Art of Tea - Tea of the Month

Africa: First-Ever Africa Cinema Summit to Hold in Ghana

The summit, with its maiden edition, hopes to address the bottlenecks of African cinema and also proffer solutions.

The first-ever Africa Cinema Summit (ACS) aimed at projecting African cinemas on a global pedestal is set to hold in Ghana.

The event, hosted by the National Film Authority of Ghana in partnership with FilmOne and Silverbird Cinema, is scheduled for 14th to 16th November.

The two-day summit would take place at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel and Silverbird Cinema in Accra.

During a press conference in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) National Film Authority of Ghana, Juliet Asante, who convened the summit, explained the rationale behind it.

Ms Asante acknowledged the importance of cinema, particularly as a means for filmmakers to earn an income.

She said, “We thought that to make a bold step, it is important for Africa as a continent to tackle issues challenging the cinema sector.

“That is why we reached out to partners in Nigeria and Ghana to go with us on this journey of proffering solutions.”

The convener noted that the concept of the summit goes beyond the shores of Nigeria and Ghana alone.

“Ghana is just a gateway. Africa is the destination. The people of Africa have a right to cinema. Cinema energises society. Cinema can not be dead.”

Meanwhile, she also acknowledged the efforts of Nigeria to be at the forefront of the cinema sector, saying, “Africa recognises that.”

Streaming Platforms

Responding to a question during the press conference, the co-founder and Managing Director of Film House Cinemas, Moses Babatope, doused claims that streaming platforms threaten cinemas in Africa.

He said, “We are not here to talk about streaming platforms. However, we do not feel threatened at all. We acknowledge their impacts. Particularly, in 2021, streamers impacted the cinema positively.

He also noted that they love the streaming platforms and what they are doing, but they know that streamers wouldn’t have penetrated the industry if not for strides in the Nigerian cinema scene.

“We are communal people, and this summit is a way to say there are people who drive the business, and investors can come in,” he added.

The Filmhouse cofounder further hinted at some of the highlights the upcoming summit would project.

According to him, the summit would promote local content across African cinemas, and it would also address specifically the issues and peculiarities around the cinema sector.

Africa Cinema Summit

According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) report, Africa, with 1,653 screens across the continent serving 1.3 billion people, is the most underserved continent concerning cinema distribution.

The summit, with its maiden edition, hopes to address the bottlenecks of African cinema and also proffer solutions.

It promises to feature some highlights, such as a vibrant showcase of African films alongside celebrating the richness and diversity of the continent’s cinematic artistry.

It would also offer an exhibition area, business matchmaking sessions, targeted connections, panel discussions, and collaborations, amongst many others.

Speaking on the summit’s significance, Mr Babatope said it would attract investments to double the number of screens in Africa.

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He said, “It is time we stop folding our hands, and nothing happens. We are saying we have a track record, and we are ready for collaboration, investors, and conversations.”

Additionally, he noted that the summit is an impact-making moment to present a uniformity of purpose, particularly concerning opportunities in the cinema sector.

The organisers unanimously echoed that the summit marks a pivotal moment in the history of the African film industry.

With the collective aim of fostering growth, innovation, and collaboration, they said the summit seeks to unite cinema stakeholders from around the globe, offering a platform for insightful industry business dialogues, opportunity exchanges, and strategic partnerships.

They said the initiative represents the first gathering on the African continent, aimed at propelling the African cinema ecosystem to greater heights.

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Art of Tea - Tea of the Month