The premiere of Kanye West’s slickly stylised short art film, “Cruel Summer”, created a major buzz at the Cannes Film Festival – partly because he was joined by girlfriend – and reality star – Kim Kardashian at the Palm Beach launch party…but largely because of the pioneering 7-screen experience that was brought to Kanye’s Cannes debut by a South African company, CANOC.
CANOC’S sponsorship of the event meant that delighted viewers were treated to an immersive cinematic surround vision extravaganza with seven screens in front, on the sides, on the floor…and on the ceiling above them.
Kanye’s film was inspired by the new G.O.O.D. Music album ‘Cruel Summer’ and created by Donda. The film begins with a trapdoor opening on the ceiling screen, includes fantastic panoramic scenes – three camels climbing a dune to the right, a falcon enveloping the audience as it spreads its wings on all seven screens, and a blind girl running through a black and white mansion that stretches from far left to far right.
It’s a fusion of short film and art installation, and a unique experience for the eyes and ears, unlike anything West has attempted before.
It was a perfect fit for Kanye to partner with CANOC (Creating A Nation of Creatives) – a black-owned South African based creative agency whose mandate is to create a platform through which extraordinary concepts in the global entertainment space are introduced.
With their partnership with Kanye West, Canoc is making moves in the global sphere. And the company – which is based in Observatory, Johannesburg – already has plans in motion to expand globally, according to Canoc Productions Managing Director, Pleasure Letsoalo.
Known for bringing artists such as Tyga, Trey Songz Rick Ross and Drake to South African stages, the recent restructuring of Canoc – which began last year – into a creative agency has placed Canoc Productions in a position to launch a series of lifestyle finger-print concepts geared to take the South African entertainment industry to the next level.
CANOC Productions Managing Director Pleasure Letsoalo talks exclusively to SA-People:
The concept of CANOC was created by Pleasure Letsoalo. He is an avid creative in a variety of disciplines and has structured this company as an outlet for his ideas and that of his team.
So when was Canoc established?
Canoc Productions was established in November 2005 as a company that managed CSPA’s (composers, session musicians, Producers and Performing Artists)
What exactly does Canoc now do?
For the time being our creative capabilities are vested in our own ideas.We would like these ideas to be successful first, after which we can then offer our services to clients and other creatives on an agency basis. Our ultimate service is to source, develop and place creatives and their ideas within the entertainment industry.
We will be a vehicle that provides resources along with an environment to assist entertainment entrepreneurs to ”bring to life” strategic entertainment based concepts. Our goal would be to empower these creatives with the definitive intention of fostering a proper infrastructure, positive growth and wealth creation to all parties concerned.
What is Canoc’s involvement in ‘Cruel Summer’?
Our involvement was to support and associate ourselves with creative initiatives such as the 7s (seven screen) experience. We are obsessed with innovative ideas and wanted to merely align ourselves with such a concept with further hope of bringing it to our shores. We were contacted by Kanye West’s Marketing and Brand partnership department after filming had wrapped with a view to us becoming involved in the Cannes World Premiere and 7SE debut. We saw this as a prime opportunity and we then made arrangements to be a part of the event.
You have said “Kanye West’s creative ideas resonate with our own company objectives and we chose to partner on this project in an effort to exploit the synergies found in both organisations.” Please tell us more about what you mean.
The Infrastructure of the South African entertainment industry is not as well developed as that of other countries. There are a variety of reasons why this is so, however having said this, our aim is to encourage development of such an infrastructure through local and foreign investment into our ideas. We believe we have some really fun yet intelligent concepts that can perform well on both local and international platforms.
Will Kanye West visit South Africa at all to share this 7-screen experience?
Kanye West has said that he would like to take the experience globally, so I am sure that South Africa is a potential destination.
What other projects is Canoc currently involved in?
In staying true to our new services, we have decided to move away from traditional concerts and are launching an annual lifestyle festival codename U-M-FRICA, pronounced (YOU-AM-FRICA). This festival is simply a fusion of European, American and African youth cultures inspired by fashion and music.
Who from Canoc was in Cannes this year?
At the time of the premiere we were still in the final and critical stages of restructuring and having such a small team we were not able to attend the premiere, however when it does finally come to South Africa you can bet that Team Canoc will be present!