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The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Evalue-Gwira-Ajomoro constituency, Catherine Afeku, has said that creating a National Film Authority will help spearhead the development of the industry and make it more vibrant to meet international standards.
She however charged stakeholders in the Film Industry to conduct nationwide stakeholder engagements so as to map out modalities for the Legislative Instrument (L.I) that will ensure the institutionalization of the Development and Classification of Film Law (Act 935), 2016.
She spoke in an exclusive interview after Committee her ministry set up on May 30, 2018 to work on having an L.I for the industry presented its report.
The Committee which comprises leaders of the various film value chain groups began their work since June 7, 2018 by meeting stakeholders and industry players over the Development and Classification of Film Law (Act 935).
According to the Minister, when an Authority is established as contained in Development and Classification of Film Law (Act 935), the huge potential in Film making which will lead to job creation and make Ghana a film location and thereby enhancing tourism will be unearthed.
She said the Authority which will serve as a regulatory body as far as Film making is concern and provide the legal framework for the production, regulation, nurturing and development of the Ghanaian film industry, and for the distribution, exhibition and marketing of films and related matters.
She added that the Act requires the establishment of a National Film Authority and when that is done, it will promote conductive environment for the local production, distribution, exhibition and marketing of films.
She said: “The main objectives of the Authority are to evolve a dynamic, economically self-sustaining and culturally conscious film industry in the country in the national interest, promote the creation of a conducive environment for the local production, distribution, exhibition and marketing of films and encourage the use of films to project the identity and image of the Republic and its people within and outside the country.”
Catherine Afeku enumerated further that the Authority will facilitate co-production between local and foreign producers and regulates foreign participation in the Ghanaian film industry to ensure its benefit to Ghanaian film practitioners just like what is being practiced in other countries like Malta, Kenya and South Africa.
She said it was in the light of this that the Ministry planned to engage stakeholders in film industry to put structures in place to be able to reap the huge and potential benefits that come along with Film making.
“Malta, Kenya and South Africa are doing well because they have an Authority. So my ministry asked the Film industry stakeholders to engage the Attorney General on the modalities of establishing an L.I and they have presented their interim Report. We are going to use this as a basis for the L.I and the establishment of an Authority,” she said.
She also averred that President Akufo-Addo and the ministry of Toursism, Arts and Culture support fully the production and development of movie making in Ghana and will offer their support to see to it that the industry is rebuilt for the better.
She however indicated that after the consultations with the citizenry, the Attorney General will take over and create memoranda to Cabinet to look into.
“So if we are able to make our case before Cabinet, it then goes to Parliament and there too, we have to make a strong case before the House for an L.I which will help support the industry,” she said, assuring the Committee that she will do all within her powers to push harder for Parliament approval when the time comes.
The Convener of the Committee, George Bosompem said the team was put together to look into how best as stakeholders, they can get the Film Act, (Act 395) operationalized.
He averred that Development And Classification of Film Law (Act 935), can be operationalized properly with a Legislative Instrument (L.I) therefore there will be a wider stakeholder engagement for the Development And Classification of Film Law (Act 935).
George Bosompem also that the L.I will facilitate the Development And Classification of Film Law (Act 935) that is already established, “as for the Act, it has been there already so what we have been doing is to go out there and mould an L.I for the Act. The other challenge we have is that we do not have the physical being of the National Film Authority which the law requires.”
In view of the unavailability of a physical being of the Authority, the Committee suggested some facilities that can be renovated and use as offices in the operation of the Authority if it is established.
He said the committee will embark on an education drive for all stakeholders to understand the content of the Law and the L.I so as to ensure maximum cooperation.
He believes that the establishment of the Authority will also give new image to the Film industry to become one of the best in the sub-region.
“The Authority will standardize things,” he said.
By: PROSPER AGBENYEGA