. I'm going through this very fast. Hang with me.
That is just a little bit of the business landscape. But we want really want to focus on enabling local content growth. And I would love to take you through some of the examples that I have been so fortunate and grateful to be a part of.
I spoke earlier just about how there is huge disparities between talent and opportunity. That is true throughout the world and in emerging markets, and Africa is one of those. There is so much talent on the continent, very few giants who have in the space who have an appetite for risk. And so what you find is that that talent never gets a voice.
Flash back to 2015, I was very fortunate to work with the Walt Disney Company. And we launched the first story lab on the continent, Triggerfish and Disney. And we reached out to the continent through advertising and all out different means of social connectiveness and we received 1,400 submissions. Creators saying to us from the continent we've got a story for TV, we have a story for features, or a short or whatever it may be. Pick me. Pick me. And we were blown away by the number of submissions we -- we knew we were on to something.
African storytelling has passed on generation to generation, and this is the new platform. It's digital. It's about having your stories told in whatever way you can. Traditionally, hundreds of years ago it was tribe to tribe. Now it is more digital resources, we can do this in a more smart way.
What we found was these amazing storytellers. We chose 35 of the best, that was tough, and we brought them to Cape Town for two weeks, intensive workshops. And this is a part of that whole thing where there is a skills gap. These creators had never been in the space before, had these great dreams and ideas, but didn't know how to get ready, didn't know how to market themselves internationally. Didn't know if there were gaps in their storytelling, didn't challenge the character art, didn't know how to hook up with a concept artist to get some great animation visuals to pitch in an international space.
All this was about putting that support around them. Big gaps, fill those the gaps, and let's get them to market and let's see what happens. I'm so grateful to be a part of watching those 35 creatives an all the work they're involved in come to life. Some got works with Turner Group, Disney, Netflix. It is unbelievable what happened for the continent what happened through the story lab.
We basically chose four TV series. The two TV series top left. We have Ninja Princess, the name has changed, the artwork has changed. But it is still very much a preschool show in development with Disney Jr. And that was a proudly African TV series which I'm hoping will go into production next year.
The property, the picture on the left-hand side "Mama K's Super 4" is another of those that came from a creator from Zambia. And this is an image I used to remind myself of who the story represents. It is now changed to Mama K's Team Four. It's a working title. This is what happens in film, we change the titles with league compliance and all of that all the time. So who knows what it will be in a year's time, but I think this will be it for now. Mama K's Team Four, it's a TV series, the film represents these faces on the screen. There is a huge gap and a disconnect for young black girls to see themselves on screen and to see themselves represented in a positive way, to see themselves as superheroes, to see themseves coding and engineering and with STEM themes.
And once you -- I think for all of us you can agree as you see yourself represented on screen, you know you can be it. When you see yourself engineering and building gadgets to take on the evil villain you believe it and you want to be it. And this is the heart of Momma K. On the right with her sister on the left. She entered the Disney story lab just a few years ago. And the reason for this was she wanted to see four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way, and she wanted to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero.
And so this series is a comedy, it's an action, it's fun and frivolous. It is -- it doesn't have deep somber African themes. This is a story and a series for 7 to 12-year-olds. And that is Malanga today. Currently in Cape Town working with our writing team. And these are the heroes of our show.
And I will pitch it to you quickly. Come on. These are the team four. And basically our girls are navigating high school, everything that comes with high school and dealing with your peers. Yet they are very super gifted. So some are agile, some are fast, some are smart at engineering, coding. And these girls are selected by Mama K.
Now, in the African culture, women, matriarchs, are seen as representative elders in the community. And you can have an uncle and an auntie that isn't your family, but he's your uncle and your auntie or she's your goggle. And so we have Mama K who is this very wise African woman who recruits these girls and sees their natural abilities and pulls them on to team four.
She's a former secret spy, former secret spy, she's now retired. She has a fruit and veg shop. And underground the fruit and veg shop, she has a secret underground HQ where the girls are taught to be supers and to build gadgets, and to take on their natural abilities, to take on the villains of the city. But these girls claim to the themes of African ingenuity where their gadgets are brought to life.
