IPO appoints a new Executive Committee

Following its Annual General Meeting, the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) is proud to announce its new diverse and dynamic Executive Committee.

An expanded executive committee from 12 to 16 members, an amended and modernised constitution, the formation of new, highly-focused sub-committees and an election which resulted in the new executive committee comprising a majority of Black members and 50% female, are just some of the outcomes of the IPO’s recent AGM.

The new co-Chairs are Thandi Davids (Storyscope) and Quentin Fredericks (Spier Films) with Sanjeev Singh (Videovision Entertainment) and Wandile Molebatsi (Coal Stove Pictures) as Vice Chairs.

Other EXCO members represent a healthy mix of former members – Thierry Cassuto (Both Worlds Pictures), Mike Auret (Spier Films), Marvin Saven (Moonlighting), Leanne Khumalo (Seriti TV) and Rehad Desai (Uhuru Productions), who all bring with them extensive industry experience and institutional knowledge – and new members Basiami Segola (Independent), Bev Mitchell (Okuhle Media), Luke Rous (Rous House), Layla Swart (Yellowbone Entertainment), Khosie Dali (Miss K Productions), Cait Pansegrouw (URUCU) and Nobuntu Dubazana (BusaBuntu Pictures).

Outgoing co-Chairs, Sisanda Henna and Nimrod Geva, congratulated the incoming exco. ”We are thrilled to know that the IPO will led by this significant group of industry professionals,” Geva said. “They represent all the key areas of the industry – broadcast, local features, local and international co-productions, international servicing, new digital opportunities and even distribution and marketing – and bring significant expertise and experience alongside new, innovative thinking to our industry body, which is especially critical as we try to reboot the industry post- COVID.”

Among the changes, is the establishment of a Transformation & Diversity Sub-Committee, which will address issues including race and gender, workplace sexual harassment, skills development and digital content (including 4IR).  This sub-committee is chaired by Wandile Molebatsi.

This follows an amendment of the preamble of the IPO’s Constitution which states: We agree that the organisation is committed to an anti-racist governing ideology and as such will take action against racism, particularly the systemic racism and oppression of marginalised groups. As such the organisation will make conscious efforts and take actions to provide equitable opportunities for all people on an individual and systemic level, by acknowledging personal privileges, confronting acts of racial, gender or sexual orientation discrimination and work to change personal racial, gender or orientation biases. Finally, we acknowledge and support the rights of permanent residents in South Africa as enshrined in the Constitution and support the rights of refugees to just asylum application processes and to confront xenophobia in our society.

Other sub-committees and their respective Vice-Chairs are:

Broadcast & DCDT (Luke Rous); DTIC & DoEL (Layla Swart); NFVF (Beverly Mitchell); Communications (Beverly Mitchell); Membership Services & International Relations (Michael Auret).

 The IPO has also introduced Provincial Deputy-Chairs, to assist members and represent the organisation regionally, and address issues of local interest. These are Western Cape (Quinton Fredericks), Gauteng (Nobuntu Dubazana), KwaZulu Natal (Sanjeev Singh) and Eastern Cape (Layla Swart).

“2020, and the myriad challenges that have come with it, has certainly shown that the AV sector needs a strong, committed and well-capacitated industry body to help the sector navigate through all the difficulties and uncertainty it faces, and capitalise on future opportunities” says co-Chair Thandi Davids.

“The IPO, which represents the country’s AV sector producers, is a volunteer organisation whose EXCO and sub-committee members have worked unbelievably hard since the start of the pandemic. Apart from trying to deal with the devastating impact of Covid-19 on our sector, we have faced a slew of challenges such as regulatory and policy amendments, a lack of meaningful relief and response from government including regarding pre-existing programmes which have all but ground to a halt – all of which represent significant threats to the industry and have to be challenged if we are to be able to get back to work and make the significant economic and job creation impact this sector offers.”

“With our new EXCO and sub-committees,’ adds Quentin Fredericks, also co-Chair, “we now have the structure, expertise and capacity in place to tackle these stumbling blocks head-on in our ongoing efforts to ensure a conducive environment and enabling policy framework in which the sector – and all who work in it throughout the entire value chain – can thrive.”

For biographies and details of the new Executive Committee and sub-committee members, please see: http://ipo.org.za/exco/