Discop Africa now attracts the big guns, to the dismay of indies, but biz is done regardless.

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Next year's Discop Africa will take place from October 25-27 to avoid conflict with the American Film Market. Recently, the Johannesburg trade show took place simultaneously with the Hollywood event, starting on November 2 at the Sandton Convention Center, registering over 2,000 participants and 140 exhibiting companies, a 15 percent increase from last year.

Notable companies such as Mexico's Televisa, the U.S.'s NBCUniversal (which also housed Telemundo), and India's Zee Entertainment, in addition to Africa's SABC, Kenya Film Commission, RTI, Cote d'Ivoire Audiovisual and Digital Lab Africa, set up large stands. Pavilions that grouped together distributors from the same country were: TVFI, the South African Pavilion, the American Umbrella, as well as a large China Pavilion. The exhibition area also accommodated meeting tables and a matchmaking lounge.

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Exhibitors contacted by VideoAge were satisfied with the growth of Discop Africa, which allowed them to stay in touch with buyers that are traditionally difficult to reach, even just for follow-ups.

Record TV's Delmar Andrade (pictured at left with Edson Pfutzenreiter Mendes) said, "The market is still small but growing and you have to look at the long run."

Some distributors who have attended the event for years, like Discovery Learning's Bruce Rabinowitz, felt that it was a bit "crowded" due to the presence of larger distribution companies, such as CBSSI, NBCUni, Viacom, Paramount, Turner, and also large Asian operators, such as China's Star Times.

The seminars, workshops and pitching sessions--all held on the third floor of the convention center--were also busy...

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