It's proudly the first original African animated series produced at Triggerfish in Cape Town. One of the other things we are very proud of, and these are old images. We can't release the new images, sorry about that. But they do give you a glimpse of what to expect.
This series would not be authentic and would not be local if we didn't allow the voices to represent that. And what we decided with Netflix was to make sure our budget was not just to produce the series but create yet another incubator. And this incubator was called the Writer's Lab.
And this Writer's Lab simply again identified talent and opportunity and realized that there are no black women writers in the animation space. There was no complete all-women writing team in the animation space that I'm aware of. Our head writer is the head writer of the Powder Puff Girls Kung Fu and My Little Pony and she has never written on an all women writer's team. I mean so let's smash all of the firsts on the series.
And so what we did is we pitched a Writer's Lab. We got 750 applications from the continent. It was so tough. 25 writers were short listed. we chose 12 and brought them for a 10-day workshop for animation, bridging the gap, and giving them the sense of what it's like to work in animation. We are hoping those 12 writers will plant the seed of something beautiful in animation space by pitching their ideas to the likes of many broadcasters and partners in the future.
But we could only choose six, but then we choose eight because we couldn't say goodbye to the other two. So we chose eight, and they represent countries in Africa. Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, and we have one Cape Townian on the team, yeah. And these writers are the voice of the series guided and shaped by their story editor and head writer in Los Angeles.
What we are seeing is skills transfer at the highest level. The series will play nationally and release to 150 countries in two years' time. Sorry, you're going to have to wait. But the idea is that this is an extremely high quality series authentically spoken from women from the continent to represent to the world.
These are some of our fabulous writers from our workshop in Luksaka. Right now we are in preproduction. This was them on Table Mountain. We are currently writing and we have 20 episodes to produce, and we're currently on script eight. I know a lot of people don't think Africans are funny, but this is funny. And I'm so excited for the world to experience what we experienced. And that's just a little case study of what we have been doing at a local level.
>> MODERATOR: I don't take issue with case study, but I take issue with little.
Just one question. You were very upbeat about the role that the streamers are playing, the subscription VOD services, video-on-demand services offering that they are adding a new possibility inside the value chain.
At the moment this series being set up with Netflix, how do you see the future for African content in terms of the emergence and consolidation of locally native platforms? You referenced Aroku which was born to service -- actually to offer Nollywood pictures to the world.
Do you see them becoming alternative partners for the content you're trying to develop? Because in theory and as a priest to independent producers, I should know it is always better to have several points of entry only than one or two.
>> VANESSA SINDEN: Yeah. So your question is asking if there would be other streaming platforms.
>> MODERATOR: Sustainable ones that can also champion your content.
>> VANESSA SINDEN: I honestly don't think that other streaming platforms can be sustainable.
I'm excited about Disney+ and what original content is going to be created. I honestly think those giants who have got such an appetite for risk are the only ones that can pull it off. I think Aroku is headed for tough times. So I personally think We should be making sure African stories go to the world. And let's use the platforms that are the best platforms for that.
I would say the mix would be linear broadcast, traditional broadcast models. Let's do a film, if you must, but let's make sure we have the right partners on board to give it a good budget because it is tough out there.
And let's make sure we can make short films in the meantime. Because what we are see is a shortage of women directing, a shortage of women writing in the space, and short films help them create and stretch their creativity and try to direct.
So my strategy and our studio strategy is more about spreading it across traditional but giant, you know, structures that are set up rather than new ones coming up.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. I'm sure you will have questions for Vanessa. I'm inviting you to write them down and hold them for now.
We will roll out the workshop speakers part of this, if you don't mind and then we'll leave time at the end for you to engage with our speakers.
I would like to move on to Sigrun Neisen and Sarika Lakhani. You are a team, in fact. One of you is more the institutional side and the other is a producer.
We will start with you, Sigrun. I think one of the big words we heard from Vanessa was gaps between the huge talent in Africa that exists there and the ability of the infrastructure to enable it to professionalize and make content that is cultureally relevant locally and globally.
Why is Deutsche Welle Akademie involved in that space? And what are you trying to achieve, and why is the Cooperation Ministry supporting you in this endeavor?
