What to watch on National Geographic this Summer

Cinematographer Tom Fitz stands semi-submerged in the ocean waters of Biscayne National Park, filming the bird life and the surrounding mangrove coastline landscape. (photo credit: National Geographic/Phoebe Fitz)

Do you want to feast your eyes on some of the best programming and content that is due to arrive on screen this summer? I was one of 50 selected media to join a live stream today, to showcase National Geographic’s new slate of programmes in the coming weeks. As a surprise, we were honoured to have none other than Bear Grylls, as a special guest, who answered questions about his National Geographic show called “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge.”

The Walt Disney Company Africa announced the upcoming content slate for both National Geographic and National Geographic Wild for Spring/Summer 2022, with channels that now broadcast in high-definition. With a promise to ignite the explorer in all of us, and with a 133-year legacy, viewers across the continent will also be able to immerse themselves in the very latest and ground-breaking storytelling in stunning high definition for the very first time, taking them further than ever before.

Featuring the best and brightest scientists, explorers, photographers and filmmakers in the world, the coming months’ content highlights offer something for everyone, as several new natural history series, feature documentaries, and programming stunts, will showcase the wonder of the natural world, take them on exhilarating adventures and illuminate historical figures who epitomize the strength and triumphs of humankind.

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INX PRIME launches on DSTV Channel 345

INX Prime is a new channel on DSTV that comprises a host of shows with an Islamic ethos at its core. Content on the channel is set to be vibrant, entertaining, informative and spiritually uplifting. The channel launched on 24 August 2022 on DStv channel 345.

The channel will feature fresh shows that brings both Muslims and non-Muslims of all ages together with topics ranging from current affairs and community upliftment, to cooking and comedy. Shows to look out for on INX Prime include the flagship show, Prime Live, as well as The Muslim Gallery, Prime Culture, You Are Not Alone and one for the children: INX Kids.

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“The Kardashians” Season 2 on Disney+

I watched the season 1 finale of “The Kardashians” on Disney+ about 2 weeks ago. Now I know they are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I was hooked since their show premiered in 2007!

Disney+ released the teaser for season two of “The Kardashians,” announcing that the new season of the hit original series will premiere on 22 September 2022. New episodes will premiere every Thursday.

Cameras return to capture the ever-changing lives of Kris, Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie. The family welcomes viewers back to stand with them through their biggest triumphs and struggles. From fiery romances and life changing milestones to unimaginable successes. The family bond remains unbreakable as they navigate their public and private lives for the world to see.

Fulwell 73 partner Ben Winston executive produces alongside Emma Conway and Elizabeth Jones with Danielle King serving as showrunner and executive producer.

Here’s a sneak peek at season 2:

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Instagram@DisneyPlusZA;

Facebook@DisneyPlusZA;

Hashtag: #TheKardashians

“Only Murders in the Building” Season 2 on Disney+

I watched Season 1 of “Only Murders in the Building” on Disney+ and was totally hooked after episode 1. Starring comedy legends Steve Martin and Martin Short, as well as Selena Gomez, it’s about three strangers who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves caught up in one.

The new season returns on Tuesday 28th June 2022 with two episodes exclusively on Disney+ under the Star banner in South Africa.

Following the shocking death of Arconia Board President Bunny Folger, Charles (Steve Martin, “Father Of The Bride”), Oliver (Martin Short, “The Morning Show”) & Mabel (Selena Gomez, “The Dead Don’t Die”), race to unmask her killer. However, three (unfortunate) complications ensue – the trio is publicly implicated in Bunny’s homicide, they are now the subjects of a competing podcast and they have to deal with a bunch of New York neighbours who all think they committed murder.

“Only Murders in the Building” hails from co-creators and writers Steve Martin and John Hoffman (“Grace & Frankie,” “Looking”). Martin and Hoffman executive produce along with Martin Short, Selena Gomez, “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman and Jess Rosenthal.

Robust parental controls ensure that Disney+ remains a suitable viewing experience for everyone in the family. Subscribers can set access limits on mature content and create PIN protected profiles, alongside the already existing Kid Profiles, to give parents and guardians peace of mind.

