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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Africa Cinema Summit is very important to every film stakeholder – David Dontoh

Legendary Ghanaian actor, David Dontoh has underscored the pivotal role the Africa Cinema Summit plays in rejuvenating Africa’s theatre culture and film industry.

In a compelling interview with Channel One TV at the launch of the second edition of the Africa Cinema Summit, David Dontoh passionately highlighted the intrinsic connection between film and theatre, emphasizing that cinema is essential “theatre on screen.”

He lamented the decline of cinema theatres across Ghana, reminiscing about a bygone era when vibrant cinema hubs like Bikona in Tamale and Tasu in Buu thrived, fostering a rich cinema culture that has since diminished.

“The cinema theatre culture used to be quite vibrant some years back, but it’s a bit weakened now. And it’s all because we don’t have the cinema theatres as an edifice there,”

Dontoh remarked. He attributed the cultural decline to the disappearance of these theatres and a series of political upheavals that stifled nightlife and, by extension, the communal cinema-going experience.

The Africa Cinema Summit, Dontoh believes, is a beacon of hope. He expressed optimism that the summit will not only revive cinema culture in Ghana but also unite the entire continent under a shared cinematic heritage. “We need to have what we call a film sector so that we can share the diversity of African cultures all over the continent,” he asserted.

Dontoh’s vision extends beyond national borders, advocating for regional and pan-African film festivals to showcase the continent’s rich folklore and cultural narratives. He envisions a robust film sector that highlights African stories and fosters a renewed sense of identity and pride among its people.

“The African Cinema Summit is very important for every film stakeholder on this continent. Such that you cannot think of developing when you forego the opportunities that the African Cinema Summit provides,” he stated.

He further proposed the establishment of a Pan-African Film Festival, uniting the continent’s regions from the Maghreb to Southern Africa in a grand celebration of African cinema.

Despite the challenges posed by current events in Burkina Faso, David Dontoh remains hopeful that the Africa Cinema Summit will catalyze the creation of regional film festivals and eventually a Pan-African festival, reinforcing the continent’s cinematic footprint on the global stage.

This year’s Africa Cinema Summit will be held at the  Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra from October 7 to 10

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