‘Meta Cinema Forum Africa’ Will Highlight Opportunities in the Cinema Gap in Africa … Says National Film Authority

On Monday 15th August 2022 at Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra-Ghana, the National Film Authority (NFA) of Ghana will officially launch Africa’s first cinema convention, ‘Meta Cinema Forum Africa’. The initiative will be in partnership with ‘Great Minds Group’ of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and will host a variety of cinema investors, film distributors, cinema developers, and key policy makers in the film industry on the African continent, with the aim of discussing opportunities in ‘cinema infrastructure development’ on the African continent. The main event will come off between the 21st to 23rd November at the Movenpick Hotel in Accra. The Chief Executive Officer of the National Film Authority (N.F.A) Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante, stated in a press release yesterday that, ‘Meta Cinema Forum Africa’ will seek to convince potential investors about the untapped and available opportunity in building Cinemas on the African continent and its huge financial gains. The event is positioned to showcase the huge cinema gap, which remains an opportunity for investors; especially as various countries explore a comeback strategy after the COVID19 pandemic.

In a statement published yesterday by the National Film Authority of Ghana, the Chief Executive Officer Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante, stated that, “META Cinemas Forum Africa’ will work to close the gap in Cinema Exhibition across African countries, and we will use this opportunity to encourage film authorities, exhibitors, producers, studios, distributors, filmmakers, investors, suppliers, and governments, to showcase their offerings at this exclusive gathering of cinema stakeholders”, the statement read.

The statement also outlined the objectives of the forum. “The event is aimed at creating the opportunity to attract direct foreign investments and also stimulate local investments for cinema infrastructure development on the African continent. This intervention is a dedicated effort towards exploring prospects to increase the number of cinema infrastructure, ensuring a vibrant distribution network, creating jobs for the sector, and impacting the African economy through arts and tourism”, the statement read.

In addition, Juliet Asante stated that as the headquarters of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA), Ghana is proud to be opening the door for the continent as the ‘cinema gateway’; in its strategic bid to the world of cinema investors, exhibitors, and builders.

Included in the press release was data from the 2021 UNESCO report on ‘Africa Film Industry challenges and trends’ which concluded that Africa remained the most underserved market in cinema exhibition with less than 1700 screens to over 1.3 billion population on the continent.

The UNESCO report also showed that Africa is the most inadequately provided cinema market globally with one screen to every 787,402 people. The highest is China with 75,581 screens (1 screen to 215,900 people) followed by the United States with 44,111 screens (1 screen to 7503) etc. The UNESCO report also stated that the African film market has a potential of $20 billion in revenue to the continent and 20 million jobs compared to the current $5billion and 5million respectively; should the lack of screens on the continent be met.

The forum is the African version of Meta Cinema Forum, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which is the largest cinema convention covering the Middle East, Central Asia, and African markets. Now in its 5th edition, META Cinema Forum organised by Great Mind Events Management, has grown over the years to include more regions, more projects, more partners and has become the single most important regional gathering for the cinema sector.

According to Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner at ‘Great Mind Events Management’, “META Cinema Forum’ in Dubai was launched with the vision to support the growth and development of emerging and rapidly developing markets, highlighting the potential, needs and wants of each market and territory it serves”.

For some markets, the event has introduced suppliers and buyers together helping to bridge the mismatch between demand and supply, leading to long-term partnerships and millions of dollars in contracts. For others, the event has served as an eye opener to market potential, appetite, and entry points to these markets.

In October of 2021, National Film Authority joined the event for the first time and presented the opportunities in Ghana and Africa to an audience in Dubai, and the response was encouraging.

By Jerry Wonder Sampson

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