India has age old ties to Africa. Under Narendra Modi, who visited Africa for the first time as prime minister recently, the fastest growing global economy is looking to strengthen those diplomatic and economic bonds. Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, arriving in Africa ahead of a 4 nation diplomatic visit. (Image: India Today) When he took office in May 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inherited a growing economy built on long established trading agreements. Modi is not a traditionalist, he understood that India had an opportunity to flex its trade and diplomatic muscle. Under his leadership, India has become more assertive on the international stage. He has strengthened ties with the USA and the country’s East Asian neighbours.India’s lobbying for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council offers the African countries that Modi is visiting this week (Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya) an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the continent and India.South Africa is India’s biggest African market, accounting for more than 22% of all goods exported to Africa. We are also the third largest African investor in India, those ventures are concentrated in the service and retail industries.After meeting President Jacob Zuma, 8 July 2016, Modi expressed the hope that India and South Africa would develop stronger ties in the mining and manufacturing sectors. Most important to Modi was strengthening co-operation in the security sector.“Beyond economic ties, and links of business, trade and investment, we can also partner in the field of defence and security. Both, at the level of industry and for our strategic and security needs,” he said.As the sector transformed in India, opportunities would become available to South African defence companies. “Our companies can also pool their capacities to jointly develop or manufacture defence equipment and platforms. And, not just to meet our defence needs, but also to respond to regional and global demand.”It has been Indian policy to work through the UN to promote global peace and security. The country’s peacekeeping operation in Africa, it has provided the largest number of troops to African peacekeeping operations, is part and parcel of its commitment to peace and development on the continent. The four countries Modi visited are all along Africa’s the eastern seaboard and Modi would like to induce them to join in India’s fight against high seas pirates. President Jacob Zuma and prime minister Narendra Modi at the India Africa Summit in 2015. (Image: India Today)As Modi highlighted after his meeting with the president, “Terrorism is another shared threat that puts at risk the safety and security of our people. It attacks the very foundations of our society. The President and I agreed that our two nations need to stay vigilant and cooperate actively to combat terrorism, both in our region and in the world.”Is it India’s time to shine in the African sun?The slow global recovery from the 2008 financial crisis has highlighted the seismic shift in the economic order. Diplomatic and trade relationships between developing countries have superseded traditional north/south trading.Bi-lateral India/Africa trade has grown by 32% annually between 2005 and 2011. By 2015 the partnership generated $90 billion, a major source of growth and employment creation in Africa during the economic crisis.In the year that Modi took office India became the fastest growing global economy, it is the seventh largest economy and the third largest by purchasing power. Modi inherited credit agreements between India and African governments worth almost $18 billion. He extended grant assistance to the continent that covered the India-Africa development fund, a $10 billion India-Africa health fund and 50 000 scholarships for African students to study in India.Trade and co-operation between India and Africa governments have occurred in agriculture, the blue economy, and infrastructure and security sectors. The Indian government has also taken the view that Africa’s growth is good for India and has committed to share expertise and set up training programmes.The Indian private sector has followed the government example and invested heavily in Africa. China is most often recognized as the dominant new trading partner for African states. The Indian private sector has avoided competing directly with Chinese investment in Africa, instead they have chosen overlooked niches, like Africa’s diamond sector. They have overtaken Chinese investment in areas like agriculture, ICT and medicine.Watch: Can India match China’s economic influence in Africa?The new India powerhouse is enmeshed in the Africa Rising narrative. According to the African Development Bank, the continent enjoys a positive trade balance with India. For Africa and India, the relationship has benefits.India has been aggressive in the agribusiness sector especially. Her deep knowledge in areas like small farm mechanization is helping African governments address challenges like food security. In West Africa, Indian know how is helping to save the regions cotton industry, including building factories to process raw material into finished products. Companies like Olam International have also begun to buy up uncultivated land in East Africa to grow maize, palm oil and rice for export to India.Indian companies strengthening ties with Africa gives the continent a new source of growth just as the Chinese economy slows down. These companies are also seen as better corporate citizens. Research done by analytics firm HIS has suggested that India’s soft touch approach has earned it plaudits among African governments who have applauded their environmental records and their policy of employing Africans to staff their business ventures.Historical tiesDuring his visit to South Africa prime minister Modi travelled by train to Pietermaritzburg Station. Infamous as the station where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train in 1893. An event that birthed his lifelong fight for equal rights, a campaign that changed South Africa and India.Modi’s train journey is a reminder of the long and close ties between South Africa and India. Ties forged in the fight for equal rights for all. “For me personally, this visit is an opportunity to pay homage to two of the greatest human souls to have ever walked this Earth – Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.“It was in South Africa that Gandhi found his true calling. He belongs as much to India as to South Africa,” Modi said on his arrival in South Africa.While Africa is a region that India cannot ignore, the long history of India’s involvement in Africa has helped grow economic ties. African’s of Indian descent in East Africa are the progeny of the traders that began trading with Africa a thousand years ago. South Africa is home to one of the largest Indian diaspora populations.The diaspora has helped build ties between the continent and the sub-continent. They were the link between African commodities – tea, coffee, cotton – reaching India and the import of manufactured goods. Watch: A bond forged by history.