Check out the season 2 trailer below:

10th Season of Car S.O.S on National Geographic

Tim Shaw and Fuzz Townshend next to the Pristine. (National Geographic)

National Geographic’s top-rated car restoration show with a heart, Car S.O.S, has returned to screens for its tenth season and can be seen on Tuesdays at 19:00 (C.A.T.) on DSTV Channel 181 (National Geographic). The series consists of 10 unmissable new episodes including a very special anniversary show, featuring the 100th car to be made-over on the series and a stack of celebrity faces who will be popping up throughout the run.

Each new episode features a different heart-warming and inspiring story from owners who deserve the chance to have their treasured classic motor car fully restored back to its prime condition, with car enthusiast Tim Shaw and master mechanic Fuzz Townshend, who are joined by special guest stars, including ex-England football legends Bryan Robson and Wes Brown, who are on hand to lend their time, energy and moral support to a very special Car S.O.S reveal at Old Trafford football stadium. Other celebrity Car S.O.S fans who make cameo appearances in the series are David Beckham, Sir Paul McCartney, TV mechanic and motoring specialist Edd China and Emmerdale actress Natalie J. Robb.  

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DISNEY+ Announces Full Content Line Up for South Africa

Image Copyright:
© 2022 Disney and its related entities

Launching on 18 May, Disney+ subscribers will have access to Star Wars’ “The Book of Boba Fett” and both seasons of “The Mandalorian”. In addition, Disney+ will be the home of the entire Skywalker saga, with Star Wars Episodes 1 through 9 streaming on the service.

Confirmed from launch, superhero fans will have access to over 60 Marvel films including Academy Award®-nominated “Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings”, “Eternals”, “Avengers: Endgame” and “Captain Marvel,” and over 80 Marvel series including “Moon Knight”, “Loki” and “WandaVision.”

Subscribers will also be able to enjoy over 100 titles from Disney and Pixar, including the entire “Toy Story” franchise, “Soul” and Academy Award®-nominated “Luca”, and from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Academy Award®-winning “Encanto” which tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, and Academy Award®-winning “Cruella” starring Emma Stone as the legendary “Cruella de Vil”.

National Geographic documentaries including “The Rescue” and “Free Solo”, from Academy Award®-winning directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, will sit alongside popular National Geographic series such as “The World According To Jeff Goldblum” and “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted”.

In general entertainment, subscribers will also be able to watch titles including the hit original comedy series “Only Murders in the Building,” limited series “Pam and Tommy,” “The Kardashians,” “Queens,” and mystery thriller “Death on the Nile” directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, as well as “The Simpsons” and back seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “9-1-1” and “Black-ish.”

With unprecedented access to Disney’s vault, beloved classics such as “Cinderella,” “Tangled”, “The Princess and the Frog,” and “The Little Mermaid,” will be available to stream alongside recent blockbusters like “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “Mulan (2020)”. There will also be hundreds of Disney Channel series, shorts, and specials available to stream, including “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir” and “Phineas and Ferb”.

Fans can currently register their interest to take advantage of an exclusive introductory offer to subscribe to Disney+ in South Africa for the price of R950. This pre-launch offer for the annual subscription is only available until mid-night 17 May and is equivalent to 12 months for the price of 8. Standard pricing at launch is confirmed at R119 per month, or R1190 for an annual subscription.

Users will have access to features like high-quality viewing, up to four concurrent streams, 4k video quality for select titles and the ability to set up to seven different profiles, including the ability for parents to create pin-protected profiles, ensuring kids access age-appropriate content.

Check out my Instagram Reel about this below:

Connect:

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https://www.instagram.com/disneyplusza/

http://www.twitter.com/disneyplusza

Comic Con Africa & StreamerCon Africa 2022

I attended Comic Con Africa for the first time in 2019 and what an experience it was! Check out some images and footage from the 2019 expo here, here and here.

It looks like this year’s Comic Con Africa is going to be bigger and better than ever, so get all the details of what to expect below.

Comic Con Africa, Africa’s largest multi-genre pop-culture and gaming festival, which is taking place from 22-25 September 2022 at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, has announced another exciting addition to the event this year: StreamerCon – the place to celebrate and experience all of the online magic and wonder in real life.

Geared towards celebrating digital creators, platform innovators, and their fans all in one place – StreamerCon is bringing together everything that is a part of creating, watching, and promoting video content. More than that, StreamerCon will be the hub for creators to expand their reach, collaborations to spark, and for aspiring content creators to be guided by industry veterans.

Comic Con Africa’s Show Director, Carla Massmann, expressed her elation at the addition of StreamerCon by saying that local content creators are at the core of planning and bringing StreamerCon to life.