>> SIGRUN NEISEN: Thank you very much. I'm not sure if everybody in the room knows what the Deutsche Welle Akademie is doing. The Deutsche Welle Akademie is part of the W. Oh, I can do that. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Green.
>> SIGRUN NEISEN: The Deutsche Welle Akademie, or DW Akademie, is part of the Deutsche Welle DB, the foreign broadcaster from Germany. And we asked DW Akademie cooperation in terms of media development cooperation. And we are the strategic partner of the Federal Ministry of Economic Corporation, a development of Germany.
And, therefore, we are involved in film development and mainly in Africa. Because Vanessa already said so many important things on making local content grow and enabling the industry to grow and as well and the education for talent in Africa.
And this is what we are actually doing and helping to supporting in different African countries which is part of the master plan with Africa of what we are supporting.
>> MODERATOR: Stands for Media Development Corporation.
>> SIGRUN NEISEN: Exactly. Exactly. Yes. Exactly. So we are the main strategic partner for Media Development Corporation and as well in film.
For several years now we are supporting film project in different African countries which Sarika will tell you more about in detail because she is the one implementing one of our long-running projects in Kenya. So what I'm going to tell you more about is more the outer part and then the framework that we are doing.
And let me just say that when I'm saying film or when we are talking about film, it doesn't mean that we in our work in different African countries is not limited to feature film, but as well to web series or documentary, and the main objective is the education. So when it comes to film and -- oh, there went something wrong.
>> MODERATOR: Sorry about that.
>> SIGRUN NEISEN: So we are having two objectives when this comes to film supporting. And the one thing is to use film as a job creator. We believe that film is a job creator.
Because local film production needs to involve a lot of local staff. And a lot of jobs are being needed for a big production such as Sarika is going to tell about, and this is what Deutsche Welle Akademie is mainly doing in film.
We are helping with capacity building of film makers and media professionals in all areas like in all jobs which are used for film.
Because and in that way we are having or we are supporting film in two aspects. In one way believing that film should be supported in a way of high quality film. So on international standards and helps the industry grow to learn to produce in international standards. And to connect and -- connect the industry to a bigger picture.
Bigger -- saying that wrong, sorry. Not the bigger picture -- to the international standards and to help people being ready for international companies coming in to maybe to produce and connect the international markets. And the other thing that we are -- sorry, this is again wrong. What you should see there is strengthening freedom of -- strengthening the freedom of expression, which is the other big pillar of our work of DW Akademie.
For example, which is a good picture here, a nice many we are producing for example, a documentary series. And it is about the Pan-African migration and enables, first of all, producers to raise their voice on their point of view of migration and different point of views and bringing people into dialogue about migration.
And not even -- and this is a very important project because what comes -- you know, what is always shown or seen on our media, not always, but a lot is that the migration to Europe. But this project shows the migration within Africa and Pan-African countries.
Is also meant for people -- for bringing people into dialogue with each other and showing the different opinions or the different point of views.
>> MODERATOR: A little squished.
>> SIGRUN NEISEN: Sorry, something happened to the --
>> MODERATOR: Intriguing.
>> SIGRUN NEISEN: I don't know what happened there. This slide meant to show you that we did during the last year is we already have already trained over 1,400 film makers during the last nine years.
And this is -- this was in over 20 different African countries, of course, in different projects and in over 30 production.
This was just on the numbers. Maybe let's see what -- yeah, so let's see. This one is quite okay.
>> MODERATOR: Yeah, it is.
>> SIGRUN NEISEN: The last one is quite okay, finally.
>> SIGRUN NEISEN: And this is a little bit look into the future because what we are doing now is like we are doing the big projects now for different -- for several years. But as well now we started to have a new pilot project in 2018 concentrating on film and film -- and supporting content, local content in African countries.
And so we tried to find out what is actually the need and we are still trying to orientate on what the markets need. The markets are so different and every market needs some different or something different. And here of two new projects that we just raised, just started to work with.
And those two are the one is in Nigeria and it is about a film school only for women because it was found out that in the -- you all, of course, know Nollywood and the huge industry and in all film industries there is a lack of women film makers. And as you already stated in your wonderful project, here is another example of a project where female film makers are supported.
