While advanced economies across the globe are holding thumbs for modest growth this year, the African continent continues to turn heads.
Africa is cited to have "the fastest growing middle class in the world" with several of its flourishing countries bounding into top 10 positions on global outlook lists. This rapid growth can only mean good things for the local content industry, currently faced with a rising demand for quality entertainment.
"It's an exciting time to be part of the film and television industry in Africa right now," says Rebecca Fuller-Campbell, managing director of Hive Content and new business director of Hummingbird Media Investments - a bustling creative services agency in Johannesburg, the hub of pan-African content production. As investors and film-makers alike seek new production opportunities around the world, South Africa certainly ticks many a box with its rich diversity of locations, low production costs and a favourable exchange rate.
This April, Fuller-Campbell and MD of Pollen and the founder of Hummingbird Media, Bridget Scarr, are heading for the MipTV Festival in Cannes with the goal of spreading the good news about the myriad of production, broadcast and content opportunities in the continent. "Good content transcends borders and language. Where the content comes from is no longer so important, it is the substance and the quality of it that matters," states Scarr. "There is no reason that content produced in Africa can't be exportable because we have the skills set and over and above that we are confident we have the technology and cost incentives required to build high-return partnerships with international production companies," added Campbell.
With a growing local film production list that includes the Avengers
sequel, Blood Diamond
, District 9
and Safe House
, there are still a limited number of highly skilled companies in South Africa creating high quality productions for the global market. This glaring opportunity was the very reason that Scarr founded Hummingbird Media Investments six years ago, initially as an animation start up. It now consists of five different companies: Pollen TV, Hive Content, Hey!Fever, Brave and Apery whose offerings span from content development, design, advertising, production to post production, vfx, 2D and 3D animation and digital.
Recently Hummingbird has partnered with Winklemania Productions in the UK to co-produce a high-concept drama called The Livingstone Legacy
; this series, as well as Out Of The Wild
, will form part of the group's exciting drama slate when they meet up with potential distributors, broadcasters and co-producers at MipTV. The team will also unveil three animation series, Fledglings
to international buyers at the festival.
"It's the second year that we will be attending MipTV as Humminbird Group and we're poised for another overwhelmingly successful trip. We're saying to the industry, now is the time, now is Africa's time and we encourage everyone that would like to find out more about the abundance of possibilities on our booming continent to get in touch." Article via Media Update