Author: Karen B. Everton

Local film-makers invited to apply for animated projects

Film-makers in Namibia interested in participating in animated project development during the 15th annual Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) Pitch and Finance Forum are encouraged to apply to do so.

The deadline for applicatins is 1 December.

The project is set to take place in Durban, South Africa, in July next year.

The DFMI last week annonced it would select eight official animation projects in development to present to a panel of international decision-makers, consisting of potential co-producers, broadcasters, funders and distributors at Africa’s premier film finance and co-production market.

Animators with projects in development in Namibia and across the African continent are invited to apply.

According to the organisers, the forum is open to both series and feature-length projects, and to at least one of the three key creatives (producers, writers, and directors) from Africa or in the African diaspora.

Successful project participants will be invited to participate in a comprehensive mentorship programme to prepare them for live pitches and meetings at the DFMI in 2024.

The online mentorship programme will include a series of masterclasses with leading global industry experts over two months in January and February to present their projects at the 15th DFMI.

One representative of each project will be sponsored to attend the live pitch and finance forum in July.

Magdalene Reddy, the director of the Durban FilmMart Institute, says over the past few years, the institute has seen exponential growth in the animation sector.

“We are pleased that the inclusion of animation in the annual market has strengthened the ecosystem by providing much-needed visibility for creative talent, facilitating key connections to local and international decision-makers, and enhancing the development that is assisting animators to compete in a global market,” she says.

Reddy says the institute believes working with local and continental partners offers a holistic

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WebWave’s AI Website Builder Triumphs on Product Hunt: A New Paradigm in Web Design

An innovative blend of AI and intuitive design has been named Product of the Day on Product Hunt, marking a significant leap in web design. This tool empowers users to effortlessly create comprehensive, customizable websites, showcasing a unique combination of AI-generated layouts and a flexible drag-and-drop editor, embodying the synergy of AI and human creativity in digital design.

WebWave, a pioneering force in web design technology, is proud to announce its latest achievement: WebWave AI, the company’s groundbreaking AI website builder, has been recognized as the Product of the Day on Product Hunt. This accolade is a testament to WebWave’s commitment to redefining the web design landscape through innovative AI solutions.

Since its inception in 2012 by Maciej Czajkowski, a former web developer, WebWave has consistently pushed the boundaries of web design, empowering graphic designers and marketers to create bespoke websites effortlessly. The company’s unique approach, combining an intuitive drag-and-drop interface with sophisticated AI technology, offers unparalleled flexibility and control in web design.

“We thought about how to create AI that would be helpful for users and what our strengths are. First, our AI creates a multipage with subpages, not just one page. Second, WebWave superpower is a true drag-and-drop feature; you’ve got the freedom and flexibility to position, resize, and style elements however you want. You can change everything once the AI site is generated,” Maciej Czajkowski, WebWave’s founder and CEO.

On October 4, 2023, WebWave launched its AI Website Builder, earning accolades as Product of the Day and Product of the Week in Design Tools on Product Hunt. This recognition underscores the user community’s enthusiastic response to WebWave’s innovative AI feature.

Competing against approximately 50 new daily entries on Product Hunt, the success is notable. It signifies a

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Columbia Falls has extended a large-scale development pause for another 6 months

The small Down East town that had been eyed as the potential site of the world’s tallest flagpole will extend a large-scale development moratorium by another six months.

Columbia Falls residents initially approved a six-month pause on major commercial or high-density development back in March.

Aga Dixon, the town’s attorney, said that the work of drafting new ordinances and regulations to better react to big developments is about halfway complete. Town and planning board officials have been meeting almost weekly, and Dixon said she expects they will present a draft code of ordinances to voters for their consideration sometime this fall or winter.

“Columbia Falls is in a position that a lot of rural communities are in,” she said. “Land use planning has not been top of the mind. Resources have not been there to do this work. And sometimes it takes a little bit of development pressure or concern to rattle voters, rattle residents and get to doing this hard work.”

The town has said that it’s experienced a variety of development pressures over the years, and not just from the Worcester family, the Wreaths Across America founders that had pitched the construction of a multi-billion-dollar flagpole and veterans memorial park near Columbia Falls.

A spokesperson for the Worcesters didn’t immediate return a request for comment on Tuesday about the extended moratorium or the status of the flagpole project. As of Tuesday afternoon, a website for the proposed “Flagpole of Freedom” park appeared to be offline.

Dixon said the town hasn’t asked for or received any updates about the status of the flagpole project.

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Where’s the money? Where creative agencies envision growth in 2024

Marketing efforts and campaigns increasingly demand unique ideas and creativity to capture and engage consumers in a world that is overloaded with content. 

Beyond traditional means, 2023 saw many creatives incorporate experiential elements and storytelling to hold onto consumers’ attention. Many anticipated artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and interactive experiences to dominate marketing strategies, according to a report by Hubspot.

These trends continue to hold relevance as we march towards 2024. An analysis by Forbes this year predicted that AI-driven interactions will propel methods to engage consumers in real time and drive conversions.