And this is going to be a school concentrating on female film makers in Lagos. And the other is "The Tibeb Girls" for primary school girls in the Ethiopia and something already described as being a superhero. And we just started this project in Ethiopia with the story boarding workshops. And also about not only of producing the series but also, of course, producing or helping supporting the local film makers and the local Ethiopian creative artists for what is needed on the context and helping the local studios to grow.
And this is what we are trying to do with our work at Deutsche Welle Akademie. We are supporting, on the one hand, what you -- what you unfortunately could not read -- is that we do always have the two legs that we are trying to support the industry by supporting the capacity of film makers and media professionals.
And the other thing is having to speak up film makers and other media professionals by giving them a chance or a platform to speak up and as well promote their freedom of speech.
>> MODERATOR: Could I ask a question for you. I see the two of you as an ensemble. I see you, Sarika, you are the frontline end of the project because you have been involved in making seven feature films in Kenya in the last --
>> SARIKA LAKHANI: 11.
>> MODERATOR: 11 years. They are very much made to what you loosely call an international quality standard. I imagine that the strategy there was again to bridge a gap. Is your reference to capacity building and to make this content in a sense enhance its opportunities to access the distribution systems nationally and internationally. Do you want to take us through these?
>> SARIKA LAKHANI: So we were founded 11 years ago by a German -- a German company. Sorry.
We are fund -- we were found by Tom and his wife and the idea was to train African film makers on making films by making films and by training these film makers. We found out that there is so many story and so many unique stories and stories that can only come from that part of the world that it is once they are given the platform to be seen on the world stage, it gives a new voice and a new opportunities to these film makers.
That is the core idea. I'm a film maker by profession at heart. We all are have -- we have nothing to do with international cooperation or education. I only attended film schools, I never designed one before. The truth is you have to know how to make films in order to know how to make them. We invented our own model 11 years ago.
And they say that we are the reason why the Ministry for Foreign Cooperation and Development even got into that field. We have produced seven feature films who have been successfully shown all over the world. So we screen at the Toronto Film Festival and win awards in Berlin. Our films have had a lot of exposure.
And to show you how that looks like when we train how to make films by making films, I brought a little trailer with me.
>> MODERATOR: So we need to shift that out. That's great. And bear with us. We're going online, funny enough. Scary stuff.
>> Where am I?
>> MODERATOR: Before we jump back on this, I suppose a provocative question would be these look terrific and I know they are because I have seen some of them.
They are excellent for festivals, they would probably do extremely well if they were supported for release in cinemas.
As you make these, you give the reason for people to make them and then what is the leave behind in terms of building capacity from your point of view?
>> SARIKA LAKHANI: First of all, I might say that I couldn't do that without our partners in Kenya. So we are one foundation space in Berlin and we have the partners in crime, as I might call them, Ginger and Guy Wilson from Ginger, Inc. Films in Kenya. We speak with them not only on a daily but on an hourly basis.
Eleven years ago the market and landscape was a lot different than it is today. there were a lot of people who had great ideas but didn't know how to exactly -- what the skill set is even -- what does -- some people know what an actor does. Some people know what a director does. But what does the producer do?
And we are as well, we are about the production, designer, the sound person. We are about the editors, we are about the whole -- we are training the entire landscape of film makers, the craftsmanship.
So that is where we were 11 years ago, and now things have changed due to our films as well. And what we found is that it is great that our film makers and our films travel to all of these festivals, but then what? Because if there is a lack of funding and lack of infrastructure, a lack of, I may say so, policy in place, then there are very limited ways for the film makers besides our initiative to make their own films.
And as I'm a film producer, obviously we worked with this great talent, and we want to see them flow and nourish and we want to do more projects with them.
One of the things we got involved in three years ago was creating a tax incentive for Kenya. There is no film -- unlike south Africa, there is no film fund in place, there is no tax incentive in place. There is absolutely no --
>> SARIKA LAKHANI: Support. Support is a big word. But there are no substantial policies in place where you as a Kenyan or international producer who wants to produce a film from that part of the region can go to an international market because the first question would always be what are you bringing with you from your own country?
