After sweeping a string of awards for his 2018 feature film ‘Azali’, filmmaker Kwabena Gyansah has stated that obtaining funding for film production in Ghana remains a Herculean task. He said the lack of proper financial mechanisms and mutual agreement terms have contributed to the problem. He stated this on Saturday during a live telecast of the second episode of the online series ‘Saving the Arts’ in Accra.
Movie Director Kwabena Gyansah shocked many after his film ‘Azali’ swept numerous awards in 2018 from international film festivals to home based awards. He has since become a force to reckon with in the film industry in Ghana. But, the award winning filmmaker is yet to see easy and accessible funding for filmmakers in Ghana; even for movie directors of his caliber. He expressed his dissatisfaction on the ‘Saving the Arts’ show on Saturday. “I think it’s extremely hard getting funding for movies in Ghana because I can’t name a particular institution, which with a laid down criteria such as the experience of the filmmaker, the story or cast, and so on, would be willing to fund a film project once the criteria are met. There is no avenue like that in this country and this makes it very difficult for filmmakers. This also means that you may have a good story, a skilled production team, but still won’t be able to get funding and that’s really terrible”, he said.
Kwabena Gyansah dismissed the perception that filmmakers were of the informal sector and therefore could not meet the requirements of financial institutions such as banks for support. “I don’t agree that filmmakers do not have documents to qualify them for funding from institutions in Ghana because they are educated and intelligent enough. Currently, I am working on a proposal for a film, but the question is, what kind of terms are they giving filmmakers?”, he said.
With the establishment of a fund for the Arts by the Government of Ghana which is currently available at the Ghana Exim Bank, filmmakers still cry of lack of funds. This raises the question of what exactly is the criteria for the acquisition of these funds and should filmmakers in Ghana continue to rely on private wealthy individuals for financial support?
By Jerry Wonder