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Videovision Entertainment

Black Economic Empowerment is designed to bring historically disadvantaged people into the mainstream of the economy and this is one of Videovision’s core goals. Our vision of being a significant, commercially-driven, 100% black owned and controlled company, lends itself to the development of an economic and social order reflective of the country’s demography. Certainly the fortunes of South Africa, and our company, depend greatly on the implementation of this vision into a sustainable reality within the activities of the company.

Videovision is a diversified company with operations that range from its core business of film and television production and distribution to media, live entertainment and film studio and real estate development.  Through its diversification programme, the company has achieved phenomenal growth over the years, resulting in it becoming one of the leading media and entertainment entities in South Africa and the African continent.

Whilst the company activities are focussed on filmed entertainment, media and real estate, the long term vision is to create value through a range of diverse investments, and in achieving this, we have adopted a strategy where we will consider investments in companies that have the following:

High growth potential in sustainable industries
Strong cash flow and turnover
Strong, professional and expert management
Where we can add real value, or where we can create strategic alliances with a successful industry player

Videovision has achieved significant success and has a proven track record in the various facets of its business.

Videovision has produced more than 80 feature films over the past 30 years in South Africa, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Hong Kong, with an aggregate value of production costs in excess of R1 billion.

Among the company’s productions are some of the most profound films to have been produced in South Africa, including A Place Of Weeping, Cry, The Beloved Country and Sarafina!  The company also produced Yesterday, the first South African film to receive an Academy Award Nomination.

The company produced Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom which is based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography and was released in November 2013.  The film stars Golden Globe winner, Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela. The film has been lauded worldwide and has received prestigious award recognitions, including Academy Award and BAFTA nominations and a Golden Globe Award win.

Recently completed is the live action remake of Yasuomi Umetsu’s hit Japanese anime movie, Kite which is directed by Ralph Ziman and stars Samuel L. Jackson, India Eisley and Australian sensation Callan McAuliffe. The film was shot on location in Johannesburg.

Videovision’s association with South Africa’s Number One Box Office star, Leon Schuster, has seen the production of three of the Top Five All Time South African box office successes –  the hit comedies Mr Bones 2 which has earned R35 million, Mr Bones which grossed R33 million at the box office and Mama Jack which grossed  R28 million.

Released in 2008 in South Africa was More Than Just A Game, the moving docu-drama feature which tells the inspiring story of organised soccer among prisoners on Robben Island (the maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were incarcerated by the apartheid regime in South Africa). Recent releases include the comedy Jozi, which is directed by Craig Freimond and features some of South Africa’s leading young talents and the stand up movie, Outrageous! which sees South Africa’s top stand up comics come together in a no-holds barred, adults only stand up comedy experience.

Shot in the United States are American East with Tony Shalhoub (Monk) and the re-make of Japanese horror maestro Hideo Nakata’s Don’t Look Up, directed by award winning Hong Kong filmmaker, Fruit Chan (Dumplings, Three Extremes).

The First Grader which is set in a remote Kenyan and tells the remarkable and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last opportunity to learn to read and joins a class of six year olds.  The First Grader was a hit at both the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals and was the Audience Prize runner-up in Toronto.

Recently completed in Canada is Remember starring Academy Award® Winner, Christopher Plummer (‘Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo’, ‘Beginners’) and directed by Academy Award® Nominated and Cannes Grand Prix Winner, Atom Egoyan.  In Remember, Zev (Plummer) discovers that the Nazi guard who murdered his family some seventy years before is now living in America under an assumed identity. Despite many challenges, Zev sets out to deliver long-delayed justice. What follows is a remarkable cross-continent journey with surprising consequences.

Currently in production is Shepherds and Butchers directed by multi-award winner, Oliver Schmitz (Life, Above All; Paris, Je T’aime) which stars Steve Coogan (Philomena) and Andrea Riseborough (‘Birdman’, ‘Oblivion’).  The film follows a jaded lawyer, Johan Webber (Coogan), who takes on a seemingly hopeless multiple murder case and uncovers scandalous shortcomings in South Africa’s capital punishment system as he mounts a defence for a prison guard traumatized by the executions he took part in.

Released in 2011 was My Hunter’s Heart which explores the world’s oldest world’s most ancient shamanic culture which is severely threatened as their traditional way of life and skills have been taken away from them.  It tracks the Khomani San of the Southern Kalahari, the oldest living indigenous tribe in the world, who are genetically linked to every human being on Planet Earth.

Videovision acquired the South African rights to and also successfully produced the international hit gameshow, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? for three seasons. It also produced a weekly drama series, The Res for the SABC and has produced numerous documentaries, among which are:  Nkosi – The Voice Of Africa’s AIDS Orphans, A Hero For All (a tribute to Nelson Mandela as he stepped down as President), Countdown to Freedom (documenting the 10 days preceding the first democratic elections in South Africa 1994) and Prisoners of Hope (documents the reunion of 1250 former political prisoners, led by President Mandela, on Robben Island). Produced as a 90th Birthday tribute to Nelson Mandela, was Viva Madiba: A Hero For All Seasons.  The company scored a major coup with the timely production of Obama: People’s President, a documentary feature that explores the unique and innovative US presidential campaign mounted by Barack Obama.