And then you can say yeah, network and maybe a helicopter shot or maybe I know some people and they will do that for free. But that is not something you can put in a financing plan.
And in order to be taken serious on the international film market, and I just want to point one thing out. The beauty about film is that it can travel very easily. So unlike any other product, unlike let's say a cultural product or whatever industries, film is something, yes, it takes some time to make it but once it's ready it can easily be distributed.
Without further regulations, unless there is censorship. But it can be a fast-traveling and fast-earning project.
What we have found is this gap in policy. And we were wondering how can we support the local film makers in closing that by demanding and making it visible that there is this need for a change in the government on how they acknowledge their creative industries.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. If I may put in my two cents worth.
In the television space that I know, the mid-sized television drama company, the dilemma is acute. In order to sell a concept or a soap opera, a long running half hour drama series that appears in the prime time, there is so little capability with local broadcasters.
willingness sometimes to actually acquire local content at the price compatible with the price of production. Very often they have to go through MNET in South Africa hoping to get a licensee from them and then sell to their own domestic broadcasters as a second resale.
So I think it's a measure of the gap and journey to the economic sustainability for a lot of people trying to make a living with those products.
I'd like to -- I have plenty of questions. I'm sure others will. I would like to move on now to the music sector and reintroduce Santiago Schuster Vergara who is going to talk to you about the Chile song writers and singers have adopted in order to insert their repertoire into the broadband networks that are today absolutely the centrality of the marketplace for music. So over to you.
>> SANTIAGO SCHUSTER VERGARA: Thank you very much for the invitation, Bertrand.
And before to talk about my personal experience in the promotion of local content, I would like to say that inclusion is a very sensitive word today in Latin America, and especially in my country.
Maybe you have known that in the last weeks in my country we have very big protests, violent protest.
The reason why is not because we have a bad economy because the Chilean economy in the context of Latin America is one of the most success economy in macro economical figures. But the problem is inclusion. Because the opposite of inclusion is discrimination, is marginalization. And, of course, is poverty in participation.
And when I wish to talk about inclusion, I would like to say that for us inclusion is not a secure success in dissemination of local content, but it is a way to get opportunities for all of the musicians, composers, artists, performers. Not only the success composer, but, of course, the unknown composers. Not only for the young people who are musicians, but to the old musicians also.
And then for that reason, I think that we are discussing about inclusion, participation is the right word that we have to use.
And then my experience as CEO in an office society for a long time, in a musician society, I have some experience that I would like to share with you.
The title of my presentation is Small Venues for Big Audience. Why? Because sometimes we think in the digital network we need big infrastructure for disseminate-- for the dissemination of our local content.
I think we need to be creative also in the ways in discovering the ways of promoting our content. In regard to music, maybe we have a difference. Because in music today we don't have a problem with the production of the music. Audio visual, I understand that you need to put big effort on financial effort in producing audio Visual work. But in music you have to take a huge musical offer in the network.
The problem of music dissemination of local content, musical dissemination is disability. It is difficult for the musicians today to be part of the network with some visibility. And then in my experience we have -- I would like to share some experience that it is not a big success, but it is a way to find new model of local dissemination and local inclusion. Sorry, it's not my computer. Thank you.
The first one is small SCD concert. SCD is the Chilean management for music activities. And small SCD concert halls are project that has four small concept halls in Santiago or capital and in Valparaiso.
They are not big halls. They are only -- they only have around 100 to 300 seats, that's all. But what is interesting is that they present day-by-day Chilean musicians with different kind of music but they use this concert for some kind of promotion in the network, in the digital network.
For example, in the year in 2019, they have presented 412 concerts in those halls. It means 1,000 and a half concert -- sorry, artists on the stage.
Those concerts have been produced as audio visual. And in the website there of the Salas SCD there are 600 concert produce the audio visual. That is an important thing for the composer and Chilean musicians because this means that they have a window to show their works.
And then the small audience of 100 or 200 people is expanded to the digital network in YouTube. That is the case of those 629 concert.
The second example is Sello Azul and Oveja Negra. Blue Label and Black Sheep Label. Two independent that were founded by the same authors and musicians in my country.
