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Samuel Gyandoh, President of Film Crew Association of Ghana (FICAG), is not pleased with current state of Ghana’s film industry, as he raises questions about the recent passed Film Bill and why it is not improving the industry.
In the past, the lack of Film Bill was largely tagged as one of the main reasons the Ghanaian film industry is not able to compete with foreign industries.
But late last year during ex-President John Mahama’s last days in government, he signed the Ghana Film Bill into law.
The Development and Classification of Film Act (2006) was passed by parliament in October 2016 after several years of deliberations and exhaustive stakeholder inputs.
The new act which repeals the Cinematography Act, 1961 (Act 76) and the Cinematographer Amendment Decree, 1975 (NRCD 350) seeks to 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.
The act established a National Film Authority (NFA) to promote the creation of a conductive environment for the local production, distribution, exhibition and marketing of films.
The main objectives of the NFA 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.
The NFA is also expected to facilitate co-production between local and foreign producers and regulate foreign participation in the Ghanaian film industry to ensure its benefit to Ghanaian film practitioners.The National Film Board, to be established under the act, is expected to institutionalise and enforce the culture of quality, priority and decency in the distribution, sale and exhibition of films and videos in the country.
But Samuel Gyandoh has his misgivings if filmmakers are, indeed, taking advantage of the new law.
“In life you never value what you have until you lose it, we are to blame ourselves for the collapse of the film industry. We couldn’t protect our industry when it was in its peak. There were no measures put in place but we had associations which could have laid down measures that could have protected the business. We formed a mother body called Film Federation and due to some people’s selfish interest, we couldn’t get anywhere. Now there is a Film Act and no one seems to bother to even ask how we as filmmakers will make it active to help us grow our industry,” he said on Sunday.
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