Leila Djansi and Veronica Quarshie
Controversial Ghanaian filmmaker Leila Djansi has proposed that March 8, which is the International Women’s Day, be set aside to celebrate female filmmakers in Ghana’s movie industry.
This follows reports that first female Ghanaian movie director and writer Veronica Quarshie has not been celebrated.
NEWS-ONE reported on Tuesday that before Ghana’s celebrated female directors Leila Djansi and Shirley Frimpong-Manso, there was a Veronica Quarshie.
She wrote and directed a number of amazing Ghanaian productions from the 90s and that included all-time best Ghanaian movie Stab In The Dark.
But she is not recognised among the female personalities whose efforts have sustained the industry this far.
Leila Djansi, in her blog about Veronica Quarshie, said: “I’d attribute the MIA period of Veronica to the influx of Nigerian films and the return to the obnoxious, fashion-conscious films and of course, financing. When GAMA got sold, the industry died. The Nigerian invasion only made Nollywood rich. It didn’t do much for Ghana until Abdul Salaam in 2005 opened the floodgates with Divine Love, which pretty much took a little bit of the tone of Veronica Quarshie’s style, modernised it and others followed from there (sic).”
According to her, “this is where I use this blog and article to petition the Ministry of Women and the Silverbird Cinemas to show films made by women every year on the 8th of March, which is International Women’s Day.”
It is unclear what Veronica is doing now but she had a stint with Ghana’s movie industry when the industry was the sole preserve of men.
She took women from obscure, stilted and gender imbalanced storylines to women who owned their space. Her technical storytelling and mise-en-scéne were perfect. Her stories did not create women who were validated by love; love was just an icing on the cake.
She told everyday stories using realistic plots and had a unique skill in portraying the Ghanaian culture in her films. She worked for Princess Films owned by Moro Yaro.
Veronica Quarshie graduated from the Ghana National Film and Television Institute in 1989. She is married to Mr Nai, an editor, and they have a son.
By Francis Addo (Twitter: @fdee50 Email: [email protected])