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How to unlock up to $2 billion of annual box office revenues in Africa: New study examines growth potential of the continent’s film industries

22 Jul 2018


If Africa were to follow China’s example and broadly invest in cinema infrastructure, it could achieve annual box office revenues of $1.5 to $2 billion; with Nigeria and South Africa accounting for as much as $500 million. This is one of the main findings of the 2018 Framing the Shot: Key Trends In African Film report, which was conducted by Founder of 234 Media, Dayo Ogunyemi, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut and with support from the German Federal Foreign Office. Launched at the Durban International Film Festival 2018, the study aims to fill the substantial gap in information and analysis about the fast-changing film industry in sub-Saharan Africa.

Framing the Shot particularly recommends improving access to finance, incubating film-specific business skills and capacity and developing effective distribution. Says the report’s author, Dayo Ogunyemi: “For too long, Africa’s film industry has been the subject of many anecdotes and much supposition; the absence of credible, comprehensive data has led to wasted resources and lost opportunities which the continent can scarcely afford […] If African countries do not plan, invest and collaborate today, the trade deficit around content consumption will widen and the opportunity to shape the tastes and preferences of future generations of Africans will be lost.”

The Framing the Shot report catalogues and analyses the major opportunities and challenges that Africa’s film industries face through four substantive parts:

  • A survey of African film makers and general analysis of the African film landscape
  • Country studies of Africa’s two largest film industries: Nigeria and South Africa
  • Case studies of 3 African films from development through completion; a comparison of the commercial performance of an African and a European film; as well as lessons drawn from the diaspora — specifically in the context of African-American film.
  • Conclusions on African film in the global industry context and recommendations on priority steps to address the main opportunities and challenges identified


Says Noemie Njangiru, Culture and Development Coordinator at the Goethe-Institut: “There are two reasons behind our investment in reliable information about the continent’s film industries: Firstly, the sector has a huge potential to contribute to economic growth and create employment opportunities. Secondly, we believe that strong film industries and better conditions for pan-African collaborations can contribute to undoing stereotypes, particularly in the context of the Western gaze on ‘Africa’.”


Taking a closer look at the South African film industry, the report suggests extending the current “generous incentive system that is primarily centered on production […] to the post-completion value-chain — sales, marketing and distribution.” The study continues: “For filmmakers and audiences that continue to endure the historical disadvantages meted out under apartheid, more must be done. Cinema infrastructure must be extended to underserved townships in order to unlock latent spending power on film. One of the most promising ways in which South Africa can do this is to support entrepreneurs and SMEs to close the gaps in distribution capacity and the deficits in exhibition infrastructure in townships and rural areas.”


Browse the full report online on


Download PDF report and visual reference on   

Talk about this on social media via #FramingTheShot


Meet Dayo Ogunyemi at DIFF and DFM:

Distribution: Debunking the Myths - Understanding the Exploitation Value Chain

Sunday 22 July / 14:00 - 15:00 / Suite 5


Cover photo from the film I Am Not a Witch. Directed by Rungano Nyoni. Courtesy of Quiddity Films / Clandestine Films / Soda Pictures



Benjamin Keuffel

Public Relations Officer, Goethe-Institut South Africa


T: +27 (0)11 442 3232

M: +27 (0)82 769 3254



About Dayo Ogunyemi:

Dayo Ogunyemi is a creative entrepreneur and founder of 234 Media, a firm that develops enterprises and makes principal investments in the media, entertainment and technology sectors.

As part of a 234 Media investment, Dayo built and operated East Africa’s then largest cinema chain and an affiliated film distribution company through which he acquired and released art and independent films including Djo Munga’s Viva Riva, Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist and Kevin McDonald’s Bob Marley biopic.

Under 234 Media’s Studio Africa banner, Dayo serves as producer for films by leading and emerging African directors and has participated in the Cannes Producers Network and Cinefondation Atelier programs. Over the past 15 years, Dayo has worked and lived in 4 countries in all three regions of sub- Saharan Africa. He has advised African governments and regional economic communities on policy, legislation and regulations relating to e-commerce, intellectual property, technology and the creative industries. He served as a founding board member of the African Film Academy, organizer of the African Movie Academy Awards, and on the board of the UN Economic Commission for Africa’s Information Society Initiative. Dayo earned an SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is admitted to the New York Bar.


About 234 media:

234 Media shapes and creates compelling narratives of Africa and its global diaspora by creating and investing in innovative projects. The firm’s activities spans the breadth of Africa’s creative and technology scenes – tech start-ups, fashion and apparel firms, event producers, content aggregators, film production and distribution companies. It has made media investments in more than five African countries with a focus on the intellectual property value chain for audio-visual content — financing, packaging, producing, distributing, marketing and aggregating film and other content to mass-markets in Africa and the rest of the world.


About the Goethe-Institut:

The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. Its mandate is to promote the study of German abroad and to encourage international cultural exchange. Today it is represented in 98 countries and has some 3,300 employees. It contributes widely to the promotion of artists, ideas and works. Supporting the local cultural scenes and strengthening pan-African dialogue through the arts are part of its mission on the African continent, where it operates 19 institutes in Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Kigali, Lagos, Lomé, Luanda, Nairobi, Rabat, Tunis, Windhoek and Yaoundé, as well as 3 liaison offices in Algiers, Kinshasa and Ouagadougou. For more than 20 years, the Goethe-Institut has been working together closely with filmmakers from Germany, South Africa and the African continent in organizing screenings, festivals, workshops and co-productions. The aim is to support film within the creative industries and to undo stereotypes through visual storytelling. The Goethe-Institut does this with training and networking initiatives, as well as through supporting interdisciplinary and pan-African collaborations.




Benjamin Keuffel Public Relations Officer / Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Goethe-Institut South Africa

119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood 2193, Johannesburg



T: +27 (0)11 442 3232

F: +27 (0)11 442 3738

M: +27 (0)82 769 3254 

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