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B’casting panel members chosen

An advertising exec and a former political exile will share the chairmanship of South Africa’s newly created Independent Broadcasting Authority, a selection panel announced last week.

Peter de Klerk, director general of the Assn. of Advertising Agencies, has more than 20 years of experience in advertising.

His co-chairman, Sesbiletso Mokone Matabane, has a master’s degree in radio and TV and was previously district coordinator for instructional technology at the Austin Community College in Texas.

Matabane, who returned recently to South Africa from self-imposed exile overseas, heads the Tertiary Education Program support, a project of USAID.

The other six members of the IBA are journalists, broadcasters, lawyers and an anthropologist.

De Klerk told reporters the IBA’s first task would be to decide on criteria for issuing radio licenses.

Some 40 potential broadcasters, some of whom have been granted temporary licenses, have applied for permanent radio licenses.

The chairmen will serve five years each. Three members will serve a two-year term, three a four-year term.

Gov’t hopes to boost local industry

ISRAEL

JERUSALEM The government will soon act upon a ministerial study into ways to stimulate the local TV and film production industry.

Israel’s Minister of Industry & Trade Micha Harish said the government will be reordering its priorities to include film production as an integral part of Israeli industry.

In the past, Israel has tried but failed to use a number of financial incentives, including tax shelters, to stimulate the local production industry. The country has seven bi-national co-production agreements and a fund that dispenses about $ 5 million a year in grants.

One proposal the government is likely to adopt is a co-production fund whereby the government would allocate $ 15 million for three years to a special fund. Israeli film and TV producers would be able to draw up to $ 1 million from the fund to finance co-productions with foreign producers. The Israeli company would pay back the grant with up to 50% of the profits earned on the production.

Equinoxe: Boot camp for scripters

FRANCE

BORDEAUX The Equinoxe screenwriting lab, created in conjunction with Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute, hosted eight first-time screenwriters and as many volunteer working professionals March 14-19 at the Beychevelle chateau.

This June, one adviser and one fellow from Equinoxe will go to Sundance in Utah.

“Development really isn’t a French habit,” admits Equinoxe initiator Noelle Deschamps, who sold Sundance on the idea of lending support to her vision of a tough but fair haven for budding Euro-scripters.

Because the development process in Europe can be pretty soft compared to the U.S. drill of rewrites and polishes, some scripters are surprised by the depth of the criticism their work receives. “You can see they’re shattered the first day,” she says. “But by the next morning, the usefulness of the process has sunk in and they can’t wait to get to work.”

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