Members of Film Producers Association of Ghana, (FIPAG) yesterday, September 1, 2016 ended their elections in ecstasy as they re-elected one time president of the Association, Augustine Abbey, popualry known as ‘The Great Idikoko as their new President.
Even though Idikoko had a strong opponent, in the person of Douglas Odame who was once his former campaign manager, the later withdrew few minutes to the election to rally his support to the former.
The FIPAG election which was supervised by officials from the Electoral Commission of Ghana was held at the conference hall of the Musician Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), headquarters in Accra on Thursday.
The newly elected FIPAG President, Idikoko in his acceptance message congratulated his opponent, Douglas Odame for throwing his support behind him.
According to him, this will duly bring unity and harmony among FIPAG members regardless of different ideologies from other members.
He added: “We seek to strengthen the relationships with the Hotel Association of Ghana so they can give us a good rate which will help in cutting down production. We will address the issue of piracy and the need to establish Piracy court to arrest offenders.
“We also need to form partnership with other industry players like performers, musicians to expand our market. Furthermore we’ll work with them in establishing and growing our market to the other regions so that we wouldn’t be boxed to the Accra, Kumasi market only,” he added.
Below are the results of the Election
- Paul Adjei 59 votes
- Bob Smith Jnr 76 votes
Augustine Abbey Unopposed
Daniel Kwadwo Sarfo 86 votes —- winner
Yawson Akuoku Nelson 41 votes
Zakaria Abdulia 100 votes — – winner
Prince Yawson 27 votes
Eugene Moratte unopposed
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
Roseline Osei 72 votes — winner
Mawuli Ekpe Peter 53 votes
Atta Aboagye 77 votes — winner
Samuel Ofosu Ampedu 34 votes
Prince Afriyie 8 votes
Alberta Hukporti unopposed
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GHANA FILMS INDUSTRY (THE PAST)
It is a universal truism that Ghana is one of the earliest African countries to produce films. Screening and distributions of films in Ghana dates back as early as the 1920’s. The Palladium is on record as the first film theatre to be built in Ghana, and it is the establishment of then Gold Coast Film Unit in 1946 by the British colonial government. The unit was under a British called Sean Graham the first Director, Producer in Ghana. Three Ghanaians, Sam Aryeertey, Reynolds Fenuku, and Bob Okanta were selected and trained as pioneers to manage the unit. The unit was charged to produce educational and documentaries to teach Ghanaians how good it was for the British to rule them. After independence, the unit was taken over by the Kwame Nkrumah’s government and renamed State Film Industry. The name was again changed in 1971 to Ghana Film Industry Corporation. The Ghana Film Industry Corporation was divested and again the name was changed to Ghana Film Company under Malaysians. They were producing, importing, distributing and exhibiting films.
The first full-length feature film made in Ghana is “The Boy Kumasenu” in 1952, followed by “Theresa” in 1956, “Hamile” 1965, “No Tears for Ananse” in 1956 and “I Told you so” is on the history as the first Ghanaian full length production in local language. All these films were produced by Ghana Film Industry Corporation with support from government. However in 1980, Kwaw Ansah, a private producer was able to raise funds to produce a film entitled “Love Brewed In the African Pot”, later King Ampah also produced “Road to kukurantumi”. In 1988 Kwaw Ansah again produced “Heritage Africa” Heritage Africa won the grand prize “etalon yennenga Pris” at Fespaco in 1989.
The advent of the development of video changed the dynamics in the film industry. In 1986, William Akuffo broke into the scene and came out with the first full length feature film production in video “Zinabu”, which opened the floodgates to the video production in Ghana. This was hailed by Ghanaian movie makers because it made movie making more affordable, easier and more convenient. The Ghanaian movie lovers were also not left out, as they could identify themselves with the stories which deal with ordinary day to day life experiences like ghost, seduction, love, marital problems and so on. And also most of the artistes were acting in Akan dramas which were being shown on the national television. The problem was that untrained filmmakers manned these video productions because the professional from the training institutions ignored and treated video production as not proper filmmaking technique or tool. Another major problem was that technically the stories were not realistic; acting was not all that good because they relied on improvisation instead of scripts. Despite all these challenges and short comings, somewhere along the line it became a notion that film filmmaking does not necessarily need professionals, is this notion true?
American Movie/Television Industry is comprised of 108,000 businesses across all the fifty-two states, generates $104 billion dollars in total job wage and contributes 16.7 billion US dollars in public revenue also generates 14.3 billion US dollars in export worldwide. This is how far the industry can contribute to the nation.
For the Ghanaian Film Industry to make the meaningful impact it desires to achieve; the capacity of the members and the Film Producer must be improved and because some of our members do not have the requisite training in the various disciplines in film making, some of our movies did not meet the international standard and recognition it’s deserve because they are;
Poor acting by some of the artistes
Sub-standard equipment used for production
Unskilled professionals in the industry such as; Directors, Cameramen, Soundmen, Light men and Editors etc.
The association being aware of these short comings has in our constitution outlined the following objectives to tackle these issues:
Taking measures aimed at raising high standard in the Motion Picture Industry in Ghana;
Collaborating with film training schools and other agencies to assists and train our members to enhance the skill of Motion Picture Production;
Improve the business side of the industry by offering training to our members to widen the scope of distribution and sales of our production;
To provide welfare support to the members
Organizing forums for discussion and seminars to promote the skill of Motion Pictures Production;
Organizing and holding Film Festivals in Ghana and also participating in international festivals, seminars and conferences on the industry.
These are our primary objectives which we had outlined so that with support we could deliver first class movies to the Ghanaian movie lovers and the world at large.
The current Executives of the Association wish to use Motion Picture as a tool to influence;
The course of national development and orientation,
Project Ghanaian Culture in the international arena.
Educate and entertain
Promote peace and national unity
Create jobs for the teeming youths who are leaving the shores of Ghana to seek greener pasture in foreign countries like the United State of America.
However, to do this effectively, the association must develop and build its capacity to support its members to effectively play this role by introducing sets of policies, as well as develop a mutual beneficial business relationship both in Ghana and international as a major strategy to boost the marketing and distribution of the Ghanaian films.
To achieve this, the Ghanaian Film Producer must be more professional in line with modern trends and the best practices in Motion Picture production. Learning on the job as pertains in Ghana is good and important; but it is only the first step and understanding and appreciating good scripts is also very important.
And this can be done by organizing capacity building workshops and seminars at both home and abroad, internship for the Producers to acquaint themselves with some of the techniques employed in the industry. This is where America, the world leader in Filmmaking comes into the picture. Partnership and working closely with the American Filmmakers, Hollywood and American Film Training Institutions is very important to help our course. And we cannot achieve this without a role by Her Excellency the Ambassador and the American Embassy.
Another difficult and neglected area is making movies for kids. The African movie terrain in general has over looked the African child; all our movies are made for adults. And we believe that the children must also be catered for. The Americans are pioneers and experts in this area and it is our hope that, if we could afford the opportunity to be trained in this area by the experts, the Ghanaian child will soon see him/her on the screen as their counterpart in the United States of America.
TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING:
This will involve training for scripts writers, technical training for directing and good script, cinematography, techniques and above all, the craft of motion picture production.
The work of the producer is all encompassing in film making:
Evaluation of Script
Selection of a Director
Selection of cast and crew
Raising the production budget
Marketing the final product-film