“We’ve seen the growth and talent of South African streamers – and want to offer these very talented individuals an opportunity to be celebrated.” Massmann added. “The influencer today is very different to what it was. Content creators today are the micro-influencers who drive  exceptional engagement through niche communities.”

“In the past year Comic Con Africa has worked to give local streamers and content creators a platform to promote themselves and we believe that now more than ever it is an imperative new addition to the show.”

StreamerCon aims to create awareness around the world-class local content creators irrelevant of their platform – be it Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, or anything else.

In 2021, Comic Con Africa launched Streamer Takeovers which allowed members of the South African streaming community to showcase themselves on Comic Con Africa’s Twitch channel. After engaging with this community, that displays great passion and comradery, Comic Con Africa has set out to highlight content creators – established and upcoming – across the continent.

StreamerCon is also excited to welcome streaming software companies, tech brands, high performance software and systems, peripherals, and components, streaming equipment, streaming and recording software, video editing and design software, vlogging kits, as well as so much more.

Follow *StreamerCon on Twitter to get the latest updates and see the website for more information on attending and exhibiting.

Twitter:               https://twitter.com/TheStreamerCon

Comic Con Africa returns bigger, better – and safer – than ever in 2022

Comic Con Africa 2022 is the ultimate pop-culture and gaming festival in Africa, and the biggest of its kind offering something for everyone in the pop culture space. With tickets on sale since December 2021, the festival is set to take place during the traditional Comic Con month of September, from the 22nd to the 25th. Ticket sales have been staggered into a phased approach to ensure the control of capacity as well as being of benefit to the early birds who buy their tickets in the early phases.

Below are some images from when I attended Comic Con Africa in 2019:

The team at Comic Con Africa HQ have spent the past two years performing the necessary due diligence to ensure that the event in 2022 will be bigger, better and safer than ever before – with the strictest of Covid protocols and measures in place, to ensure peace of mind for all attendees and vendors.

Comic Con Africa 2022 will see more activations and international talent, and in order to accommodate this growth (and social distancing measures) the event has found a new home – the Johannesburg Expo Centre at Nasrec. This venue boasts a capacity that is a great size for the anticipated 80 000 plus visitors, while still offering further growth potential for years to come with its extensive indoor and outdoor areas.

The show floor will play host to international celebrities, the best in gaming and gear, Artist Alley, pop culture merch, table top games, and of course the highly anticipated Cosplay Competitions alongside various activations leading up to the event. Not only is this a pop culture playground for enthusiasts and professionals, but there will also be the KidsCon edition, creating a space for the entire family to enjoy the ultimate day out!

Brands and individuals interested in exhibiting at Comic Con Africa 2022 can contact info@comicconafrica.co.za.

Tickets for the festival and more information can be found on the official Comic Con Africa website.

For the latest Comic Con Africa 2022 news and updates, be sure to connect online:

Facebook:          https://www.facebook.com/AfricaComicCon/
Twitter:               https://twitter.com/ComicConAfrica
Instagram:         https://www.instagram.com/comicconafrica_official/
YouTube:              https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyeKw1HRrkpSJ5FJgXmtVCQ
Get tickets:         https://bit.ly/CCA2022_Tickets

*For the latest StreamerCon 2022 news and updates, check out:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheStreamerCon
Website: https://www.comicconafrica.co.za/streamercon

If you have never heard of Comic Con, here’s what it’s all about:

Comic Con Africa is Africa’s largest multi-genre pop-culture, gaming and fan festival. 

The festival features a large range of pop culture and entertainment elements including cosplay, comic books, anime, manga, tech, film and series, gaming (including video, mobile and esports) toys, gadgets, clothing, collectible card games, fantasy/sci-fi books and authors as well as the ever-popular Artists’ Alley. The inaugural 2018 event welcomed over 42 000 visitors (ABC Audited) and 2019 saw over 70 000.  In 2019 KidsCon was a new addition to the festival, allowing for the festival to be the ultimate family day out with loads of activities for all to enjoy. A single Comic Con Africa ticket gets you access to both Cons at Johannesburg Expo Centre NASREC on 22 – 25 September 2022. (www.comicconafrica.co.za)

Comic Con Africa is owned by Reed Exhibitions (Pty) Ltd and used under license by Mogull Media Proprietary Limited.

