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The New Production Company is the producer of the popular DTV Magazine programme that has been commissioned on a yearly basis by SABC 3 since 1996. Originally designed as a youth magazine programme for the deaf and hard of hearing, DTV has become THE pioneer in deaf television programmes - serving as an example in Europe and Britain for programmes such as Vee-TV, the British equivalent of Dtv. The successes and achievements of the The New Production Corporation are firmly entrenched in our policies and beliefs:
- We make programmes for the deaf by the deaf
- We meet the needs of our target audiences
- We focus on deaf culture and deaf pride
- We heighten deaf awareness among all communities
- We reach out to the international deaf community to broaden the horizon of our local deaf community
1. Programmes for the deaf by the deaf
The New Production Corporation pioneered the ongoing training of deaf television crew members in South Africa. During its five and a half year existence, The New Production Corporation has trained deaf directors, assistant directors, presenters, actors, sub-title editors, camera, wardobe, and continuity persons, production assistants, scriptwriters and runners. Louis Neethling, the first director trained by DTV, was offered employment by the BBC and has been directing award winning dramas since 2002. This speaks of the standard of training in the company.
2. Meeting the needs of our target audiences
The content of Dtv has been researched and determined by The New Production Corporation through multi-lateral discussions, questionnaires, workshops and discussion groups with viewers and the leaders in the deaf community. Various associations for the Deaf are consulted but also the man-in-the-street, the unemployed, and the illiterate.
3. Deaf culture and deaf pride
A main objective of The New Production Corporation is to strengthen deaf culture and to foster deaf pride as the most important aim of television for the deaf as identified by King Jordon of Gallaudet University. We believe that television, which essentially enables visual communication (the vehicle of Sign Language), has this responsibility.
4. Deaf awareness among all communities
The New Production Corporation, believe deaf awareness is the key to mutual understanding and tolerance between deaf and hearing people. We have therefore utilised the following ways to contribute and create deaf awareness:
- Me & Co - the 50 × 40 second programmes for SABC 3 were produced at the cost of the Corporation.
- Definitions - a series of 12 × 5 minutes soap opera was produced at the cost of Corporation. This series received Avanti-award nominations in the best comedy series, best director, best actress and best supporting actress catergories. (All deaf contributors).
- The commercial, "Deaf not Dumb" was produced at the cost of the Corporation for the Vuka campaign of 2000 and recieved a nomination for best original script
- We have developed Basic survival Sign Language Posters for the Police, Hospitals, Health Clinics and Welfare Clinics and identified and involved sponsors in this campaign.
- The private sector has been influenced by our deaf awareness shows to employ deaf staff.
- Our drama group has performed twice locally at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees in Oudtshoorn, Kaleidoscope Children's Arts Festival of the Department of Arts and Culture, Science and Technology.
- A group of DTV performed in Madrid at the World Deaf Drama festival to great acclaim.
- Deaf awareness shows are performed at many hearing schools in Gauteng and at adult interest groups e.g. Rotary clubs.
- We financed a Sign Language video of Children's Stories, recommended to hearing parents of newly diagnosed deaf children.
- The drama "Eve's Cradle" which came 3rd in the world in an open International Award festival did much to place the spotlight on the Deaf in South Africa.
5. Reaching out to the International Deaf Community
The New Production Corporation and Dtv have travelled the world extensively during the past 8 years, expanding the interests of our deaf community to other countries:
- We have visited the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, the USA, UK, Spain and Australia. The exchange of expertise has been mutually beneficial.
- The University of Amsterdam acquired the Signed Children's Stories video for use in their library.
- We covered the Deaflympics in Copenhagen in 1997 and in Rome in 2001, the WFD Bid in 2003 in Canada and the Olympics in Athens.
- Our deaf drama group represented South Africa in Spain in 2000 at the International Drama Festival. This was the first time a deaf drama group represented South Africa.
- Channel 4 in the UK has modelled their programmes Vee-Tv on Dtv and our soap: "The Young Speechless".
- Interest in Dtv has been shown by "See Hear" (BCC), Signovision (Spain) and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation.
- In 2005 an extended tour of Gallaudet in Washington was undertaken.
- The short drama "Sister Ella" was screened at various film festivals in the world.
- German television screened episodes of the popular "Yort" series.