Silverbird signs $50m deal with AAA Entertainment on film production

Silverbird Group and AAA Entertainment are entering into a partnership to develop and produce a slate of cinematic African feature films on the continent.

The deal, valued at $50 million, would focus on the African Export Import Bank’s (Afreximbank) USD500 million Creative Industry Programme for financing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the partnership agreement was signed at the Afreximbank pavilion at the ongoing Intra African Trade Fair (IATF2021) in Durban South Africa.

It was witnessed by Afreximbank’s Augustine Chukwuemeka Uzoh , ManagerTrade and Corporate Finance (Intra-African Trade Initiative) .

The IATF2021 is organised by the Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.

The second Intra-African Trade Fair, holding from Nov. 15 to Nov. 21, 2021, brings together continental and global buyers and sellers.

It would enable stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information as well as trade finance and trade facilitation solutions designed to support intra-African trade and the economic integration of the continent.

AAA Entertainment would bring to the partnership an experienced film development, financing and production team, facilities and partnership network, a statement by the entertainment company said on Friday.

On its part, Silverbird Group would bring its cinema exhibition and distribution infrastructure and experience in West Africa and the rest of the continent, as well as its studio facilities and network in Los Angeles.

“AAA Entertainment has distributed and executively produced some of the top South African box office hits and is looking to expand that success to the rest of the continent.

“Their experience in the distribution and sales of African content locally and globally, combined with Silverbird Group’s reach and understanding of the rest of the African cinema market, will ensure that a slate of well-developed and produced films can reach a global audience.

“While being relatable and entertaining for the domestic African market’’.

In his remarks, Mayenzeke Baza, Head of Distribution and Financing at AAA Entertainment, said: “We are excited about this partnership.

“It provides an opportunity to create great content between the two biggest markets on the continent, namely Nigeria and South Africa, and allows us to access pan African private equity and state funding,’’ he said.

Ben Murray-Bruce, Founder of Silverbird Group, said: “Silverbird has a long history in the Nigerian Media and Entertainment sector.

“We began our journey as a live entertainment events company and expanded that into a network of Television and radio station properties.

“We have successfully built the premiere West African film distribution and exhibition company and now it is with excitement that we pivot into the feature film production sphere by announcing our partnership with AAA Entertainment.”

The partnership would be working exclusively with African and African American talent, looking to bridge the two markets and talent communities.

The first talent collaboration initiated by the Silverbird Group is with Grammy award winning producer, songwriter and board member of the Creative African Advisory Group, Vincent Berry II, who was present at the signing of the partnership at the Afrexim Bank stand at the IATF.

Responding, Berry II , said, “ I am so grateful to be partnering with AAA Entertainment and the Silverbird Group.

“To produce music for the films that will showcase African talent and serve as bridge between talent across the diaspora and the continent,’’ he said.

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