Afreximbank, an African import-export bank, recently entered into an agreement with Silverbird Entertainment at the Africa Investment Forum to build the largest recorded film and TV studio in West Africa. At the end of 2021, the bank’s total assets and guarantees amount to about $25 billion, and its shareholders finance $4 billion.
Named the Ben Murray-Bruce Studios and Film Academy (BMB Studios and Film Academy), the complex will house a comprehensive studio coupled with an educational institution – for both national and international students – to develop the skills of those looking to enter the industry . Areas such as cinematography, directing, filmmaking, gaming, music, post-production techniques, production, screenwriting, VFX and animation will be taught.
The 32,725 sq m facility in Eko Atlantic City will have numerous elements alongside the education academy, including two large sound stages, a digital hub with music and broadcast studios, editing spaces with numerous suites, production offices, screening rooms and a considerable studio space. for outdoor sets.
The project is planned to be a big boost to the current film and TV sector in Nigeria and across the region, ultimately aiming to attract big productions to Nigeria, enhance the skills of local talent and attract international talent.
Ms. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of Intra African Trade Bank commented: “The agreement we are signing today is of the utmost importance, not only for the significant support it provides to Africa’s burgeoning film industry, but especially because of the potential multi-functional studio to serve a wide range of sectors in the creative industries, from music and film to games and virtual reality. At Afreximbank, we recognize the power of Africa’s youth and creative talent to catalyze trade in Africa, create millions of jobs and foster 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.”
Another area of growth around the project is the country’s growing construction empire. Henry Goudreau, a seasoned contractor who has taught contractors and construction professionals around the world through his Golden Hard Hat mentoring program, said it’s another element that’s often overlooked in developing regions.
“Often we pay so much attention to what is being built that we forget who is building it.” He said. “The growth of building infrastructure and planning in West Africa over the past two years has been impressive. We have trained people everywhere to become contracting professionals and take advantage of the growing need for the construction trade in areas around the globe.”
Founder of HG Associates, Goudreau is optimistic about the opportunities in the sector, especially in developing countries and regions. “Whether it’s in North America or overseas, construction isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s growing like never before. The current climate offers plenty of opportunities to teach best practices.”
Silverbird Group founder Ben Murray-Bruce said the development would accelerate the rapid growth of Africa’s creative sector.
He added that the studio’s business models for growing revenue will be varied to account for the versatility of the creative industries within the studio’s walls.
“The studio will be an environment where content can be produced, managed and distributed digitally. The technical infrastructure will be the most advanced in West Africa, designed to handle the high bandwidth demands of media companies; future-proofed to handle the expansion of new media.”
“We are creating a truly global platform for excellence in filmmaking, storytelling and professional development. By 2030, I want the BMB Studios and Film Academy to represent the pinnacle of what a studio and an educational institution can be.”