Speed up passage of film bill into law – Stakeholders

Movies of Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Abla GomashieMs Dzifa Abla Gomashie

Stakeholders in the film industry are calling for the quick passage of the film bill into law to revamp and safeguard the industry.

Currently, the film bill has been approved by Cabinet and is before Parliament awaiting approval.

The bill, if passed into law, is expected to revise the cinematography Act of 1961(Act 76) to strengthen the industry’s regulatory policies.

The stakeholders, including the various categories of players in the film production chain, made the call at the fourth in the series of a five-day lecture being organised by the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) in Accra yesterday.

The week-long lecture is being organised by NAFTI, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, to give industry players the platform to make inputs into the development of the industry and resolve differences.

It is on the theme: “The Role of Producers in Sustaining the Ghana Film and Video Industry.”

Current Act defunct

In his remarks, the Chief Director of the sector ministry, Nana Oduro Kwarteng, said the Cinematography Act, enacted over 50 years ago, was no longer effective in regulating the current industry in the phase of radical global changes, including technological revolution in the global industry.

He said it had become necessary to re-enact a law to appropriately regulate and cater for the industry’s changing trends and demands in modern times to ensure its contribution to national, economic and socio-cultural development.

“Act 76 has also been found to be grossly inadequate to control the spate of indecent, pornographic, violent, morally and culturally unacceptable films produced and shown on our screens, public cinema’s and on televisions,” he added.

Nana Kwarteng reminded the industry players that films were supposed to affirm, enrich and preserve the socio-cultural values and beliefs of a people, describing it as a major tool for contributing to national cohesion and for safeguarding the morals and ethical values of the society.

Bill to be passed soon

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Ms Dzifa Abla Gomashie, expressed the hope that the ‘Film Bill’ would 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.

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. Change in the industry

In his welcome remarks, the Rector of the Institute, Professor Linus Abraham, was optimistic that the passage of the bill would bring coherence and substantial change into the industry.

He expressed delight in the fact that the NAFTI lectures over the years had been able to address strife among the various groups in the industry.