Last week Wednesday, M-Net and Nu Metro celebrated South African film by honouring Dr John Kani and his latest award-winning directorial debut, Nothing But The Truth. This prestigious event also recognized the launch of The African Film Library and its new Video On Demand (VOD) website. World Wide Creative was there to witness this M-Net initiative that features award-winning films, short stories and documentaries from 50 years of African film productions.
Over the past three years, M-Net has been negotiating the rights to almost 600 works in English, Arabic, French and Portuguese and digitally re-mastering them. The Online library includes the works of more than 80 film makers including Senegalese Ousmane Sembene and Djibril Mambety, Yousef Chahine from Egypt and Haile Gerima from Ethiopia. This makes the African Film Library the largest online library of African films in the world.
M-Net CEO Patricia Scholtemeyer says that M-Net is proud to play a part in showcasing African film to the world. “Mike Dearham and his team have worked tirelessly on building this library and we are delighted that the African Film Library Video On Demand website will spread the continent’s special brand of cinematic magic around the globe,” she says. The curator, Mike Dearham, has been involved in African film distribution and policy development for more than 13 years.
The website allows you to search by director, genre or language, watch trailers and download the films of your choice. With the video-on-demand service, viewers are able to pay for and download digitally re-mastered footage. Similar to a DVD rental service, they will have 24 hours access to the content.
This online library offers immense exposure to existing and emerging African filmmakers by forming an important digital archive of the continent’s cultural cinematic heritage, and making African artists’ works easily accessible via the Internet. In its quest to contribute to the modernization of film distribution services on the continent, DSTV Online, in partnership with M-Net, will make use of conventional and new media distribution approaches to ensure constant exposure of African films across the globe.
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