Additionally, as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies advance, the border between the digital realm and reality is becoming increasingly porous, it said. Brands are set to increasingly incorporate these technologies into their marketing campaigns.

Don’t miss: Where’s the money? Growth opportunities for social media agencies in 2024

Similarly, these AI solutions will also drive more personalised consumer experiences, such as through content recommendations and dynamic pricing tactics, according to a report by Brand Vision. Meanwhile, it predicted that AR will enhance the experiences that marketers create for consumers, such as virtual try-on features in the fashion industry or AR-powered home design simulations.

Given these trends, what will power creativity in the coming year? In this third instalment of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s “Where’s the Money?” series, eight creative agency professionals share their thoughts on what will be the moneymaker of 2024.

Tay Guan Hin, creative chairman, BBDO Singapore

“Virtual reality.”

To Tay, virtual reality (VR) is the winner to bet on for the profit turner of 2024. He highlighted how the market size for VR is on track to nearly double from 2022 to 2024, with the potential to soar beyond $22 billion by 2028.

According to Deloitte Global, the VR industry was set to

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Best Crypto to Buy Now November 21 – Maker, Helium, Gas

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Each day, we review some picks for the best cryptos to buy now based on the latest market movements, blockchain news, and trending narratives.

In recent news, the cryptocurrency market reflects a slight decrease in overall market capitalization, at $1.41 trillion. Thus marking a decrease of 0.97% over the past 24 hours. However, the 24-hour trading volume has shown an increase of 16.61%, now totaling $251.52 billion.

Best Crypto to Buy Now

These fluctuations in market capitalization, trading volumes, and individual coin performance indicate ongoing activity within the cryptocurrency space. The marginal variations in Bitcoin’s price and dominance highlight a relatively stable yet dynamic environment for investors and traders.

1. Maker (MKR)

The Maker (MKR) Coin has experienced notable growth since its inception, with a 128% price increase over the past year. It trades above its 200-day simple moving average on Binance, signaling a positive trend. Moreover, the coin’s high liquidity, reflected in its market cap, indicates robust market activity.

MKR Price Chart

Furthermore, MKR is ranked sixth in the DeFi Coins sector and thirteenth among Ethereum (ERC20) Tokens. Notably, its circulating supply stands at 977,631 MKR out of a maximum supply of 1.01 million MKR.

Analysts express a bullish sentiment regarding Maker’s price prediction, alongside a Greed score of 71 on the Fear & Greed Index. This showcases investors’ interest in the token and makes it the best crypto to buy now.

In addition, the Maker DAO platform

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Continental and Amazon Web Services accelerate Automotive-Software Development, ET Auto

<p>The virtual ECU Creator brings together Continental’s high-<a href=performance computers, and Electronic Control Units, with Elektrobit’s production-proven software for Classic and Adaptive AUTOSAR.</p>”/
The virtual ECU Creator brings together Continental’s high-performance computers, and Electronic Control Units, with Elektrobit’s production-proven software for Classic and Adaptive AUTOSAR.

New Delhi: Continental has expanded its tool box for automotive software development. With the future virtual ECU Creator software (vECU Creator), developers at vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and third parties will be able to configure and run virtual cloud-based electronic control units in their specific development environments to help develop code for microcontroller and processor hardware that does not yet exist.The virtual ECU Creator is part of the Continental Automotive Edge (CAEdge) framework, which runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS). By using cloud-based vECUs, new applications or software features for software-defined vehicles (SDV) can be built by OEMs faster, more efficiently and in a more agile way. That allows future developments to be tested and debugged continuously by engineers within the cloud, at the same time as hardware development and production cycles.

The virtual ECU Creator brings together Continental’s high-performance computers, and Electronic Control Units, with Elektrobit’s production-proven software for Classic and Adaptive AUTOSAR.

“A great vehicle relies on both quality hardware and software. Our virtual ECU Creator will make it easy for our software experts to work in parallel, enabling us to create applications for the software-defined vehicle that enhance the driver’s safety and experience,” Gilles Mabire, CTO at Continental Automotive, said.

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Altitude Marketing Launches Cutting-Edge Website for Discovery Life Sciences

EMMAUS, Pa., Nov. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Altitude Marketing, a life sciences marketing agency with over 19 years of experience serving B2B companies, recently unveiled a brand new website for its client, Discovery Life Sciences (Discovery), a prominent player in biospecimen and biomarker solutions.

Discovery Life Sciences featured image

Discovery Life Sciences featured image

Discovery’s mission is to restore hope by speeding the development of innovative diagnostics and effective treatments to improve care. They accomplish this by partnering with researchers in industry, academia, and government―furthering their abilities to complete their vital work faster by providing them with the highest quality products and services.

As Discovery experienced ongoing business growth, they recognized the importance of aligning their digital presence with this expansion. Their website served as a vital tool for lead generation and nurturing. With the goal of establishing themselves as the industry leaders, they sought a new website that would reflect their status and expertise.

“As we continue to experience remarkable growth, enhancing our digital presence became a strategic imperative for Discovery Life Sciences,” shared Tiffany Salas-Morris, SVP Marketing at Discovery Life Sciences. “Altitude’s demonstrated expertise in life science and branding shines through their work on our new website. They meticulously delved into our brand identity and objectives, resulting in the creation and launch of a technically sophisticated, sleek, and industry-leading website. Altitude has far exceeded our partnership expectations.”

