Prez unveils US$25m initiative to support film industry


… as Awal promises to create rich, comfortable filmmakers, artists and artistes

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched a US$25million initiative that seeks to revolutionise the film and creative arts industry.

Dubbed the Presidential Film Pitch Series, the initiative will see the introduction of structures to ensure that the nation, among other things, is able to produce 200 films every year – with the aim of creating 40,000 jobs annually.

The initiative will also see to the establishment of a film bank that will have scripts which can be traded to help rejuvenate the local film industry. Already, a multipurpose film and music video studio is in the offing to help support talents that want to excel.

The president, who was the special guest of honour and keynote speaker at the initiative’s launch, lauded the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture-Dr.  Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, for transferring his exploits at the defunct Ministry for Business Development to his new portfolio.

He said among the many things which define a nation are its culture, customs and traditions, and there is no better way to showcase them than through films; therefore, the initiative is commendable.

“Customs and traditions tell us where we came from and point to where we might be going. They provide a mirror to our collective and individual soul. Without acknowledging culture and its importance, we are unable to face the rest of the world – and unable to face ourselves. Even though the film and creative art sectors have mostly been private sector-led, considerable gains have been made.

“Government, through the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and the National Film Authority, has brought together Ghanaians from producers on one hand, and investors, distributors and marketers on the other, to make deals in the tune of US$25million.

“This investment, which has already been secured, will go a long way to strengthen the local film ecosystem. Selected films, have to meet stringent criteria – which include innovation, feasibility, impactfulness and scalability.

“Ghanaian film producers now have the opportunity to access markets for their films, and I want to take this opportunity to encourage local film producers to show more creativity and innovation in their productions to make Ghanaian films not only popular within the country, but also capable of satisfying international audiences.”

Promise by Tourism Minister

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, in his address promised to put in the necessary structures to ensure the nation creates rich, comfortable filmmakers, artists and artistes.

According to him, the tourism, arts and culture industry is a ‘big money business’ – but the nation is yet to unlock its fortunes to help create meaningful jobs and contribute significantly to economic growth. He promised President Akufo-Addo that from next year the tourism, arts and culture sector will contribute at least US$5billion to the economy annually.

National Film Authority

The CEO of the National Film Authority, Juliet Asantewaa Asante, in her address at the launch said the project’s aim is to accelerate the president’s vision to make the nation a film-hub on the continent. She said some of the pitches which have come through are impressive and will go a long way to support the creation of an eco-system to rejuvenate the film sector.

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