Yesterday at Marriott Hotel in Accra, the much anticipated meeting between the National Film Authority (N.F.A) and members of Corporate Ghana, ended on a positive note. There were assurances from some of the representatives from corporate institutions in Ghana on the possibility of partnerships and even sponsorship arrangements, between themselves and competent filmmakers and film production companies; once certain standards were met. Issues of verifiable data and relevant content to the target audience of the sponsor, were top of the requirement list. The Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante, reiterated the need for corporate institutions and potential investors to support the creative industry as it could contribute significantly to economic gains; especially in the post Covid- 19 period.
Contributing to the conversation on the need for Corporate support for Film in Ghana, representatives from Access Bank, AirtelTigo, MultiChoice Ghana Limited and MultiTV, stated that they had no doubts about the business potential and benefits of the film industry. However, the negotiation process and film production had to be done right.
The Acting Head of Corporate Communications and Brands at Access Bank Oluwaseun David – Akindele, stated that Access Bank has long been investing in the Creative Industry and it was therefore, part of their objective to do same in Ghana. “Access Bank created a series called ‘Walks of Life’ which is free to watch on YouTube… For us at Access Bank, we want to champion the Creative Arts in Ghana and Africa… These days, customers are moving away from ‘selling hard’ to them…”, he said.
Adding her voice in support of exploring film for more marketing opportunities was the Head of Brands and Communications AirtelTigo Ghana Nancy Assor Asiedu – Amrado. “We believe in the creative industry because we see the returns. So, if we should collaborate, I’m sure we could find other ways of doing product placement subtly so it becomes a win – win for us both. Also, get to know your brands and corporate bodies, their values and what they believe in before sending proposals because this would help the process”, she said.
Also present at the meeting was the Head of Corporate Affairs MultiChoice Ghana Limited Nii Amah Dagadu, who emphasized on the importance of available data as a motive for investment. “You cannot go into a meeting and not talk about numbers…You must be able to quantify what we are bringing to the table”, he said.
There were other concerns from other stakeholders on existing habits from both filmmakers and Corporate Ghana that have affected the progress of the Film industry. The General Manager for Adom Brands – MultiMedia Group Abdulai Awudu, said some filmmakers prevented other sponsors from supporting their projects unknowingly. “Why should I license your film when potential advertisers see it as branded with other competitors?”, he asked.
Celebrated Filmmaker Ivan Quarshiegah blamed some members of Corporate Ghana for not being encouraging enough. “The problem is that, some of our corporate brands like to see the success of these projects before they jump on board. But, a little bit of support from Corporate entities can go along way in the life of the Ghanaian film industry”, he said.
The meeting was part of ongoing efforts by the National Film Authority (N.F.A) to establish investor confidence in the Ghanaian film industry, by enlightening potential investors comprising mainly corporate institutions, about the status quo and benefits in the film business.
Finally, the National Film Authority Boss Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante, stated that films were better marketing avenues than the usual television commercials. “Nowadays, the options are so many. So, you can switch off your channel if an advert pops up and you don’t like it. But, with Film, there is no switching off and so, your audience is likely to consume your brand and the message you want to send; and that’s an important attribute of film. Also, Film is able to give you that kind of emotional connection to your audience”, she said.
By Jerry Wonder