The maiden edition of the National Film Authority’s ‘Pitch Series’ which came off on Wednesday 22nd July 2020, concluded without any announced commitment from the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre (G.I.P.C) to inject financial investment into the project. As a major partner of the initiative, with the authority to reject or accept any of the submissions made, together with partner and media giant ‘Multichoice’, the Chief Executive Officer of G.I.P.C Yoofi Grant, did not mention any financial support package which would be or has been made available to successful applicants of the project. However, he stated that the Government had engaged some potential investors in fruitful discussions relating to film development in Ghana.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (G.I.P.C) Yoofi Grant, stated that there was a lot of work to be done before foreign investment could be injected into the film industry in Ghana. He made it clear that the absence of quantifiable data from the sales of film and precise market share was an obstacle to potential investors. “Before any investor puts his money down, he wants to ensure that there are returns, sustainability and growth. Even though, we acknowledge that there is more than enough in Ghana to warrant a film industry, but the question remains where is the market, and can we quantify the market? That’s what we haven’t been able to do very well”, he said.
However, he added that the Government was still on the trail of finding investors for the development of the film industry in Ghana. “I actually travelled to California to look for investors; it’s a company called ‘Stone Creek PLC’. It’s a private equity group. They were instrumental in setting up Disneyland and other Hollywood enterprises. I convinced them that Ghana was a great place to put your money if you wanted to develop a film”, he said.
The Managing Director of Multichoice Ghana Cecil Sunkwa – Mills said that the solution wasn’t totally in looking for external investors. “We actually have investors in country and ‘Multichoice’ is one of these investors. But, we have had issues on the ground such as rights protection and piracy. We spend loads of money trying to protect the content we buy; both local and international material”, he said. He therefore, called on the Government to put proper policies and checks in place to help investors and content creators protect their works in order to encourage further investment from both internal and external investors.
The Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority (N.F.A) Juliet Asante, said that the ‘Pitch Series’ was a necessary initiative for film talents to teach them how to properly sell their ideas to prospective buyers or production companies. She added that the project would be open every year to allow interested persons the opportunity to learn as well as meet relevant companies or buyers.
According to the host of the virtual seminar Rudy Kwakye, the National Film Authority received over 100 submissions with projects ranging over $5,000,000 being sought.
The nearly 3 hours discussion served as an interactive platform between government officials, representatives from relevant bodies and the public. The webinar had over 1000 viewers streaming from across the country via social media platforms.
By Jerry Wonder