By Ama Bampoe
Ambrose B. Cooke, a Ouagadougou based Ghanaian film director, has kicked against suggestions for government to pre-finance film production. He was reacting to calls by some Ghanaians in the film industry for government funding of film production in the country. “Ghana government shouldn’t make it a priority to give money to the film industry,” He said.
Some Ghanaians have blamed the fallen standards of the film industry on the government’s inability to fund movie production. In an interview at the ongoing 50th Pan African film and Television Festival (FESPACO), in Ouagadougou, Mr. Cooke said government sponsorship would encourage poor production quality and lead to the collapse of the film industry.
“It will kill the industry, I’m telling you because I have seen it here. They will compromise. They will only wait for the money. It’s like what contractors do with our roads; they think about the money coming in more than the project itself,” He said.
Mr. Cooke believes that government should rather create a conducive environment for the industry to thrive. “They should help, take out tax from cameras and other equipment, and buy plane tickets for participation in film festivals. Don’t give the money to them but help them in other ways,” He said.
He sympathized with Peter Sedufia, the director of “Keteke”, which was nominated for the overall best African film award. “I hope Keteke wins. I know Peter put a lot of work in. Adjetey should be here, Forson should be here,” Mr. Cooke said.
Mr. Cooke has picked up two nominations out of the five nominations for Ghana; “le banc sur le ravage du lac” nominated for the short film awards category and another film for the Tv series category. He urged film directors in Ghana to focus on producing films that would pass for international awards.
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