NAFTI urge filmmakers to engage professionals

Sat, 29 Mar 2008 Source: GNA

Accra, March 29, GNA- Mr Martin Loh, Director of National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), on Saturday urged Ghanaian filmmakers to engage professionals in their productions to ensure development and competitiveness in the global film market.

He said: "we still see little evidence of filmmakers aggressively searching out stories, scripts, styles, and techniques...most of the works seems out-of-track and squeezing blood from the turnip, by digitally making the same sorts of traditional films with the same methods."

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Saturday, Mr Loh said in professional filmmaking, the story choice or the script made the greatest difference. The Director of NAFTI said this was followed by extreme schedule efficiency extreme technical discipline, dogmatic avoidance of archive footage and archive music.

He said it was important that film producers in the Ghanaian film industry trained and educated themselves professionally so that they could produce movies that the audience could identify themselves with. "In our case people think that film making is easy and now our filmmakers do not seem to accept that a good fi lm is better than just rushing to reap the benefit," Mr Loh said. He noted that engaging non-professionals to reduce cost of production is not tangible, "pay professionals their going rates, control personnel costs by adjusting time, not rates. Mr Loh said "Reconfigure what you do, not how much you pay for it. Use experienced craftspeople at all levels, especially in audio and assistant editing. Make the film quickly. Production and editorial schedules that minimize person-days are big levers for cost reduction." He encouraged filmmakers to set rough cut and lock picture deadlines and seek the assistance of experienced film makers in their productions.

Mr Loh asked film makers to maintain clear decision flow, appreciate the role of the producer or director and fine-tune the filtering of ideas to flow from community to director to editor in an orderly fashion.

He urged film makers to use high-end facilities for sound finishing and colour correction after extremely careful field origination and editorial prep.

Mr Loh said the film industry was the most powerful means of conveying messages to Ghanaians to enlighten them on developmental issues.

He appealed to film makers to employ qualified people or NAFTI graduates to help them in every aspect of their work. Mr Loh said "Our effort is to assist filmmakers to make good films which can tell African stories better to overcome poverty, hunger, wars and other related issues which are retarding the development of the African continent."

He said NAFTI was obliged to train people to enable them act professionally and urged the Video Producers Association to work with the institute to find solutions to problems facing the film industry. Mr Loh said presently the film industry was facing difficulties that could affect the Ghanaian Film Industry. He explained that some young people entering the industry did not work with film producing outfits to enable them to acquire experience. Mr Loh said the film industry lacked organised funding which was crucial to making the film industry blossom as the Nigerian film industry.

The following films were adjudged the best at the end of the 18TH NAFTI FILM AND TELEVISION FESTIVAL in Accra: "Out of Place," was adjudged the best film, Costume of a Nation was adjudged the best documentary, Adam's Seed, the best teleplay, Soul Trade, the best screenplay, Out of Place, best photography, Ezanetor, the best sound and the best art director, Dream On, best set design.

Mr Oscar Provencal who featured in the "Out of Place," was adjudged the best actor, Ms Charity Yeboah who featured as Ezanetor in Ezanetor, was adjudged the best actress, Ms Beatrice Dadsons who featured as Sika in Soul Trade won the best juvenile actor, Mr Brew Riverson who featured in Soul Trade, won the best supporting actor award, and Lucinda Ribero who featured in Out of Place, won best supporting actress award.

There was also special recognition of Young Ezanetor who featured in EZANETOR and SOUL TRADE for good acting, documentary Film on former President Jerry John Rawlings.

Source: GNA