Videovision Entertainment is among the leading independent film distributors in South Africa, acquiring more than 3 500 international films for distribution in the country over the last 25 years.  These films range from independent films and documentaries, Foreign Language and Arthouse films to multi-million dollar blockbuster films.  Among the recent films distributed are Song for Marion, Seven Psychopaths, Shadow Dancer, Sleeper’s Wake, The Grandmaster, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Blood Father, Kite, Pride and Selma.  Upcoming releases include, Mommy, White Bird in a Blizzard, Coming Home, Wolf Totem,  Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, Strangerland and The Little Prince.

Videovision Entertainment holds a significant stake in Next Entertainment which distributes home entertainment product in South Africa and holds the rights for Blu Ray and DVD product for some of the major Hollywood studios including 20th Century Fox, MGM, Universal, Sony and numerous other libraries.

The company is a pioneer in commercial radio in South Africa and is a former shareholder in East Coast Radio, OFM and Jacaranda FM.  It was also a founding shareholder, with Kagiso Trust Investments in the establishment of the JSE-listed Kagiso Media Ltd, with CEO, Anant Singh and Business Affairs Director, Sudhir Pragjee playing critical roles.  Videovision held 15% of Kagiso Media, the market cap of which was R2 billion until it exited from this investment 2005.

The company was successful in its application to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa for a commercial FM radio licence to operate a station in the Cape Town Metro.  Smile 90.4FM is a hybrid talk and music station which has emerged as the fastest growing radio station in the country. The station has a formidable team of experienced radio specialists who are complemented with a group of young, energetic and fresh talent, providing Cape Town with an exciting new radio experience.

The company has promoted some of the most successful stadium extravaganzas ever staged in South Africa.  Among these are the South African legs of Michael Jackson’s History World Tour and Gloria Estefan’s Evolution World Tour.  It also promoted Bollywood megastar, Amitabh Bachchan’s Jumma Chooma Concert and also the Now Or Never Live! which saw ten of Bollywood’s brightest stars perform to an audience of  60 000  in a capacity sold-out show at the ABSA Stadium in Durban.

Videovision has developed Cape Town Film Studios, the R400 million, state-of-the-art film studio facility in the Faure area outside Cape Town. Equipped with the latest technology, the studios covers an area of 200 hectares with 60 hectares for film studios and associated facilities and the balance for commercial, industrial and residential development.

The company is also developing a film studio complex on the Natal Command site on the Durban beachfront.

The company has developed the prestigious, seven-star high-rise residential complex, The Pearls of Umhlanga, situated in the tourism belt of Umhlanga, north of Durban, The Pearls is a luxury, high rise residential development with 260 apartments at present. Currently in construction is Pearl Sky, the final phase of the development which, on completion, will comprise of 422 luxurious residential apartments and a luxury mall offering upscale shopping with the country’s most stylish boutiques, designer labels and the finest restaurants.

Dreamworld Management Company is the developer of 100 hectares of land in Cape Town.  The development will comprise of residential and commercial components and is currently in the design phase.

Videovision is a BEE participant in Phutuma Nathi a wholly owned black South African company that holds 20% of MultiChoice South Africa. When launched, Phuthuma Nathi was the largest empowerment transaction in the listed media sector.

The company is a participant in Tsiya Group (Pty) Ltd, an Investment and Venture Capital company in partnership with Investec Bank Limited.  The company has investments in:

Commercial radio stations

GTH Pre-paid which offers pre-paid solutions for telecommunications network operators and energy distributors

Prowalco, which provides services to the South African fuel distribution industry.

Transmission Towers
Videovision Entertainment is a partner with American Tower Corporation in ATC South Africa, the leading independent wireless, shared infrastructure provider in South Africa. ATC South Africa owns 1 400 cellular transmission towers in South Africa and it is planned to add an additional 1 800+ new sites by 2014.
Cellular Network
Videovision is a shareholder in MTN Zakhele, a BEE initiative that has a 4% stake in MTN, a leading cellular network in South Africa.  The shareholding of MTN Zakhele in MTN is valued at approximately R8.1bn.

Videovision is a shareholder in Signature Cosmetics and Fragrances, a niche retailer of cosmetics and toiletry products, with a chain of 62 stores in Southern Africa.  The chains offer a range of house-branded products as well as international branded products which include colour cosmetics, fragrances, body sprays, and skin treatments.

Distant Horizon, wholly owned by Videovision, is the company’s international arm with offices in London and Los Angeles.  Distant Horizon controls the group’s international film production and distribution activities.

Videovision is a significant shareholder in Origin Pictures Limited, the London based independent film and television production company which is a major content supplier to the BBC and Freemantle Media Enterprises.

Videovision strictly adheres to the principles of Black Economic Empowerment and has obtained the highest possible AAA+, Level 1 Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) rating from the Empowerdex Economic Empowerment Rating Agency.

It is also deemed a value adding supplier, allowing clients to recognise a further 125% of all purchases over and above the normal 135% by virtue of the company’s Level 1 status, allowing clients to recognise 168.75% of all purchases from the company towards their BEE procurement scorecard.

Black Economic Empowerment is designed to bring historically disadvantaged people into the mainstream of the economy and this is one of Videovision’s core goals.

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