Disney+ set to launch on 18 May 2022 in South Africa

I was super excited to learn that Disney+, the streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, has confirmed launch dates for the 42 countries and 11 new territories set to launch this winter.

The streaming service will launch in South Africa on 18 May 2022. South African pricing has also been announced at R119.00 per month, or R1 190.00 for an annual subscription.

With exclusive original content and thousands of episodes and movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and general entertainment from Star, Disney+ is the streaming home for some of the world’s most beloved stories.

Subscribers will have access to Star Wars’ “The Book of Boba Fett” and “The Mandalorian” from Executive Producer and Writer Jon Favreau. In addition, the Marvel Studios’ series “Moon Knight” starring Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant, which sees a mild-mannered gift-shop employee becoming plagued with blackouts and memories of another life as well as Academy Award®-nominated “Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings” starring Simu Liu and Awkwafina, will also be available at launch. 

MEET THE MADRIGALS – Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto” introduces the Madrigals, a compelling and complicated extended family who live in a wondrous and charmed place in the mountains of Colombia. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Subscribers will also be able to enjoy Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award®-nominated “Luca”, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award®-winning “Encanto”, which tells the tale of an extraordinary family called the Madrigals and Academy Award®-winning “Cruella” starring Emma Stone as the legendary “Cruella de Vil”. 

In general entertainment, subscribers will also be able to watch titles including “The Simpsons”, “Queens” and “The Kardashians”. From National Geographic, fans will have access to both seasons of “The World According To Jeff Goldblum” that sees Jeff take us on an entertaining, insightful and playful ride. In each episode of these 12-part series, he pulls on the thread of a deceptively familiar object to unravel a world of astonishing connections and fascinating science and history.

Disney+ offers access to high-quality viewing up to four concurrent streams, unlimited downloads on up to ten devices, and the ability to set up to seven different profiles, including the ability for parents to set Kids Profiles that have an easy-to-navigate, child-friendly interface to access age-appropriate content.

To keep up to date, visit:

Disneyplus.com

twitter.com/disneyplusza

www.facebook.com/DisneyPlusZA

www.instagram.com/disneyplusza

The Trace Group and Okuhle Media Merge to form Trace Studios

The Cape Town based audio-visual production company, Okuhle Media (acquired by Trace Group in 2020), announced the rebranding of their recent merger. With the on-going combined offering of services, the newly rebranded Trace Studios officially took effect on the 1st of October 2021.
 
The initial strategy was put in place several months ago to invest in development, IP creation, and talent, and it is already paying off. New shows that already have some notable ratings successes include:
 

  • Signal High – The teen drama series that earlier this year, performed consistently at +49% slot average.
  • Wild Orphan Rescue – A wildlife series produced for Fremantle and SABC, directed by award winning Benjamin G. Hewett, doubled the broadcasters’ primetime average for audience (+140%) and for share (+164%).  
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“uBettina Wethu” on SABC 1

Farieda Metsileng plays Betty Sikhakane

If you haven’t caught an episode of uBettina Wethu on SABC 1 (Mondays to Wednesdays, 19:30, also on VIU) as yet – you’re missing out. The show follows the endeavours of main character Betty Sikhakane (Farieda Metsileng) as she navigates her first job in the City of Gold, Johannesburg.

In addition to the humourous and compelling storyline, the show boasts a talented local line up including Zweli Dube (Dingaan Jiyane); Tsholofelo Mashishi (Linda Jiyane) and Lesego “Coconut Kelz” Tlhabi (Zaza Moloi).

uBettina Wethu is based on the successful international format Yo Soy Betty La Fea – most familiar to local viewers as Ugly Betty – and has been adapted to 19 global territories and aired in 180 countries, in 15 languages, holding the Guinness World Record as ‘Most Successful Telenovela’.

The show kicked off on SABC1 in April 2021 and regularly appears in the Top 10 most-watched shows on the channel, drawing in excess of 2.5 million viewers for each of the trio of weekly episodes.

“We’ve been thrilled at South African viewers’ response to the show so far and we have grand plans for this stellar cast and their hugely-popular characters,” says Producer Tshepiso Chikapa Phiri, for Known Associates. “The storyline is at a pivotal point, and we’re going to be building towards our season finale in August this year. Fans may think they know the storyline from the various international versions of the show, but we’ve got some major shocks coming with a truly Mzansi twist”.

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