60 film entrepreneurs receive training tailored to local content

The Creative Enterprise Support Programme (CESP) – an initiative by the British Council to support the creative art sector – has commenced training 60 selected film entrepreneurs in the country.

The two-week intensive artistic, technical and enterprise training started on February 10, 2020, and is aimed at delivering training, mentoring and supporting business development of the youth and emerging entrepreneurs in the country’s film industry between the age of 18 to 35 years.

The CESP is being executed by the British Council in partnership with Henley Business School; The First Creative (TFC), headed by young Ghanaian filmmaker Jay Engmann; and Afrinolly Creative Hub-Nigeria.

Projects Manager, Arts and Creative Economy-British Council, Jessica Hagan, said that CESP specifically focuses on the entrepreneurial side of creativity, as the creative industry in Ghana is made up of some excellent talents, ideas and innovators but lacks entrepreneurial understanding and enterprise enforcement in how to approach creative talent.

“The CESP is literally to take all of that talent and to harness people into seeing their talent as a business. So, if I make great films, that is phenomenon; but how do I make those great films for global markets; how do I get global organisations such as Amazon and Netflix to buy the film and turn it into a global feature? This is the knowledge that we seek to instil in them through our partners,” she said.

Director of Development, Henley Business School-UK and Vice Dean of Africa Henley Business School, Jean-Pierre Cholet who is also the programme’s training facilitator, indicated that Henley Business School wants to have a footprint in Africa and help development of talent among the youth – and will continue to partner with institutions in Africa to equip the youth with practical business knowledge.

“We equip our students with a deeper and broader understanding of what is current, relevant and right in the business, and in doing so enable them to become highly capable, responsible leaders.

“At the end of this programme, we are not going to have 60 filmmakers: we are going to have 60 professional business people in the film industry who can also train and pass their acquired knowledge on to their employees and colleagues in the film industry,” he noted.

Country Director-British Council Ghana, Alan Rutt, stated that the CESP is one way in which the British Council is both supporting and contributing to Ghana’s emerging creative arts industry and its contribution to Ghana’s recent global recognition.

“Our Arts team is working with the best of creative talent in both Ghana and the UK to develop innovative, high-quality events and collaborations with artists and cultural institutions,” he said.

CESP is designed in three stages to perform specific task at each level. At the second stage, 30 selected film entrepreneurs from stage-one will receive a six-month incubation training including access to workspace, access to equipment within the workspace, business support and monitoring.

At the third stage, there will be opportunities for film entrepreneurs from the stage-two programme to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges where five of them will be assisted with a grant to develop their business plan, scale-up existing business or produce new film projects in Ghana.

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