Francophone Africans once had a hold on the podium for dominating the African film industry shortly after all French-speaking African countries gained independence.
Going to the cinema with friends was a big deal from the 1960s all through to the 1980s. The booming industry even made way for pioneering local filmmakers like Cameroon’s Jean-Pierre Dikonguè and Senegal’s Ousmane Sembène. Unfortunately, that thriving industry disappeared towards the end of the 20th century.
However, that is all about to change as Vivendi’s CanalOlympia, which offers a variety of French films, American blockbusters, and other African films, join forces with Orange, the dominating telecoms company in Francophone Africa, to make the big screen more accessible to all, starting with the youth.
The companies have partnered to meet the expectations of the fast-growing African continent, keen to consume cultural goods and rediscover the unique experience of the big screen in the best technical conditions and absolute comfort.
As part of the partnership, Orange will offer its “Cinédays” program in all CanalOlympia cinemas across eight African countries, as well as a dozen cinema and performance venues launching in Cameroon, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Niger, Mali, Madagascar, and DRC, as the CanalOlympia Network is deployed.
Cinédays enables Orange customers to benefit from a 2 for 1 cinema ticket offer once or twice a week. Launched in the UK in 2004, today the offer is available in Romania, Luxembourg, France, Belgium, and Morocco.
The telecoms giant will also include a unique feature that will enable cinema-goers to pay directly at the cinema using their mobile thanks to Orange’s flagship mobile-based money transfer and financial services offer which is now available in 17 countries with over 37 million customers.
The involvement of Orange Studios, the company’s film-focused subsidiary, in local Francophone film markets, has included the funding of local filmmakers through co-productions and launching video streaming services in Senegal and Ivory Coast.
This advance will go a long way to encouraging local filmmakers who currently struggle with challenges surrounding piracy and intellectual property, due to the fact that most films released are straight-to-DVD films.
An increase in the number of cinemas available in African markets is critical for local filmmakers as it contributes to the significant profits that they can make.
Vivendi is an integrated content, media and communications group. The company operates businesses throughout the media value chain, from talent discovery to the creation, production and distribution of content. It is a subsidiary of Vivendi, a leading network of cinemas and performance venues in central and western Africa with eight cinemas open to date, 20 by the end of 2018, and several more over the next few years.