Movies of Thursday, 19 February 2015
The Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa Gomashie, has urged the film producers to put out a true reflection of Ghana in their films in order to help project the country to the world.
The deputy minister was speaking at a three-day training programme organised by Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) with assistance from the Canadian High Commission.
She stated that sometimes the names of characters and costumes used in Ghanaian films could help a foreigner assess the country and its values.
“When you get the opportunity to write a script or stand behind a camera and you don’t paint a picture of yourself, but to reinforce the image of another person, what you are doing is building that person’s economy against yours. In my village in Aflao, we don’t dress as a queen and have beads on our foreheads and so on. But it happens in other countries like India and the rest. If I’m dressing in a film as a Ghanaian queen, it should be a true reflection of what really is so that when the queen mothers in Aflao see me, they can identify with that queen mother character and say oh yes this is us. But if I dress like an Indian queen mother, how would they identify with me? In any case, that is going to influence somebody to purchase that kind of dressing. That is not Ghanaian and by doing that I would be bringing down the Ghanaian economy,” the retired actress told NEWS-ONE.
Dzifa Gomashie added that through films countries like the United States have succeeded in creating for themselves images that most people want to be part of.
“America has created an image for itself that we all believe in and want to be a part of. Nigeria created an image of itself through the movies so much that I was afraid of going to Nigeria until I went there recently and I realised that I had never seen the image of Victoria Island in any Nigerian movie. They mostly show me only rural Nigeria and maybe the kind of things they are doing in the movies now are not even done anymore but that is the picture they have painted,” she said.
She urged the producers not to succumb to the pressures of their patrons but rather produce movies that project the true image of Ghana, which would allow us plant ourselves in the world space to ensure that our identity is protected.
“If I’m demanding something and I don’t get it, I will make do with what I have. Why should we allow ourselves to get lost in the global culture and not contribute to it? The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recognise that we are not the same, that we are different and it’s beautiful. It is important for us to want to find space in the world space and also plant ourselves within it and not allow the world to swallow us up and we don’t have an identity anymore. That is my worry,” she noted.
However, Christopher Thornley, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, disclosed that he was impressed with how vibrant the Ghanaian movie industry had become, adding that there was a greater opportunity for economic development driven by the film industry.