Local film producers protest influx of foreign telenovelas in Ghana

Ghanaian film producers and movie actors on Thursday hit the streets of Kumasi to demand early passage of the Broadcasting Bill as well as the provision of a legislative instrument for the Film Act to protect the local movie industry. At a demonstration dubbed: “Y’ammamere eyera, Yegye Y’adee” which in Akan means ‘We are Losing Our Culture; We Are Taking Back What is Ours,” the industry players agitated over the influx of telenovelas on Ghanaian screens. Clad in all red, they complained dubbing foreign programmes into Twi and other local languages is an affront to the Ghanaian movies and poses serious socio-cultural and economic recoil on the nation. “Some of our producers have produced good content but we don’t get the airspace to promote the content,” said Rosaline Osei, public relations officer of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG). She noted the effective implementation of the 70/30 policy in favour of local content, the provision of an L.I for the Film Act and the implementation of the Film Act would go a long way to protect the local movie industry. Competing to Survive. [caption id="attachment_61484" align="aligncenter" width="564"] Actor Kwadwo Nkansah [Right][/caption]The local movie industry has over 500 film producers and each film produced requires at least 60 casts and crew. This implies the industry gives employment to at least 30,000 people, in addition to other ancillary jobs like food, stationary and other productions inputs. According to Veteran Actor, John Abeiku Sagoe, who is Board Member of the Audiovisual Rights Society of Ghana (ARSOG), though the local players do not fear competition, they expect the State to protect local interest. “These days the local films that are coming out are improving in standard; but the intrusion of foreign materials into our system is what we are against… It is not that we fear competition but the nation has the responsibility to protect its culture, its customs,” he stated. [caption id="attachment_61485" align="aligncenter" width="564"] Akrobeto [M] and colleague actors[/caption]He also prevailed on television owners and station managers to balance the commercial content with the national interest. The group will be intensifying its engagement with parliament and other interest groups under a support programme from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund.

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Petition to Asantehene In a petition to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, FIPAG stated that “the current influx of diverse telenovela programs on our national screens affect the progress of the local movie industry of our beloved nation, Ghana, as well as, have bad repercussions on the Akan culture”. The petition also said public sexual acts and plays in foreign telenovelas, like kissing and fondling with the opposite sex, should not be entertained, especially when such programs are shown at a time when kids and children are home. “We vehemently believe that if nothing is done to mitigate the rise of these foreign folktales, drama and love series which use our native languages to sell their contents to viewers, then few years to come, no cultural setting and kingdom in Ghana can boast of its unique culture imbibed in the richness of our local languages” read the petition. Another demonstration has been planned for the Greater Accra region to target Parliament and other policymakers. By Kofi Adu Domfeh|3news.com|Ghana]]>