Why they funded these kind of enterprises? It is only because in the late '90s the major, the big companies abandoned the local musicians because they had to reduce cost. And the first thing that they did as a measure for to improve the economy was to cut the cost in local content.
And the local society started with those kind of recording companies. And it was -- in this case it was a very big success because in 2010, these two companies had the most high amount of launches of musical albums, launched in Latin America.
And it means that they produced more than 200 albums. It was the first recording company in Latin America in national production. And this project has today 18 years.
And it is interesting also to understand that, of course, the musical industry crisis end in a new model of business. And now these national companies move to a new model, a business model, which is to -- not to support directly to the local group, but to support the local or the national independent companies. And today, this project, this move into a new stage, a new phase of production with success.
The third project is Autores En Vivo. It is authors broadcasting line. It is similar, it is has a small concert hall for 200 seats. And what they are doing is to produce the individual in live concert in this concert hall.
And immediately they upload the concert but also they disseminate the concert in TV paid with an agreement with a very important TV cable in Montae. It is interesting because the repertoire respond to the needs of small countries. Only three million and a half -- half million people. So for that reason this project is very useful for the composer.
They have had 180 concerts in a year. And in the YouTube channel, they have 22 million visits. And the project had today 10 years surviving in this complex context of music dissemination.
The fourth, it is a very important one because it is a project of what I call the new publishers in the industry.
I think that many people, many young people who work with musicians as promoter, as agent, or simply the people who help the musicians in disseminate their work are the real new publishers in the 21st century. The old concept of a financial publisher I think is an obsolete concept for this new stage, new face of musical or local musical dissemination.
What this mean, that it is important that those people who are involved in musical work not as a composer or as a musician but as a content agent has to be involved in the value chain of the music. This project is the Fluvial Festival organized in a small city in the south of Chile and have around 200 young producer not only from Chile but from other countries. They exchange experience and they have -- they have around business and it is, indeed, a very interesting experience that I -- okay -- that is time is gone again.
And as you can see in this picture, they have had -- well, they gather 260 professionals in music and we had 11,000 people attending the festival. And I think this is a new way of local content.
And then finally what I would like to say is the new times need new ways of conduct the musical business. Not only think it in majors, in the majors, but in independent producers and the small places for big audience. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. We have a little less than 19 minutes left. Thank you so much for being so disciplined about it.
And I'm sure I have tons of questions that I would like to ask, but I want to give a chance to people in the room to interact with you now and maybe make -- come back to you about some of the things they heard. Who would like to kick that off? Don't be shy. Shane.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you for the presentation. I want to go leave now and watch all of the shows that you just showed. That was amazing and listen to the music.
Can you give us some ideas as far as, you know, promoting local content? How has the internet been helpful and then if you have any kind of concerns about what the internet has done to maybe not protect your products?
>> SARIKA LAKHANI: I can give an example in 2011 when we produced in Nairobi, Half Life, which is up to today Kenya's most successful feature film, we were overthrown by the demand -- I mean no feature film has made Kenyans run to the cinema. And the film was in Kenyan cinemas for six months straight. We outlived Bond.
We weren't prepared for that at all. No one was. No one had anticipated that something like that could happen. And obviously we also found our film on the internet.
And then in those days you -- we found ourselves within the discussion of making the film accessible and for people to watch. And on the other hand, the rights holders who this is not a hobby what we do as creatives. This has to make, you know, ends meet and bring food to the table.
So we find ourselves in a discussion where we thought okay, what do we do now because obviously there is no infrastructure in place. And as usual, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is a gap for opportunities. And what can this opportunity be?
And we -- this gap is now automatically filling itself with the likes of Netflix because piracy is not the hot shit anymore. 10 years ago people were telling me that it is a good thing that people pirate our film because that way it is public, you know, it is in the public domain and should belong to everyone, and everyone should be able to watch our film for free. And it is like you find yourself in a discussion with people who have no sense of understanding of what rights are and that these rights are generated, you know.
Other people go eight hours to work and get paid by the hour, and we generate rights is the currency we are dealing in.
So the internet, the internet in the beginning was quite a challenge, I would say. And now with the streamers it is filling that gap because also what we have to put into perspective is that how much does content cost? And I want to say that for Kenya and East Africa people were under the impression content doesn't have to cost anything because it is brought to them for free or on tele, music, you accept it and it is socially accepted to be a pirate.
