Professor Linus Abraham, Rector of National Arts and Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) on Friday said the Institute would in 2013 start professional masters programmes in Digital Film Making and Broadcast Journalism.
He reiterated that the institute intends to introduce Department of Film Acting and Department of Music and Sound Recording by 2014 to pursue professional academic growth to enhance the creative arts industry.
Prof Abraham was speaking at the graduation ceremony for 38 Nigerian students from My Academy West Africa, Lagos, who completed a six-month programme in Digital Film Production in NAFTI in Accra.
He said the creative arts including film and television have been identified by the United Nations as the next horizon of economic growth for many nations.
“In a time when African countries are looking to diversify their economies from dependence on single commodities, there is the need to see and move the creative arts industry in Africa beyond its image as a petty industry into a global giant of quality and an engine of national economic growth,” he added.
He commended the Nigeria government for the course of action in helping to educate a class of film and television producers who through their appropriate professional development, would contribute to enhance the quality of film and television production not only in Nigeria but in Africa as a whole.
“The bilateral relations between the two countries have been strong since independence and will continue to be strong hence the presence of the Nigeria students in NAFTI,” he added.
He said the students have not only been exposed to professional skills in film and television production but have been put through courses of scholarship and appreciation meant to make them thinkers who can reflect critically on society and help them develop appropriate images for the development of the African identity.
He said NAFTI is transforming itself into a media arts university as part of government policy to professionally grow the media arts industry.
The Institute has introduced a Department of Multimedia Design and Production and a Department of Broadcast Journalism this year.
Mr Fritz Baffour, Minister of Information said government would collaborate with Nigeria government to support its citizens pursue degree programmes at NAFTI to enhance bilateral co-operation in the educational sector.
He advice the graduating students to adhere to the high professional principles of film and television practice in order to be successful in the industry.
Mr Baffour urged them to make productions that would promote the cultural heritage, bilateral co-operation, international reputation and national development.
He asked them to eschew bringing to the screens films that would not promote social integration and national peace.
Mr Emeka Ike, Chief Executive Officer of My Academy West Africa said the school was motivated to come to Ghana for the training as some of the film makers in Nigeria are not professionals.
He said the ceremony signified the beginning of good film production.
Mr Ike said the Nigeria film industry known as “Nollyhood” is dead because of bad structures, adding that the graduating students would be the stepping stones to transform the dwindling fortunes of the film industry.
He urged film makers to be professional and portray a story of African culture and heritage and advocate the need to package their movies in local languages for international recognition.