Filmmaker Ivan Quarshigah has stated that a major part of the challenges that film producers face in Ghana is investment. He sited the absence of a mutual relationship between television stations in Ghana and film producers, whereby television stations commission film producers to create exclusive content for them, as a major set back to the film industry. He called on Government to look into the matter at the inauguration of the Local Content Committee for Film and Television last week Wednesday in Accra.
Ivan Quarshigah stated that though the practice of television stations funding film producers to create content for them might be alien to the Ghanaian setting, it is a well accepted practice abroad. “I don’t believe that we have to wait till the production’s are of a ‘certain standard’ before television stations start giving them business. For instance, outside Ghana, TV stations actually source for sponsorship from advertisers in order to commission producers to create content for them; but our TV stations are not doing that. Most of them wait for the producers to create content and also pay them to show the content”, he said.
He further described the current relationship between most television stations which demand that film productions be of a standard (subject to their preference) and film producers in Ghana as unfair. “I think, if TV stations are saying we should wait till our productions are of a ‘certain standard’ before the TV stations can find sponsors for them, then no one should be able to run a television station until you are capable of commissioning producers to create content for you”, he said.
The popular filmmaker of the award winning Ghanaian TV series ‘Yolo’, added that investments was a crucial factor in the both the film and Television business, therefore, the need to establish a mutual agreement between the two. “We need to understand that everything has to do with investment. The facilities put in place by the Television stations cost money; just as good quality film productions also cost money. So, we have to find a middle ground to help each other because, I believe that if we put the structures in place, in less than 10 or 5 years, we will not be still talking about challenges that the upcoming filmmakers would be facing; including challenges of good quality productions”, he explained.
By Jerry Wonder