And to raise the awareness this is something you should pay for. I must say that the likes of Netflix has helped us because people -- it is affordable. So middle class people can pay for it.
And it has -- and it has made it more easy to access the content. By the way, I don't only want to say Netflix. Actually what is more affordable is Shomax. So --
>> MODERATOR: Shomax being the VOD service.
>> SARIKA LAKHANI: 300 bob a month and that is about $3 per month. And nobody can tell me they can't afford it. If they want to watch our film, this is where you can. We are film producers and content producers.
I'm not a marketing expert, I know everyone is trying to tell me I should. Honestly, I can't be good at everything. I'm good at something else. I'm not good at marketing. I'm not necessarily good at distribution.
I have a sense for the business. But I think there are other people who are good at that and we need strong partners this that field.
>> MODERATOR: I sense that you may have something to add. Thank you so much.
>> VANESSA SINDEN: I couldn't agree more. The film goes to production, and before it is released you can't share anything about the film.
The same about animation, no videos can be released, all hush-hush until it is released online and in the media. I remember we were able to -- we were able to trace that the film was pirated from our Russian post producer, the distributor in Russia. And it was quite a shock at the point where it cut your cinematic box office because it is now available online.
We felt so unprotected in that space. And particularly with film makers you feel so exposed because you have no leverage as a creator in that space to demand what is yours as box office revenue. So coupled with it being pirated and you don't have revenue at all.
So it is very scary territory, but that is 10 years ago. What I can say is we love that we can put short films and tutorials online. We had a webcast last year for African creators where we figured out through a survey what they would like training on. And we had experts in the fields all in the studio, our studio in Cape Town and did a webcast live. And I love that about the internet and we have materials available online.
When it comes to your bread and butter, it is harm because you are not able to recoup and therefore not able to invest in a new film. As a studio just to be completely honest, we have a gaming division that does work for North American international studios. Pure service work, but it does fund the development division that doesn't have revenue. It needs to be funded because developing and writing and creating art can't cover itself in development stages. You need to cover to be the best and have the best pictures. It is tough. Tough out there.
>> MODERATOR: Just to clarify, the development division is the one that is working at the potential loss developing new ideas and new visual concept.
Identifying new writers, commissioning scripts, all of which you have to engage at risk without knowing whether the film is going to be made or not.
>> VANESSA SINDEN: Exactly that. You need the freedom and skills to create. As private sector and government sector, one of the things I love to highlight in the session is if you back your creators and back them having opportunity to create, you will see your investment come to fruition. And yes, you won't see returns on that necessarily, but you need to wait it out. It is a long-term vision, not a short-turn return.
So spot on development for us is we will currently have 10 projects in development, all different stages, writing art work, and we hope to pitch it around whenever we can.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you for that. Both of you.
Let's have the next question. Can you tell us who you are.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm Vlade from Article 19 from the office in central America. I was like wondering if you can tell us and whoever wants to pick up like the series of reflections and questions.
Like when you doing this and conducting the processes from the Deutsche Welle Akademie and One Fine Day Films and so on, if you are facing first some challenges in terms of skills in film making and technology or in the language of the -- of cinema and so on.
And if you also somehow like face this like as challenges in terms of age. If we are thinking on content production or local content, if there is also like this kind of approach on the community, on the things that happens there, on their own language, on their own customs and the things that they are like -- like living there, and how it is like also like this process and how it is like then being reflected in the films and in the stories that people is telling.
And finally, if I understand like there is a process on film making and like it evolves and like different aspects and different actors and many things. But if there is also like a consideration in terms of like at some point these films and this thing that people is creating and communities are creating and womens are creating, if you are considering at some point like using creating comments licenses or a way of spreading it more?
I know that now technology and different platforms allows and it is like more accessible to people. But at some point like a thinking on another ways of licensing and like opening to --
>> MODERATOR: Can I trim some up. Because that is five questions.
>> AUDIENCE: Sorry for that. I was just like many things.
>> MODERATOR: Give us the distillation very quickly.
