Three emerging production companies with African ties announced, last week, a new stage in their development with the launch of an international co-production joint venture under the Baobab Film Collective imprint.
The ensemble combines the independent labels of Ghana’s Lawrence Adjei-Okyere, Trayne Adjei Studios; the outfit of Cape Verdean producer, P.J. Marcellino, Anatomy of Restlessness Films; and Pedro Soulé and Nuno Miranda’s Kriolscope (Cabo Verde).
The three companies, all of which are expanding in their respective home markets, are coming together with the aim of increasing their combined footprint in the international premium television drama content production circuit.
The collective also declared their intention to cooperate and produce beyond their borders within the ECOWAS regional space, and to push for the establishment of a viable audiovisual service hub in West Africa, anchored on the Cabo Verde – Dakar – Accra axis, but supported logistically by partnerships with the international production hubs of the Canary Islands and Morocco.
Their strategy is to coalesce with foreign partners and financiers to partially or fully produce international co-production television projects in Ghana, Senegal and Cabo Verde.
While the two former have had audiovisual laws in place for some time, Cabo Verde’s brand-new Cinema Act provides a fresh legal and fiscal framework.
The Baobab Film Collective intends to bridge the local human resource gap by facilitating the post-Covid-19 circulation of regional talent between their sets and by promoting, through close collaboration with festival alliances and partners in the Canary Islands and elsewhere, film labs and professional training modules custom-designed for work on international film sets.
Their initiative may also come to rely on strategic public–private partnerships, pending specific agreements with the respective states.
The new joint venture will focus on stories with a strong social conscience, aligning entertainment with social-political impact and reflecting upon the great themes of our times, particularly in diverse, complex and contemporary African stories and characters seen through an African and Afro-diasporic lens, produced for international audiences.
These projects amalgamate the central creative drive of the three production companies, namely “the affirmation of African stories, visual grammars and narrative styles,” which lead producers P.J. Marcellino, Pedro Soulé and Lawrence Adjei assert “should be as deserving of validity and centre stage in the global market as northern counterparts.”
— Daily Guide