..Film Directors Alleges
By Patrick Biddah
Government attempt to clandestinely access a United Nation Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) funds at the expense of film directors, has bounced.
The $50 million funds which is sitting in the accounts of UNESCO, is money set aside by UNESCO annually and dedicated to the development of culture and heritage of a country, including its movie industry.
According to the President of the Film Directors Guild of Ghana, Richard Yaw Boateng , efforts by the Guild to access the funds, has not been successful.
He explained that, the Guild has not been successful, because officials of UNESCO, has asked that government officials should team up with the film directors in order to give backing for accessing the funds .
Speaking at the third edition of the Ghana Film Summit in Accra last Friday, Mr Boateng alleged that anytime the industry have alerted the government on the need to team up in order to access the funds as required, government people will not show interest, only to go behind the film directors in a bid to access the funds.
This government’s clandestine attempt at accessing the funds secretly, he noted bounces in view of the fact that, it is a requirement demanded by UNESCO for both film directors and government officials to go to the UNESCO office together to begin the processes to accessing the funds.
Mr Boateng, who was enumerating the challenges industry is facing and avenues that are available to reverse the trend,was not too happy about the behavior of government over the matter .
Mr Boateng, who made this allegation in the presence of the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, said the past Minister of Tourism, did not help with matters and therefore hope the current Minister will help provide leadership.
Not only did the Mr Boateng complain about issues with the government over bad fate in respect of the $50 million funds, but also over an investment deal which failed to go through because of government’s lack of interest .
Two years ago, he said he, together with his colleagues went to India to woo investors who were wiling to bring state of the arts gadgets into the country to improve the movie industry.
According to him, all that was needed to be done to move the gadgets into Ghana was done except that the Indians needed assurance from the Ghanaian authority for their investment to be protected, but unfortunately the Ghanaian government, did not show interest and that investment effort went waste.
In order to buttress his claims, he said Ghana’s High Commissioner to India, Mr Mike Oquaye, sent an electronic mail back home, asking the Ministry to take the matter up, but his mail was ignored forcing the investors to give up their commitment.
His narration , he noted is an indication of the fact that the movie industry is not dead, but struggling which requires only government to give it priority .
He expressed the poor conditions of movie directors on one hand and the actors on the other, saying many of the directors have not enjoyed from the fruit of their labor when elsewhere directors have become rich from just a movie they directed.
But responding the concerns of the movie directors and their actors, the Minister gave the assurance that government is in the process of constituting a national film authority.
This film authority, she promised will address all the concerns raised by the film directors.
Additionally, she said government has started refurbishing the various cultural centers with the one in the Eastern region almost done, after which the cultural center in the Ashanti region, will be the next one to be refurbished .