The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Ms. Dzifa Abla Gomashie has expressed the hope that the ‘Film Bill’ will soon be passed into law for the transformation of the industry.
She said the bill, which had been on the shelves of successive governments for more than two decades, remained critical to the revolution of the film industry, which had the potential to market Ghana’s cultural heritage.
Opening a five-day ‘2015 National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) Lectures’ in Accra on Monday, she said the bill was currently before Parliament with the executive awaiting the legislature’s inputs.
The week-long celebration, being organised by the NAFTI, in collaboration with the Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Ministry on the theme, “The Role of the Producers in Sustaining the Ghana Film and Video Industry,” will assess the performance of producers in the motion picture industry.
Instituted in 2011, it is meant to respond to criticisms of the movie sector, reform the sector, motivate and award producers who inculcated standards in their works.
Ms. Gomashie, an industry player herself, said the bill, if passed into law, would not be the panacea to all the flaws in the industry but would serve as a means to regulate and demand the best from practitioners.
The movie industry, she said was large to accommodate every professional and tasked the industry players to raise the bar and set the standard.
She commended NAFTI for its collaboration with industry players in their programmes and called for further partnership to ensure that students knew the nitty-gritty of the profession before leaving school.
The Rector of the Institute, Professor Linus Abraham, was optimistic that the passage of the bill would bring substantial change into the industry which, in his view, was neglecting standards.
He said the abundance of technology, which was threatening the existence of movies produced in the 1980s, could spell doom for the Ghanaian movie industry.
He said “it is important we preserve the audio visual heritage of our country,” and appealed to the Film Producers Association and benevolent citizens to submit some of the movies produced in the 1980s for screening.
The Chairman of the occasion and Chairman of the NAFTI Board, Professor Kofi Anyidoho, said the annual event was important to keep industry players on their toes and would remain as part of NAFTI’s key activities.
He said the motion picture industry was critical to the arts industry and must be treated with all the seriousness it deserved.
By Julius Yao Petetsi