CHIEF Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Film Authority, Ms. Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, has extended a hand of welcome to film producers and creative arts directors across the world to come to Ghana to shoot their movies.
“If anyone wants to shoot anything anywhere in Africa , we want them to head to Ghana,” she appealed during a hearty interactive session held by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) for a visiting team of students and academic staff of the Creative Media Institute of the Georgia State University in the United States of America (USA).
The session was held at the Accra Tourist Information Centre on Tuesday. The team is on an educational tour to look at possibilities of learning of best practices in Ghana’s Creative Arts and Film Industry.
The CEO noted that Ghana, led by the National Film Authority has stepped boldly into the Creative Arts and Film space to position Ghana as a film hub and content destination.
“Ghana has a lot of the requirements for successful filming projects; we have a lot of sunshine all year round, a robust banking and financial system, and we have a relatively good equipment profile, we have many of the things that film shoots will look out for when they decide to choose Ghana as a shooting location,” she assured.
Madam Asante pledged tax incentives were being worked on and she was hopeful that by the close of the year, investors in the film space could take advantage of such incentives and locate their film projects in Ghana.
Ms Asante admitted that wooing investments into Ghana’s film and creative arts space meant putting the appropriate infrastructure in place as well as the critical incentives and human resource development.
“As we step forward and attract the rest of the world to come to Ghana and shoot their films, trained human resource for such projects remains critical and we need critical investments there,”
Welcoming the students, Ms Asante lauded the efforts of the University in setting up the Georgia Film Academy and the structures put in place to promote the study of the creative arts and films and the invaluable investments made so far.
“ It is interesting to note that the set up at Georgia is such that you have a small space between the university and its film infrastructure, such that students can leave the classroom one day and be on set the next day and that is one of several reasons Atlanta has been very successful in their drive to position that state as a film centre,” she indicated.
Ms Asante noted that the successes chalked by the film industry in Atlanta Georgia were avenues for Ghana to emulate, especially after the pandemic struck as many countries looked to the creative industry as the vehicle to revamp their economies.
According to her, “if you look at the numbers, you would realise that industry incomes during the pandemic even in the US was over 45% higher than regular incomes so that proves to us that the sector is extremely resilient and ready to step forward,”
Deputy CEO of the GTA in charge of General Services Mr Ben Anane Nsiah urged the students to paint the real, positive picture about Ghana and Africa to the world, away from the negative narrative put out by others.
“It’s important that those of you who are film makers try to show the reality of our situation; we have both the rich and poor with us in Ghana so paint the right picture, talk about your experiences and encourage people to consider Ghana as a destination worth coning to,” he charged.
Leader of the visiting team, Ms. Juddifer Pearson disclosed that “most of the students here are on the Media Entrepreneurship programme with one student on the film and media major so our mission is to develop this generation of story tellers through emerging technology.”
Ms Pearson said they try not to compete with the University’s film school, adding that “we have some film, music, digital media and television production that we create a lot content for.”
The session was graced with the presence of representatives from the Department of Film/Television at the University of Ghana , Legon, University of Media, Arts and
Communication, the Accra Film School and the Gamers Association of Ghana.