In October, Altitude successfully launched a revamped website for Discovery, marking a significant milestone in their partnership. Altitude’s strategic approach involved refining the company’s messaging, improving user experience, and creating a sleek, professional design. This transformation ensures that Discovery looks like the global industry leader they are.

Today, Altitude continues to play a pivotal role in driving Discovery’s growth. Their ongoing collaboration encompasses a wide range of marketing services, including graphic

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EV battery manufacturer eyes Colorado Springs for plant | Business

A manufacturer of lithium iron phosphate batteries is looking at Colorado Springs as a potential site for a production facility.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission last week approved up to $1,987,193 in performance-based Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits over an eight-year period for the undisclosed company under the code name Project Hawk. In addition to the Springs, the company is considering other sites in Colorado, including Aurora and Fort Collins, as well as in New York and Oregon.

Project Hawk, should it occur in the Springs, expects to create 178 net new jobs at an average annual wage of $75,938, just above the average annual wage of all Colorado. The jobs would include electricians, technicians, engineers and people in marketing and sales. The company currently has 350 employees; none are in Colorado.

The company, according to a summary by the Colorado Economic Development Commission, is looking to serve the expanding Northern American market by supplying batteries for vehicles and energy storage systems for various applications, such as powering small rural housing settlements. 

An August article in Forbes tagged lithium phosphate iron batteries as “the next big thing in EV batteries. They already account for the majority of EV batteries in China, according to the article, and are now making inroads in North America. Tesla adopted the technology in 2021.

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Project Hawk, the commission states, “would support the state’s economic goals by catering directly to Colorado’s ambitious CO2 emission reduction goals — enabling a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. … In addition, the establishment of a battery production facility will attract numerous suppliers due to its unique demands.”

The commission also approved incentives for three other manufacturing companies:

• Up to $3,917,590

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Amazon acquires Fig to enhance the command line for developers

Amazon.com Inc. has acquired Fig, a startup that focuses on providing developers a better experience at the command line interface with tools such as autocomplete and collaboration.

In the announcement today, Fig Chief Executive Brendan Falk said the company and its team would be joining Amazon subsidiary Amazon Web Services Inc. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Although developers spend a great deal of time in integrated development environments, which are programming tools used for writing and editing code that look like a text editors, the command line is where a lot of brute configuration and setup happens. It’s a program that takes commands directly from the user and passes them directly to a computer’s operating system line by line.

In most instances, the command line interface is far more austere than an editor, offers a less interactive user experience and is more difficult to work with. With Fig’s autocomplete offering, users get suggestions on what commands or flags come next, which takes a great deal of burden off developers and operators who are doing work at such a low level.

Amazon’s interest in Fig’s product aligns with the company’s developer-centric trend of providing systems that shift the burden of building and shipping applications off software engineers and operations. In April, Amazon released CodeCatalyst, a unified cloud software development service designed to reduce the time for team to build and deploy software on AWS.

Falk also said that Fig would be part of Amazon’s ultimate vision to incorporate artificial intelligence into more of its developer-focused products. “AWS believes that generative AI represents a major technological shift to transform the way its customers build,” Falk said.

Amazon already provides coding support for developers with CodeWhisperer, which is and AI-powered coding assistant that resides in IDE and generate computer

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Where’s the Money? Avenues of growth for media agencies in 2024

As generative AI continues to sweep the globe and infiltrate industries far and wide, media agencies have not become immune particularly with changing consumer behaviors.

According to Kantar’s 2024 Media Trends and Predictions report, consumer segmentation needs to move beyond traditional demographics to a more behavioral and attitudinal approach.

Accounting for these factors will help brands and marketers understand the reasons behind consumer choices with better insights, opportunities and more precise targeting.

Audiences are also consuming content across multiple platforms and devices, making it paramount for marketers to harness the power of these platforms effectively. In particular, on-demand streaming is becoming increasingly favored among viewers for its flexibility and interactivity. Yet, linear viewing continues to retain its communal magic.

Don’t miss: Where’s the money? Where creative agencies envision growth in 2024

As such, businesses will need to adapt their strategies to the localised tastes of their audiences. With media consumption also becoming more fragmented, avenues such as connected TVs (CTVs) will become useful for marketers to understand complex audience behaviours.

Furthermore, as AI goes mainstream, the media landscape will see much deeper integrations of AI technologies, with generative AI as a stand-out for content creation, according to the report.

It also flagged a potential increase in advertising waste amidst an abundance of technological solutions as businesses struggle to identify the most effective tools for their operations.

Therefore, 2024 will bring the added challenge of sorting the essential from the nonessential and knowing when and where to deploy specific technologies to their maximum potential.

What are the strategic directions for the media world as we face these trends and challenges head-on in 2024? In the fourth instalment of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s “Where’s the Money?” series, we speak to nine media agency professionals to identify the moneymaker of 2024.

Sandeep Mark Joseph, CEO and

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