Thursday, September 24, 2015

Call For Project Submissions - Berlinale Co-Production Market 2016

The Co-Production Market takes place on February 14-16, 2016. This is part of the Berlin International Film Festival which takes place February 11-21, 2016.
Experienced producers from around the world are invited to submit their new feature-length fiction projects with budgets that range from 1 to 20 million Euros (for projects from Greece, Portugal or Spain the budget requirements are waived), with at least 30% of financing (or the local production funding) already in place, for which they are seeking international co-production and financing partners.

Deadline for project submission is October 21, 2015.

The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a 3 day service and networking platform designed to bring together producers, financiers, sales agents, distributors, broadcasters and funding representatives.
Meetings are organised for selected projects with interested co-producers, partners and financiers. You can also look out for networking meetings, cocktail events, a Producer’s Lounge, Speed Matchings and much more.
At Books at Berlinale 10 selected international books with film potential are presented to international producers and at CoPro Series, ca. 6 hand-picked international drama series projects are pitched in front of potential co-producers and financiers.
Overall more than 200 films have so far found partners at the Co-Production Market.
What are you waiting for?
Submission Form

Queries: Tel: +49-30-25920-517 or email:

Article by Fred Felton

Twitter @fredfelton 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Review of ShowMax

The good folks at ShowMax asked me to try out their new video on demand (VOD) service which launched recently in South Africa.

So just what is VOD? Well it’s certainly not like the good old days when it took you around 1 hour to rewind a video.  I remember those days with so much love.

Now you can have well over 10 000 hours in your pocket so to speak.

ShowMax is similar to products like NetFlix and DStv BoxOffice.

The ability to watch what you want when you want.

It’s available on various devices with an internet connection.  These include mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and even Samsung and LG smart TV’s.

At the moment you can get some big TV shows like Game of Thrones, Entourage, The Wire and many more.  They also have a huge movie catalogue and even local African content.
John Kotsaftis, General Manager of ShowMax South Africa said: ‘We’re unashamedly ambitious in what we’re aiming to achieve with ShowMax.’

So how does it work?

I tested it out on an iPad using their App. 
The App is pretty simple to use and you can select an option from Movies, Series or a Watchlist.  If you get stuck there is a handy Help section.

You can also go directly to movies or series and select from various categories such as action, horror, comedy etc.

So will it take off in South Africa?

I tested it out using a Wi-Fi connection.  Certainly at present the speeds in South Africa are not the best but as more and more areas get rolled out with high-speed internet these types of services are going to take off.

I’m sure that South African Filmmakers will be checking out ShowMax as this service offers filmmakers a new option for distribution deals.
It also offers a different option for people who can’t afford satellite television options.
ShowMax is offering this service at R99 a month which is not bad.  That’s about the price of one good DVD.  You can have the service on 5 different devices. You can also watch two different streams on different devices simultaneously.

However don’t take my word for it, try it out yourself, ShowMax is offering everyone a 7 day free trial so you can check out the service for yourself.

You can find out more on

Find them on Twitter @showmaxonline


Have you tried ShowMax? Let us know what you think of the service on Twitter using @UmhlangaLife and the hashtag #showmax

(Image courtesy ShowMax)

Review by Fred Felton

Twitter @fredfelton 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Review of The Mercury Wine Week

The Mercury Wine Week

What an eventful and beautiful evening spent at the Mercury Wine Week 2015. As a newbie to the wine world, there was much learning and tasting to be done.

On the tip of learning one had never realized just how big the wine industry is in South Africa with a really large following too. I had the pleasure of first tasting the Checkers South Africa Rosé selection, with the help of their team I first got to understand the difference between rosé, dry wine and sweet wine. For which I didn’t think at first there would be a difference, but soon it became clear that it rested with your pallet much like cheese flavours. That was provided by Lancewood which made it all the more enjoyable.

Pacing myself through the Suncoast Durban venue filled to capacity you could feel the ambience of leisure and the goodness that grapes can make the heart feel. People negotiated business deals, chatted about parenting and most importantly their favourites from the wide selections of wines to taste. I was particularly drawn to the Spier Wine Chenin Rosé collection, made with a collection of sub-tropical fruits you could smell the mango and pineapple in the glass, as it hit your lips it was elegant to your taste buds.  Another wine that was really enjoyable for me was the Big Easy Rosé collection from South Africa’s second most loved golfer Ernie Els, which goes really well with your pasta and fish dishes. A plus with all these ranges is that since they are light to the taste you could get away with having a glass over lunch, during a working day.

The general advice I heard from the winemakers gathered at the Wine Week, was that if you are a first time wine taster or would like to develop a love for wine.  Start with tasting sweet wine it offers a sweet tasted instead of the general bitter taste. You are then able to graduate to the Rosé section of the beverages menu and ultimately develop your pallet for red or white wine. Here’s a toast to another successful Mercury Wine Week. 

Review by Amanda O Mathe
Twitter @Onapower