>> AUDIENCE: Whoever wants to, it was like something that I was now thinking about and basically like how each one is like living this kind of process.
>> MODERATOR: Technical skills, language. Help me out. Forms of licensing. That is three.
>> AUDIENCE: That is good.
>> MODERATOR: Who wants to take this?
>> SARIKA LAKHANI: I will start about the language thing. And not language in terms of English, German, Swahili, but in terms of culture I guess was your question hinting or pointing to.
So if I give you a personal background. I come from an Indian Kenyan German intercultural relationship. So I grew up in a household where none of that was ever addressed, but it was by the mere fact that it was like that, like that. So for me, the question of --
>> MODERATOR: You're Kenyan of Indian descent.
>> SARIKA LAKHANI: Indian and Kenyan and my mom is German and have two siblings and my kids are half Kenyan to complicate that.
>> SARIKA LAKHANI: So because we get that question a lot. And I can actually not give you a very sensible answer to that because I think if you come from a point where you meet as film maker and there is universal language in film, just like there is in art, which between us all as humans.
So, of course, there are some cultural differences sometimes to bridge because I come from a household I don't always understand the differences. But as long as we speak, as long as we interact, as long as we meet as film makers, and I think it is helpful that we have something to do in our environment.
Because we all know we all come together in order to make a film. Even if we get stuck in the cultural differences, at the end we still have to produce that damn film. So we have to find a solution for it.
And I think that is extremely helpful because it is a very practical task ahead. Just like in my childhood we are a family and have to live as a family whether we like it or not.
I don't know whether the question also hinted to authenticity. But because stories can -- stories in order to be authentic, they have to be told from -- they have to be told from where they come from and they can only do that if they do come from there.
And scales international or universally working. I think we are good at finding local talent of artists with something to say and matching them with international professionals who know how that could possibly be put streamlined.
>> MODERATOR: Your suite of questions, all of the panelists wanted to answer.
>> SIGRUN NEISEN: I wanted to add because you have a technical. At Deutsche Welle Akademie, we are always trying to find the, if possible, local experts to bring into the project. Sometimes it is not possible.
As you are working with international experts but, of course, it is always the goal and aim to find the local experts to bring them into the project and bring them together.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you for this. I think you wanted to come in.
>> SANTIAGO SCHUSTER VERGARA: To add something from the side of music that yes, well, the option of created common slices is one option in the work of copyright also.
And then in the case of the reality in Chile that I know is they all for the composer has the -- for them to elect one system or the other system.
And I think there is no conflict between a license by royalty or a license by or through creative comments license.
In Chile, which is the country that all related that I know with more accurate, some offers license through the system of the system of copyright. And the other elect for other works to license through creative comments. They are free for that, and it depends on the election of the author.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I'm afraid this is kind of all the time we have because I'm conscious that we have a very quick turnaround for the next workshop to be set up.
I don't want to put our marvelous technicians under more stress than they already experienced during that forum. Thank you very much for your assistance. I hope this has been helpful. As I said at the beginning, this is a workshop and it was about imparting information about how the professional content industries in two headline creative industries work, music and audio visual.
And I hope these people have managed to give you a glimpse of the sort of issues they face in their daily practice. I think one of the things that strikes me, amongst many other things, in what you said is there is no -- there are very porous boundaries between local and global. And that in a sense, especially in the audio visual, where the investment intensity attached to making anything is so high, the desire to globalize is story is possible also because stories want to travel as a natural kind of dynamics.
And what I find is also this need not mean that you bastardize the cultural integrity of the story you are telling. Quite the opposite. That you can think local but add global as well. In that sense is what I heard at this point, it may not be a love affair but you find that the insertion of online services in the value chain is proving to be very helpful development.
I think we need more time to discuss the ins and outs of this. And thank you, Santiago, for suggesting how solutions are being find at grassroots level to insert the repertoire like the American musicians. There will be a report on the session. And I forgot to introduce our online proctor. Thank every one of you for coming and to encourage you to give a big hand to Sarika, Sigrun, Vanessa and Santiago and also to our partners, the German Production Alliance, my voice is already going. And the Deutsche Welle Akademie. Thank you so very much for coming. Thank you.