Afreximbank and Silverbird sign agreement to build world-class film studio complex



…to harness Nigeria’s $6.4 billion, African cinema’s $20 billion and creative industry potential

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Silverbird Group, a Nigerian entertainment company, have signed a partnership agreement on the sidelines of the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) to build the world’s largest educational and film studio complex largest and most modern in West Africa in Lagos, Nigeria.

The project, which will be known as Ben Murray-Bruce Studios and Film Academy (BMB Studios and Film Academy), will transform a 32,725 square meter lot 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 designed to meet the aspirations of today’s and tomorrow’s content creators.

The project aims to accelerate Africa’s lucrative film and television industries, attract large-scale international productions to Africa, and establish a hub of creativity that will attract businesses and talent working in similar and related sectors. The project will also increase local employment, spur business growth and equip African talent with technical skills and world-class experience in film and television production through the establishment of a film academy.

The partnership was signed by Helen Brume, Director of Project and Asset Finance at Afreximbank, and Ben Murray-Bruce, Founder of Silverbird Group.

Afreximbank said the development of BMB Studios and Film Academy is in line with its Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) initiative, a program set up by the Bank to support Africa’s creative and cultural industry. Recognizing the bankability of the African creative industry, the CANEX program is designed for African creatives and digital innovators and experts.

CANEX also supports fashion, film, musicians and actors who aim to monetize their content in the digital landscape. The construction of the studios will accelerate talent development, improve content creation, while supporting and encouraging African creatives to use world-class technology to increase their earnings and thrive in their careers.

The Film Academy will provide national and international students with the opportunity to gain world-class, digital and future-oriented experiential learning in a wide range of film production disciplines such as cinematography, directing, cinematography, games, music and post-production techniques. , production, scripting, VFX and animation.

Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of Afreximbank, Intra African Trade Bank, described the deal as highly significant for the significant support it provides to Africa’s burgeoning film industry, as well as, particularly in because of the studio’s versatile potential to serve a range of sectors in the creative industries, from music and film to games and virtual reality.

“At Afreximbank, we recognize the power of African youth and creative talents to catalyze African 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,” Awani said.

Ben Murray-Bruce, Founder of Nigeria’s Silverbird Group, said BMB Studios and Film Academy is a response to Africa’s need for technical skills and world-class facilities that will accelerate the growth of its creative industries sector.

“From Netflix to Madison Square Gardens in New York, audiences revel in the magic of African storytelling. Now more than ever, the African continent needs world-class technical skills and facilities that will take our creative industries to the next level,” said Murray-Bruce.

“The BMB Studios and Film Academy is a response to this need and I believe it will be a catalyst in driving agility, expertise and innovation in the African film and television industries,” he said. .

David Howell, Managing Director of MetFilm School, the project’s educational partners, said MetFilm School was delighted to work with Silverbird on this exciting project. He said the company’s mission will be to inspire a new generation of creative screen professionals, educating them in the new world of storytelling on all types of screens.

“Our partnership with BMB Studios and the Film Academy will open up opportunities for a whole new audience of future filmmakers and screen professionals,” said Howell.

Creative industry analysts believe the new BMB Studios project is also set to tap into the burgeoning potential of the $6.4 billion film and creative industry in Nigeria and $20 billion in Africa. With a meteoric return for the Nigerian economy, Nollywood, Nigeria’s iconic film industry, is the second largest film sector in the world. It is also the leading African film industry in terms of value, number of annual films, revenue and popularity. The Nigerian Nollywood company produces around 2,500 movies a year.

Continentally, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said the Pan African Federation of Cinematographers (FEPACI) industry generates $5 billion in annual revenue over a potential of 20 billion dollars.

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