After a successful DLA at DISCOP Abidjan, an even further expanded programme will take place in Johannesburg. The five DLA 2016 winners incubated by DLA will also be showcased at DISCOP Johannesburg, which will also mark the launch of DLA#2 and the next DLA call for projects.

DISCOP Johannesburg and INVR.SPACE will be hosting the VR Cinema that will be found in the Germany Pavilion and will showcase African, German, and other global VR projects ranging from documentaries, feature films, animations, and more. Within this VR Cinema, the New Dimensions projects will also be showcased in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg and Electric South.

Professionals from across Africa will discuss the latest trends and will provide information for content producers or buyers looking to play in the VR space. Steven Markovitz has been leading the discussions around VR for a number of years, since 2015.

"VR is a new format in its infancy. It's an opportunity for Africa to get involved at a very early stage and be part of the global conversation. All the work I do is to challenge the dominant narrative and show Africa as a dynamic, nuanced continent," he says.

Ulrico Grech-Cumbo, founder of Deep VR, produces award-winning VR content, understands the application of VR content – from educational, tourism, environmental, and entrepreneurial. German journalist, photographer, and filmmaker, who specialises in the production of VR content, Julia Leeb will also take part in these sessions.

Also joining in the discussion will be Morgan Bouchet, dir. digital content and head of VR at the global network operator Orange. Since December 2016, Bouchet has overseen Orange’s 'Orange VR Experience', a virtual reality test programme in partnership with Wevr, among other projects.

Sönke Kirchhof, CEO and executive producer at the Germany-based VR full-service studio INVR.SPACE GmbH, has been working in the fields of VR, stereoscopic filmmaking, VFX, and CGI Post productions, as well as research and development, for more than 15 years.

Sönke Kirchhofm, Steven Markovitz, Ulrico Grech-Cumbo, ‎and Morgan Bouchet are among the top class professionals involved in the VR-focused masterclasses within the NEXT GEN programme at the 2018 edition of DISCOP Johannesburg.

In conjunction with these partners and professionals, DISCOP Johannesburg will also present two master classes focussed specifically on the topic.

The first master class is 'Virtual Reality: Tech, Africa, and Future | VR content production and distribution'. It will take centre stage in the programme, and will address the following issues:

  • How evolution in technology enables producers to experiment VR, with a focus on Africa’s creative solutions. Presentation of different VR headsets and VR cameras including price points with focus on innovative initiatives to combat costs; and
  • What can Africa bring to VR content production? African producers share their vision on what role Africa can play in the burgeoning VR industry, where Africa VR is currently, and where is it going in the next few years.

The second master class is titled 'Get ready for the virtual reality revolution | Not all VR content is made the same and the experiences vary greatly'. This session will discuss obstacles and benefits in creating relevant VR content, and answers the following questions:

  • What kind of VR content broadcasters are looking for?;
  • What is their VR content development and co-production strategies?; and
  • What are the funding opportunities available to VR producers and the business and distribution models they should follow?

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