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The President of Ghana National Film Directors Guild, Richard Yaw Boateng has indicated that the time has come for government to consider the film business as an industry and attach the much needed attention to its growth and development.
According to him the film industry has played an important role in the nation building since independence but still, not represented on national development plan and not part of the national budget.
He said since the sector is not considered as an industry, government is not attaching importance to it, unlike other industries.
Richard Yaw Boateng was speaking at the Ghana 60 Years On Film Summit 2018 where he mentioned that the time has come for players in the sector to look at rebranding the industry and see what can be done to make Ghana film industry attractive again.
He said there is the need to rise up and match up with industries across the world such as Nollywood, Hollywood, Bollywood and others across the world.
He also mentioned that Ghana Film sector must be given an industrial status from the State where government will consider their business as an industry so that the Ministry of Trade will have an interest in whatever they do.
Government, he averred, can raise money through films since the film industry is one major sectors that government can channel its tourism facilities to for massive returns.
He said film also plays a major role in tourism as it is used as vehicle to promote tourism and that government agenda for one district one factory, must take into consideration the creation of “one district, one cinema” to create jobs for the community and the film industry.
According to him, when that is done, people will cultivate the culture of going to a cinema and that will also bring investors into the country who will be willing to invest in the Ghana film industry.
He revealed that since 1978 when NAFTI was established, Ghana at the time was the only film hub in the West African continent and the only nation with a film studio.
“Ghana played major role in cinema production in Ghana but now things have changed,” he said.
He therefore called on stakeholders to stand up and fight to take back the glory of the Ghana film industry, saying, “We must fight to rise up again, to raise the flag of Ghana up and raise Ghana to the global arena of cinemas.”
Richard Yaw Boateng said if care is not taken, Ghana film industry will go to oblivion with no trace of hope for the coming generations.
“We must have representatives in the ministry that represents us. Look, we are not part of cabinet, but we do what do to entertain Ghana and promote our values,” he said.
On her part, Mrs Janet Nyame, Executive Director of National Commission on Culture said films play a vital role in the cultural and socio-economic life of people since it is a vehicle by which one can tell a story and entertain the masses in an effective way.
Audio visual materials, she added makes great impact on people whilst playing great roles in our belief systems.
She said: “It is about time we pay serious attention to Ghana film industry. Western films have influence our generation globally.”
She advised film makers to look at quality of stories, whilst taking conscious efforts to infuse the Ghanaian culture into their scripts and depicts the normal lifestyle in Ghana and day to day activities in the countries.
“The film industry influences the society in so many ways so we have to support the industry to do better,” she promised.
Also speaking to Haruna Seidu Soale, Chairman of the Greater Accra Film Directors Guild at the sidelines of the Summit, he believed that rebranding the film sector into an entire industry will go a long way to help grow.
According to him, the time has also come for players to come together as one and unite adding that if they are united, they will have a voice which will be heard better by government.
Haruna Seidu Soale said all is not lost for the Ghana film industry since the young and upcoming film makers with the passion to do ore are willing to hold the fort and build the industry for the better but that he said “will depend on the support and attention government attach to the business. Government must look at ways of helping Ghanaian film makers and the industry as a whole to grow like what is happening in other countries like Nigeria, China, America and India. We need to look at these countries and see how they are making it big through films.”
McLord Ice, a young and promising film Director also disclosed in an interview that Ghana holds great prospects for film development across West Africa and beyond.
He said the country has great and beautiful landmarks which if managed well can attract investors into the film industry thereby helping build Ghana’s economy. He also called for unity in the industry.
BY: PROSPER AGBENYEGA