MIPAD supports UN Year of Creative Economy, 2021

On May 26th,2021 there was a virtual event organized by Most Influential People of African Descent. It was a global conversation titled Connecting Creatives to Capital: “Investment is the key to unlocking the true potential of the Creative Industries.”

The panelists included Alexandra Hannibal: Director, CNN Films (USA), Ben Amadasun: Netflix Director, Content in Africa (Nigeria), Juliet Ibrahim: Actress (Ghana), Ody Akhanoba: Manager, Strategy & Innovation, Afreximbank (Egypt), Ouafa Belgacem: CEO, Resource Mobilization Digithon (Tunisia) and Moderator Amy Shelver, Public Information Officer, UNCTAD (South Africa).

Below is their rich contributions in the session;

Alexandra Hannibal- CNN Films, USA

“Our main priority is to broaden the scope of what the diaspora can mean. There’s clearly a lot of visual trauma that people go through while watching the news and seeing black bodies in very distressing situations since the beginning of time. We see it as our duty to change the narrative & show moments of joy, resilience, and creativity in ways that break that narrative through the films that we do.”

Ben Amadasun-Netflix, Africa

“Since our launch in Africa 5 years ago, we’ve been creating an environment and platform where African stories and storytellers share their stories. We’re seeing how these local stories go beyond the boundaries of their country, to the rest of Africa, then globally. Over the last two years, we’ve also seen African stories start to take their place and our point of views being represented on a big global platform.”

“So far, we’ve launched a number of African Netflix series and films that have been watched across the world in over 190 countries by our 208 million members. These series have delivered great impact for the creative industry and the economy. We will continue to invest heavily in Africa’s creative industries. While our key markets are Nigeria and South Africa, we’re excited about the many opportunities to acquire titles from other parts of Africa.”

Juliet Ibrahim-Actress, Ghana

“It’s been so difficult to access funds. As a producer, I know I have so many creative ideas that I can bring to the table.”

“A whole lot of restructuring is needed in our film industry; actors, producers, directors, investors and the ones directly connected to investors. Everyone needs to know we are doing this for Africa and not individuals. This is where it starts. If we know we are doing this for Africa and that we are trying to put Africa on the map, we won’t pull each other down.”

Ody Akhanoba-Afreximbank, Egypt

“Since film content has become so easily transmissible across borders via streaming platforms like Netflix, so if we should focus our investment further upstream. Our focus should be getting production quality right, then we can actually realize value for the continent that is commensurate to the volumes that the Africa Film Industry does annually.”

“The Film development facility we’ve put together effectively targets the full film development value chain from pre-production to distribution. And the objective is simple. We want to facilitate the development of content that can travel. Content that can compete in global cinemas. Content that Ben (Netflix) would be happy to off take because he is confident & comfortable that it would be digestible by global standards.”

“In the long-term, we also want to facilitate the emergence of indigenous African streaming platforms.”

Ouafa Belgacem-RM Digithon, Tunisia

“Digithon is borne from the strong belief of CFW, the company that airs this programme, that “Access to information & knowledge about resources is the first step towards sustainability for the culture creative sector in our continent. We observed there was lack of spaces where those who support the culture and creative industries can meet, connect and communicate with the ones who operate in this sector.”

Tope Esan-COO, MIPAD

“Our Organization is around empowering people of African Descent. We are very fortunate this year to collaborate with UN Initiatives in the Year of the Creative Economy. This session is about Creatives with a specific emphasis on the Film Industry. This is the second session and we are going to have several sessions coming up that will focus on different pillars of entertainment.”

Dr. Sheila WalkerAdvisory Board Member, MIPAD

“Tonight there’s a show on Netflix titled, ‘ high on the hug’ that I’m planning to watch. It’s about African-Americans and their contributions to food in the U.S. And it begins in Benin. It’s the kind of conversations that refocuses the narrative on the influence of Africans & African diaspora in the world, in daily culture and how this culture is often misrepresented. This is a wonderful opportunity to change the narrative by telling the truth and by looking at the global African presence.”

This session focused entirely on Film. The next one will delve into music.

To watch the full powerful session kindly click on the link Watch Now

For Job opportunities kindly connect with Angela Regalado, Global Director, Talent for Job Opportunities in the Creative Sector www.mipad.org/talent

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