Entertainment of 2014-06-22

GFIC sale destroyed Film industry

The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare on Friday reiterated government’s commitment to improving the film industry.

Addressing the Nafti Film Lectures Awards Night in honour of renowned cinematographer, Rev. Dr. Chris Tsui Hesse, Mrs Ofosu- Adjare said cabinet is working hard to ensure the film bill is passed.

The bill, yet to be implemented after 25 years, is expected to help finance film production and impose regulations to ensure professionalism.

But stakeholders feel the woes of the industry should be blamed on government.

Rev. Hesse, one-time official cinematographer to President Nkrumah, and Director of Photography for Kwaw Ansah’s famed ‘Loved Brew in the Africa Pot’ bemoaned the meager infrastructure of the film industry and governments’ role in its near-collapse.

He told the Ghana News Agency that the woes of the film industry began when the Ghana film Industry Corporation (GFIC) was diversified.

“We sold it to the Malaysians. It was the foundation of our cultural industry, and we toyed with it,” he added.

He said Nkrumah saw the need to use films to project Ghana, and that motivated him to establish the Ghana Film Industry Corporation.

Actor David Dontoh shared Rev. Hesse’s sentiments. He recounted Hollywood film Director, Steven Spielberg’s failed effort to acquire the now famous TV3 studio “b’ for 9 million dollars.

“He wanted to turn it into one of the biggest film studios in Africa. His movie, Amistad was to be shot here in Ghana," he said

‘The Government will have their work wrapped up for them if the industry was functioning. It will create employment and attract tourists. The film industry will earn us more money than timber and gold.”

Other awardees on the night included late poet Kofi Awoonor and renowned actor and former lecturer Kofi Middleton-Mends.

“I take pride that the award is from NAFTI, having taught film directing here for thirty years,” Mr. Middleton-Mends said.

The NAFTI Film Lectures Awards is intended to recognise film-makers, who have contributed to developments in the Ghanaian Motion Picture Industry.

The goal is to showcase Ghana’s finest film-makers and their contributions to the industry.

Source: GNA
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