Entertainment of Thursday, 23 February 2017
Award winning movie director Obiri Yeboah has made a passionate appeal to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to set up a film fund to support the movie industry.
The director, who is well-known for the 2015 film ‘The Cursed Ones’, believes that the fund will help movie producers get some source of funding to produce quality films.
He observed that the industry has the potential to give employment to thousands of youths in the country and therefore a bit of attention from the government will surely help reduce unemployment.
“We want something like a film fund to be instituted by the president so that at least they can go through film projects and give some films the green light and issue some funds to support some films,” Mr Yeboah told KMJ in an interview on Daybreak Hitz on Hitz FM.
He was of the view that at least if two films are produced in a year from the fund, it is a good start “and that is the way forward” because “it is going to create jobs for the youth.”
The director, who spoke from his base in the UK, noted that because there is no support for the industry, the Ghana movie industry is nonexistent.
“We don’t really know what we are doing because no matter how you see it, filmmaking is a business…and at the end of the day, if you are not able to get their [investors] money back for them, that means that you can’t really go on and make films. We are having really limited support in Ghana, so it’s difficult to do movies in the country,” he explained.
“We don’t really have an industry, anybody who tells you there is a working industry is lying. There is nothing going on because at the end of the day you can’t make films and make loss,” he added.
“Film making is a passion…I’m a Ghanaian, I want to do films for my country, that is my identity as a filmmaker when I lose my identity. I’ve lost myself that is why we want to help build the industry we can all work comfortably back home so that we can do films that portray our nation and our continent in a positive way,” the 2016 AMAA Best Director said passionately.
Mr Yeboah lamented that often after a producer premieres a movie, nothing happens because there are no avenues to sell the movies.
He, therefore, urged the industry to come together and send a proposal to the government for intervention because “no matter how you see it, there are a lot of youth that this industry can really employ.” Ghana should take a cue from Nigeria’s Nollywood.
“If people understand the state that we are in right now, they will put everything aside so that we can all join forces and do something together. That’s the only way forward,” the director concluded.
His film, ‘The Cursed Ones’, won three awards – Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best in Production Design in Africa – at the 2016 Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA).