Film village not a priority – Peter Sedufia on Mahama promise

Film-maker Peter Sedufia has shared his thoughts on the creative industry policy ideas announced by the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama.

According to the ‘Aloe Vera’ film producer, some of the promises made by the former President are not what the industry needs.

Speaking to Kwame Dadzie on Joy FM’s Showbiz A-Z, Peter said after assessing the promises, it appears John Mahama just put together a list of things people in the industry are itching to hear and not necessarily what is expedient and practicable.

For example, he said that building a film village is not a priority for the industry.

“If there is a film village and no matter how it is you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. And if it is there and you can afford it but you cannot make a film that will make up the money, it’s just going to be a waste of a village or of a land,” he noted.

He explained that so many things must be put in place before a conversation on building a film village is broached.

“It’s like a demand and supply thing. If you know that there is high production of film, then you look at how we can profit from it, then we look at building a film village for people to rent it so we make some money from it. It’s just like building a film studio,” he said.

“It’s a good idea in principle, but the practicality of it [is the problem]. It’s not my money but of course, indirectly I am paying taxes. I would have said they should build it anywhere because my money is not going into it.

The things we need right now are not even a film village. It’s the exhibition centre because people are already making films,” he added.

At a policy dialogue with the creative arts industry stakeholders held at the AH Hotel in Accra on Friday, June 7, 2024, John Dramani Mahama among other promises said he would establish a film village if he wins the 2024 election.

“When we were in office we procured land for a film village. And the intention was to set up a village with sets where producers could go and produce their films. The village was supposed to have cameras, sound equipment, light, everything so that it will be a one-stop shop for film production.

We are going for pursue that dream and establish that film village, and you will be able to get equipment at low cost so that you don’t have to go hire them at high costs from private people. You have the equipment to shoot your film and everything. If you don’t have money to pay, you can pay later, and then when you exhibit your film and you make money, you can come and pay the film village a little to that we can continue to make it available,” he said.

John Mahama, has also promised to:

(1). To make budgetary allocation for the creative arts

(2) Declare the Golden Age of Culture, Arts and Tourism, an overarching policy for the sector: where there will be actions and modules to promote job creation and entrepreneurship. Under this will be the BlackStar Experience, which will be one of the sub-themes to imbue Africanism in Ghanaians and encourage people to come from all over the world to see our arts, tourism and culture.

(3). Renovate Centres of Arts and Culture in the various regions.

(4). To streamline copyright modalities and IP Laws

(5). There will be film festivals where Ghanaian films will be exhibited.

(6) They will also organise arts exhibitions, music shows, fashion programmes

(7) There will be special focus on drama and theatre arts: playwrights will be supported to exhibit their plays

(8) Creatives to attend international trade fairs to exhibit Ghanaian culture and arts.

(9) To pursue the dream of establishing a film village, get equipment at low cost for film makers.

(10) To rehabilitate the National Theatre in Accra and build a second National Theatre in Kumasi.

(11) To acquire a special event channel for the creative arts programmes on digital terrestrial television (DTT), provide a technology that will make that show payable, so people will pay to watch.

(12) To give special rates for performances at Blackstar Square, Accra International Conference Centre and other venues owned by the government.

(13) Encourage the teaching of music and arts in the curriculum: provide trained teachers for such subjects.

(14) Introduce tax breaks for creative artists who have Tax Identification Numbers (TIN).

(15) Formalise a fund for aging artistes.

(16) Revive the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC)

(17) In partnership with the private sector, develop all the tourist sites

(18) Revive the Marine Drive Project

(19) Provide Amusement Parks

(20) Review the tourism fund, make sure it benefits the various stakeholders in the tourism value chain

(21) Build a new city on the banks of the Volta Region with facilities that will generate arts activities and boost tourism.

(22) Hold annual stakeholder dialogue with people in the Creative Arts.

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