30 October 2018, News

AFDA Head of Postgraduate Studies: Johannesburg, François Smit, travels to Colombo, Sri Lanka hosting several television workshops.

From 14 – 24 October 2018, the Head of the Johannesburg School of Postgraduate Studies was invited to run and participate in several workshops around television programming in the interest of the audience.

François Smit followed the invitation by the Goethe Institut Sri Lanka to host and attend these, based on the productions discussed at the INPUT International Conference. INPUT 2018 was held in New York in May and was attended by bothe Henriette de Villiers and François Smit.

Over several days Students from the University Colombo (Media Production Department), the University of Visual & Performing Arts  as well as television makers from the local public broadcaster attended the workshop which was jointly moderated by François Smit, Philip Vongehr (Head of Entertainment and Talk Shows at the Norddeutscher Rundfunk – NDR, Hamburg), Andreas Klempin (Curator of the Science Film Festival, Goethe Institut Bangkok), Kancahne Marasinghe (Producer, Colombo Television) and Athula Disanayaka (Television Producer and Director - Rupavahini TV).

Over the course of the week of jointly watching, debating and evaluating the local importance of some of the programmes from the New York Conference, it became clear that the globalisation of audiences is making it easier for television makers, not only to be extremely local – but to also be relevant to international audiences. Tackling global issues on local platforms, with local contexts is being done by all broadcasters around the world. Whether issues around integration of refugees, womans rights or equality of representation were discussed, all the productions could have screened anywhere in the world, eventhough the central figures, the language and/or the format was very local.

The TV formats which were screened covered a wide range of topics and were organised to different sessions according to their content.

More than 400 participants attended the workshops. Goethe Institut who kindly hosted and organised the workshops are dedicated to show how important television is for reasons of identity building, civil society and education. In line with these targets, it was important for François to make participants aware of the roles they play in exactly these nation building activities when they create stories. Television is a powerful medium and TV-makers should be aware of their responsibility within the social network of the different media.

In developing countries like South Africa and Sri Lanka, the role of television makers is even more focussed: Media acts as watchdog to protect public interest against malpractice and create public awareness.

Many of the productions screened in Sri Lanka at the Mini-INPUT was based on the sessions held at the Johannesburg Mini-INPUT which was held on the AFDA Johannesburg Campus at the end of September.

Henriette De Villiers (Dean, AFDA Johannesburg) and François Smit are the National Coordinators for INPUT in South Africa.
INPUT is a non-profit organization of television programme makers and broadcasters. It is the organizer of an annual conference to discuss and challenge the boundaries of TV. Since its founding in 1977, the conference has been held in changing locations worldwide.

During the course of the next few weeks, the selection of six South African productions for submission to the next annual conference will be made public. The next INPUT will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from Monday, 6 May to Friday, 10 May 2019.

For more information: www.input-tv.org

AFDA is the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012.

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