AAA Entertainment is excited to announce that one of its founding members and current Head of Sales, Mayenzeke Baza, has been named by Young Independents, Independent Media’s youth platform, as one of Mzansi’s 100.
Mzansi’s 100 recognizes inspiring young South Africans in five categories innovators, trailblazers, influencers, healers and disruptors. Baza has been honored in the innovation category specifically for his innovative and creative approaches to developing the SA film industry across the spectrum; from production to market.
Through his work at AAA Entertainment, Baza has spearheaded a number of innovative projects and initiatives within the film and television industry, especially regarding the distribution and financing of content.
This work includes iBiskop, an online film store that allows people to download videos using wi-fi at taxi ranks. It bypasses the difficulties many South Africans have accessing video on demand because there is unlimited bandwidth, the films are cheap, and they can be purchased using a cash voucher that can be bought from a vendor, so there is no need for credit cards.
Cinema exhibition has also been innovated by Baza with a new approach in the Faith Based genre. On the release of God is Not Dead 2 AAA Entertainment piloted a mobile DCP system that allowed churches to screen the film day and date with the release in traditional cinemas with no risk of piracy and contributing 5% of the weekend box office with one single screening. “The system can also be used to bring local black films to untapped audiences in areas where cinemas have not been built, yet the appetite for these films is evident”, says Baza
AAA Entertainment is a global company doing sales on films and TV content around the world and has offices in Johannesburg and Los Angeles, with an office in Lagos imminent in the next few months. The LA office is co-developing a television and film slate of 400 hours for the US and international market with their partners Hoplite Entertainment, with distribution and network deals signed on each series or film before being greenlit for production.
Pascal Schmitz head of acquisitions at AAA Entertainment is delighted with the recognition of his business partner and adds, “At AAA Entertainment, we are motivated to succeed based on our passionate belief in the talent and potential that exists in this country. We are always looking for new ways to develop that talent and bring it to market.”
As Head of Sales at AAA Entertainment, Baza has been responsible for shopping a host of South African films to international distributors. With recent deals concluded for films such as Hard to Get and Between Friends.
Baza explains the importance of innovation within this field, “You have to be ahead of the game and understand both international trends as well as the local environment. At AAA we don’t just acquire films for international sales, but rather we work with filmmakers from the development phase to ensure that their films will be marketable locally and internationally. Our international experience in sales, working with some of the biggest buyers and distributors globally, as well our personal experience as South African producers, give us a unique perspective on the industry.”
AAA Entertainment represents some of the continent’s most promising films, TV series and talented filmmakers, offering a unique, globally focused distribution and sales service to buyers across the globe.