Film critics crucial for development of cinema industry – Kwaw Ansah
Mr. Kwaw Paintsil Ansah, internationally acclaimed Ghanaian Filmmaker on Friday lauded the critical role film critics play in the development of the movie industry.
He has therefore tasked African Film Critics not to gloss over such a crucial role.
“An analytical, objective and critical critic of a film is an asset to the producer and the audience alike,” Mr. Ansah noted during a meeting with the Vice President of the African Federation of Film Critics, Mr. Francis Ameyibor in Accra.
The meeting was to explore the possibility of establishing a formal collaborative network between the African Federation of Film Critics and the Ghana Film Club to inject dynamism into the Ghanaian film industry.
Mr. Ansah called on film critics to join an advocacy campaign to be launched by the Ghana Film Club for the passage of a Film Policy, which had been in the cabinet of the Attorney General for the past 25 years.
He noted that the Ghanaian movie industry which took a nose dive in the 1980’s and 90’s due to the political environment, lack of fund, inadequate governmental support and poor marketing strategy was now on the verge of recapturing its strategic position.
Mr. Ansah urged the government to invest and promote private government partnership for the development of the movie industry.
“The movie industry is key for the conscientisation of the Ghanaian for accelerated economic growth.
“I have always felt that Africans as a people have their own values. We’ve gone through a colonial experience and definitely the colonial master had a programme to brainwash his subject so that he can be subjugated.
“This system has eroded a lot of the confidence of the African. And this is where robust local movie industry comes in-to let us turn round to see what has gone wrong and use the goodness in what our ancestors left us.”
Mr. Ameyibor commended Mr. Ansah for his valuable contribution to the development of the movie industry not only in Ghana but Africa.
He urged the Ghana Film Club not only to concentrate on the development of a national film policy but also collaborate with other African countries and the African Union to develop a continental film policy.
Mr. Ameyibor, who is also a Chief Reporter at the Ghana News Agency, noted: “The African movie industry is now evolving. As of now we have country-based industries that are struggling to create an identity for themselves. We must develop a continental policy.”
He noted that while countries to the west and south of the continent, as well as Egypt, had the most developed film industries – most notably in animation – Kenya had also come out of the woodwork.
Mr. Ameyibor said the re-opening of cinema halls was giving new hope to the Ghana movie industry watchers who believe the biggest challenge would be attracting audiences to home-grown films.
Many cinema halls were closed down over the years for political, economic or security reasons.
He said patronage of a new theatre opened in Accra- the Silver Bird was quite encouraging, adding “in Nigeria they keep opening new theatres”.
Mr. Ameyibor called on Ghanaian film producers to use the services of film critics to enhance the quality of their work.
“A critic of film is not an attempt to down play the value of the film but a strategic contribution for the development of good films in the future.”