If your video project calls for a pie chart or graph, use one of these tutorials to learn how to create dynamic charts and graphs in After Effects!Charts and graphs aren’t sexy, but using infographics is often the best way to display a data set. It’s common for corporate and business videos to utilize charts and graphs, so it often falls on the After Effects editor/designer to show off this data in a visually compelling way.In the following video tutorials, you’ll see how to create pie charts and bar graphs using tools in After Effects.PremiumBeat blogger and skilled motion designer Evan Abrams shows you how to create a pie chart in After Effects that dynamically animates on and off.Andrew Kramer from Video Copilot shares his recipe for creating bar graphs in After Effects. Although this tutorial is a few years old, it’s still highly relevant and full of useful info. Click the image below to view the tutorial and download the AE project file.Rob Mize did a two-part series for Creative Cow in which he demonstrates how to create create masks and expressions to generate and animate line graphs, area graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts in After Effects.Don’t have the time or energy to make charts and graphs in After Effects from scratch? You can download an After Effects charts and graphs template from FluxVFX for $35.Be sure to check out PremiumBeat’s After Effects archive for plenty of additional motion design tips, tricks, and techniques!
Brazil (1985)Directed by: Terry GilliamProduced by: Embassy International PicturesVideo courtesy of Movieclips Trailer Vault Let’s do the timewarp and take a look at how a film becomes a cult classic.Most of us love movies and are self-proclaimed movie buffs. We hail the classics like Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather and Schindler’s List as we should, but many of us also have our guilty pleasures. There is just something about a film that reeks of nostalgia or a film that’s so bad it’s good.Whether they want to admit it or not, many people love cult classics. They’re engrained into our film culture and lives. So, let’s find out exactly what makes a cult classic, how are they different than a cult following, and what are some of the most esteemed cult classics of all time?What are Cult Classics?So, what in the heck is a cult classic? Well, the simplest definition is that a cult classic film is one that has a devout and active communal following. Cult audiences tend to gravitate toward the strange and different. They’ve decided that they want to move against the cultural normal when it comes to a specific film or films. You can easily see this opposition to the cultural norm in the 1973 cult classic The Holy Mountain, directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, where audience members are taken on a psychedelic journey into the very heart of human culture. Or as MoMA put it:The Holy Mountain explores themes of capitalist production, militarism, death, rebirth, and the extramundane.Video courtesy of ABKCO Records/FilmsCult classic films often times have a deep-seated theme or critique about society, but they tell these narratives in very different ways. But not every cult classic looks to make such a statement like The Holy Mountain. More often than not, audiences love cult classics because they are simply campy, nostalgic, artistic, or so bad they’re good. Films like these resonate with people in a deep way, much like the 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski.Video courtesy of MovieclipsCult Classic vs. Cult FollowingWe live in an era now where pop culture and being a fan of pop culture is no longer taboo as it once was. There was a time when being a Star Wars Nerd or a Trekkie would get you laughed at… but that stigma is now gone. This was aided by the rise of conventions, which both Star Wars and Star Trek have capitalized on with a massive cult following. But a cult following is different then a cult classic.1992 cult classic Army of Darkness, courtesy of MovieclipsUsually cult classics do, in fact, have a massive following, but this following is more direct and specific than that of Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, or Indiana Jones. For instance, just about everyone you meet these days knows and/or loves Star Wars… but this wasn’t the case when I was a kid. But now go around and see how many people know and love The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which could possible have the largest following of any cult classic film.Video courtesy of Lex121100How Does a Film Become a Cult Classic?You would think that that a cult classic film has to be good, and in some cases they really are well-rounded films. Think The Big Lebowski, Bottle Rocket, and The Shawshank Redemption.But then there are the films that are so bad they’re good, like They Live, Suspiria, or Plan 9 from Outer Space. A common thread between all of these films was the fact that (while some of them had a modest return at the box office) many never even saw wide distribution. This was because they were sometimes seen to be too risky and not widely marketable by the studios who backed them.Video Courtesy of choptopHow these films become cult classics is pretty simple… it’s all about the audience. Many of these films find specific and fairly large audiences due to their campiness, sense of nostalgia, exploitive approach, and subcultural appeal. These audiences aren’t just your run-of-the-mill audience members. No, they are fully devoted to the film they love. You can see this in films like 1986’s Labyrinth, which has lived on long after its creator, the legendary Jim Henson, passed away.Video Courtesy of Edward FitzgeraldWhat Are Some of the Most Popular Cult Classics?Probably the two most popular cult classic films are The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Big Lebowski, both of which have massive followings and are now seen as being among the best films of their day. But as you can see from above there are a lot of cult classics, far too many to show you. Here’s a small look into some of my very favorites, in no particular order. Put these on your list.They Live (1988)Directed by: John CarpenterProduction Studio: Alive FilmsVideo courtesy of WorleyClarence The NeverEnding Story (1984)Directed by: Wolfgang PetersenProduced by: Neue Constantin FilmVideo courtesy of Movieclips American Psycho (2000)Directed by: Mary HarronProduced by: Lions Gate FilmsVideo courtesy of Movieclips The Shawshank Redemption (1994)Directed by: Frank DarabontProduced by: Castle Rock EntertainmentVideo courtesy of Dark Sanctuary BBS This Is Spinal Tap (1984)Directed by: Rob ReinerProduced by: Spinal Tap Prod.Video courtesy of wormontheweb Fantastic Planet (1973)Directed by: René LalouxProduced by: Argos FilmsVideo courtesy of sideshowcarny A Clockwork Orange (1971)Directed by: Stanley KubrickProduced by: Warner Bros.Video courtesy of Movieclips Trailer VaultAre you a cult classic film fan? What are some of your favorites? Are there films that aren’t quite cult classics that you think should be? Sound off in the comment below.