The coalition of stakeholders in the Ghana film industry (GAG, GAFTA, Film Crew, FICAG, FIPAG, NAFTI, Women in Film, Film Distributors and Marketers and ARSOG) are demanding for the full operationalization of the Development and Classification of Film Act (Act 935) that was passed by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana after decades of advocacy to repeal and replace the Cinematography Act, 1961 (Act 76).
After a successful dialogue session held at the Ghana Science and Technology Research Institute on Thursday, May 31, 2018, the coalition of stakeholders led by the President of the Ghana Actors Guild (GAG), Sam Fiscian, said the Development and Classification of Film Act when operationalized, will provide a more relevant regulatory mechanism for nurturing and regulating the film industry to contribute more significantly to the national socio-economic growth and development process.
He also stated that the economic power and social transformational impact of the film industry in nation building cannot be over emphasized.
“We’re all very much aware of the efforts that stakeholders in the Ghana film industry such as Ghana Actors’ Guild, Film Producers’ Association of Ghana, Ghana Academy of Film and Television Arts, Women in Film and Television, Collective Management Organization of Audio Visual Rights Owners, Film Crew Association of Ghana and other notable personalities played at various levels to demand for the passage of the Development and Classification of Film Law for our beloved country.
“Much as we are aware of the concerns that some stakeholders in the film and entertainment industry have with the Development and Classification of Film Act, in its current form, our greatest concern as a Guild is the apparent lack of urgency by duty bearers to facilitate the operationalization of the law in its current form, whiles we consider issues of possible amendments as and when it becomes necessary to proceed along that paths.” Sam Fiscian said.
A dialogue committee has been set up by the coalition of stakeholders in the Ghana film industry to consider omissions and additions to make the Legislative Instrument (LI) to be fully functional when it is laid before parliament for final approval.
“We are calling on the President, His Excellency Nana Addo-DankwaAkudffoAddo, the Minister for Tourism and Creative Arts, the Minister of Information, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Communication to act in concert not only to inaugurate the Governing Body of the National Film Authority as stipulated in section 4 of the Development and Classification of Film Act, 2016, but also to put in place all the required Legislative Instruments which will facilitate the full operationalization of key sections of the Development and Classification of Film Act, 2016.” Coalition of Stakeholders in Film Industry.
The committee is made up of a member each from Ghana Actors’ Guild (GAG), Distributors & Marketers Association of Ghana, Women in Film and Television (WIFT), Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG), Film & Television Crew Association of Ghana (FICAG), Film Directors Guild of Ghana (FDGG), Ghana Academy of Film and Television Arts (GAFTA) and National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) and representative from the Ministry of Toursim, Arts and Culture.
It has been almost two year since the Development and Classification of Bill became law in Ghana.
When finally approved, the Development and Classification of Film Act (Act 935), will establish by this Act a body corporate with perpetual succession to be known as the National Film Authority to pursue the following objectives:
- evolve a dynamic, economically self-sustaining and culturally conscious film industry in the country in the national interest;
- promote the creation of a conducive environment for the local production, distribution, exhibition and marketing of films;
- encourage the use of films to project the identity and image of the Republic and its people within and outside the country;
- promote and facilitate co-production between local and foreign producers;and
- regulate foreign participation in the Ghanaian film industry to ensure its benefit to Ghanaian film practitioner.
The group believe the inauguration of the Governing Board of the National Film Authority will constitute a first major positive step in the operationalization of the Development and Classification of Film law. The Ghana film industry has endure inaction from our duty bearers for too long and we are demanding action now as a matter of right because this is what the law, as enacted, says and any further delay could be interpreted as an infraction on the rights of players in the Ghana film industry as enshrined in the Development and Classification of Film Act, 2016.
The stakeholders forum was organized by Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund and its partners, the DANIDA, USAID and the European Union.