Federation Of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP), an arts-based pressure group of experts that advocates for the better positioning of Ghanaian arts has criticised Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) and multiple award winning actress Yvonne Nelson for being cynical and irresponsible.

The pressure group in a long press statement to FIPAG and Yvonne Nelson over their way of dealing with the influx of telenovelas and other pressing issues the movie industry is challenged with said their procedure was not the best approach.

According to the group, organising demonstrations and seeking for support from stakeholders in the industry to petition the appropriate quarters for a redress of the industry’s challenges is just not part of the solution to the unceasing problems.

FOCAP advised FIPAG and Yvonne Nelson to mount pressure on the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to set up the National Film Authority Board and also for the President to expedite action on the appointment of the Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority.

READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE BELOW.

The recent challenges facing the movie industry regarding the influx of foreign telenovelas on our television stations and seeking support from stakeholders to petition Government, FOCAP wish to state unequivocally that the federation does not endorse it.

We humbly request by this release that the various associations within the movie industry should attach seriousness to the Law, Administration and how their own laws are not followed. It is very appalling that a serious association like FIPAG will want to rather go on a demonstration slated for September 14, 2017 to draw home the demand for television stations to stop showing telenovelas with twi voice overs. ls the leadership of FIPAG telling Ghanaians they are just concerned with only the telenovelas with twi voice overs and not the influx of foreign culture (telenovelas) on our television stations?

We firmly believe that the leadership of FIPAG should rather educate their members on their rights and the laws protecting their business to rather channel their redress to specific quarters.

1- FIPAG should know there is a Development and Classification of Film Act, 2016 (Act 935) which provides the legal framework for the production, regulation, nurturing and development of the Ghanaian film industry for the Distribution, Exhibition and Marketing of films.

2- The Act (935) is suppose to establish a National Film Authority to oversee the above mentioned.

3- Section 25 ( 1) & (2) of the Act (935) talks about ” Exportation and Importation of Educational films.

25 (1) The Authority may permit a person to import a foreign or export a film produced in Ghana on written application to the Authority.

25 (2) Despite subsection (1), an individual may also export a locally produced film or import a foreign film into the country whenever an application is APPROVED by the board.

25 (3) in furtherance of subsection (1 ) or (2) , the Authority may certify the film if satisfied with the status of the film and request an applicant to pay the prescribed fee.

Also Section 29, 30, 31 and 32 talks about a Film Fund to be set up to provide funding for producers. It talk about the “Objectives of the fund”, “Eligibility criteria”, and “Financial commitment” of the Authority respectively .

FIPAG should rather push pressure on government to set up the National Film Authority Board and also for The President to expedite action on the appointment of the Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority as per Section 35 of the Act 935.

Though the whole Act (935) needs a whole debate and review, we urge the industry associations to move beyond just a talking spree and work within the framework of the Acts.

Another area FOCAP wants to draw FIPAG attention to is the Culture Policy of Ghana, 2004. The NPP in their quest to come power stated emphatically in their manifesto (creative Arts and tourisim ) that they will review the Policy. In the policy, a section (under media) speaks to the issue of 70%- Local Content and 30% Foreign Content. FIPAG should focus on this!

FOCAP again see it as unnecessary to disturb Otumfour Osei TUTU II with a petition when the right channels are being ignored and overlooked!

We are urging and demanding the Minister (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture) to push for the setting up of the board and the appointment of the Executive Secretary with immediate effect to help curb the mass importation of foreign material as it has a high potential of derailing our rich Ghanaian culture.

Finally, we believe that fighting for all, a FILM VILLAGE, would go a long way to help our ailing film industry.

Signed
Kojo Preko Dankwa (Convener)
Mel Kwesi Davis (Convener)
Edward Acquah (Media Laison)

Cc: Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
FIPAG