The inaugural Africa Cinema Summit (ACS) is gearing up to showcase African cinema on a global scale, and it's all set to take place in the vibrant country of Ghana.
Hosted by the esteemed National Film Authority of Ghana in collaboration with FilmOne and Silverbird Cinema, this groundbreaking event is scheduled for November 14th to 16th.
The two-day summit will unfold at the prestigious Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel and Silverbird Cinema, both located in the heart of Accra.
Juliet Asante, the visionary CEO of the National Film Authority of Ghana and the driving force behind the summit, unveiled its purpose during a press conference held in Lagos.
Ms. Asante emphasized the pivotal role of cinema in the film industry, not only as a powerful medium of artistic expression but also as a means of generating income for filmmakers.
She articulated, "Our goal is to take a bold leap forward, addressing the challenges that our cinema sector faces as a continent. This summit is a collaborative effort between Nigeria and Ghana, united in finding solutions."
Ms. Asante was quick to point out that this initiative extends beyond the borders of Nigeria and Ghana, with Ghana serving as the gateway to a broader African cinematic destination. She asserted, "Ghana is just the beginning. Our focus is Africa. Cinemas breathe life into societies and cannot fade away."
Highlighting Nigeria's pioneering role in the cinema sector, she lauded its efforts to lead the way, noting, "Africa recognizes Nigeria's pivotal role."
Navigating Streaming Platforms
Responding to queries during the press conference, Moses Babatope, co-founder and Managing Director of Film House Cinemas, dismissed concerns that streaming platforms pose a threat to African cinemas.
Mr. Babatope affirmed, "While streaming platforms are not our primary focus here, we are not intimidated by them. In fact, they have had a positive impact on the industry, particularly in 2021."
He acknowledged the role of streaming platforms and their contribution to the industry but underscored that their influence would not have been as significant without the strides made by the Nigerian cinema scene.
"This summit," he added, "is a testament to our collaborative spirit, showcasing the key players who drive this business and inviting potential investors to join us."
A Glimpse of the Summit's Highlights
Mr. Babatope offered a glimpse into the upcoming summit, highlighting its core objectives. The summit's agenda includes a strong emphasis on promoting local content across African cinemas and addressing the unique challenges and dynamics within the cinema sector.
The African Cinema Landscape
According to a report by UNESCO, Africa faces a significant shortage of cinema screens, with only 1,653 screens serving a population of 1.3 billion. The Africa Cinema Summit aims to tackle these distribution challenges and propose effective solutions.
The summit is poised to present a vibrant showcase of African films, celebrating the rich and diverse cinematic artistry of the continent. In addition to this, attendees can look forward to engaging exhibitions, business networking opportunities, insightful panel discussions, and collaborative endeavors.
Embracing Growth, Innovation, and Collaboration
The significance of this summit cannot be overstated. Moses Babatope emphasized that the event aims to attract investments to double the number of screens across Africa.
"It's time to take action and make things happen. We're showcasing our track record and extending an invitation for collaboration, investments, and meaningful conversations," he declared.
He further emphasized that this summit serves as a momentous opportunity to align shared goals, particularly with regards to the potential within the cinema sector.
A Historic Milestone for African Cinema
The organizers of the summit spoke in unison, affirming that this event marks a historic turning point for the African film industry. With a collective mission to foster growth, innovation, and collaboration, the summit serves as a platform for insightful industry dialogues, opportunity exploration, and strategic partnerships.
This groundbreaking initiative stands as the first-ever gathering on African soil dedicated to propelling the African cinema ecosystem to new heights.