A collaboration deal between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Silverbird Group has been struck in order to build a “world-class” film studio complex in Lagos, Nigeria.
Ben Murray-Bruce, the founder of Silverbird Group, and Helen Brume, Head, Project and Asset-based Finance at Afreximbank, inked the deal on Thursday outside of the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) in Côte d’Ivoire.
The agreement, which includes both debt and equity investment, is valued at $100 million.
The Ben Murray-Bruce Studios and Film Academy will be the name of the facility, according to a joint announcement from Afreximbank and Silverbird (BMB Studios and Film Academy).
The project would convert a 32,725 square meter plot of land in Eko Atlantic City into two purpose-built sound stages, a digital hub with music and broadcast studios, editing bays, screening rooms, a studio backlot, production offices, and a film academy created to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s content creators, the statement claims.
“The project seeks to accelerate Africa’s lucrative film and television industries, attract large-scale international productions to Africa, and establish a creativity cluster which will draw in companies and talents working in similar and related sectors,” the statement reads.
“The project will also increase local employment, stimulate business growth, and equip African talents with world-class technical skills and experience in film and television production through the establishment of a film academy.”
The development of the BMB Studios and Film Academy is said to be in line with Afreximbank’s creative Africa nexus (CANEX) initiative, a program established by the bank to support Africa’s creative and cultural industry.
In hIS remarks on the collaboration, Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of the Intra African Trade Bank, said that the partnership was crucial not only for the substantial support it offers to Africa’s developing film industry but also “because of the studio’s multipurpose potential to serve a range of sectors in the creative industries, from music and film to gaming and virtual reality.”
“At Afreximbank, we recognize the power of Africa’s youth and creative talents to catalyze Africa’s trade, create millions of jobs and promote the emergence of national and regional value chains. This industry is bankable, and we aim to support its growth, expansion, and sustainability. Afreximbank is proud to support this project,” Awani added.
On his part, Murray-Bruce said the BMB Studios and Film Academy is a response to Africa’s need for world-class technical skills and facilities that will accelerate the growth of its creative industries sector.
“From Netflix to Madison Square Gardens in New York, audiences are reveling in the magic of African storytelling,” he said.
“Now more than ever does the African continent need the world-class technical skills and facilities that will propel our creative industries to the next level.
“The BMB Studios and Film Academy is a response to this need and one that I believe will be a catalyst to driving agility, expertise and innovation in the African film and television industries.”