The Development and Classification of Film Bill has been signed by H.E. John Dramani Mahama after it was passed by Parliament after going through all the various consideration stages on October, 21.

The Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Creative Arts, Hon. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare commended the president for signing the film bill into law.

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The passage of the Development and Classification of Film Bill has come as a great relief for most industry players in the creative arts business since the movie trade has no protection.

The Bill, among others, defined a Ghanaian Film as a film which is registered with the National Film Authority, classified as Ghanaian, and which satisfies any three of the following criteria:

  1. The language used in the film is English or Ghanaian language

  2. The Film has a Ghanaian producer

  3. The Film has a Ghanaian Production Team

  4. The Film has a Ghanaian Film Director

  5. The Film has a predominantly Ghanaian cast

  6. The subject matter is Ghanaian and

  7. The Film has a Ghanaian identity as defined by sight and sound.

Entertainment persons including Kojo Preko Dankwa, host of Kasapa Entertainment on Kasapa 102.5FM and his panel members have campaigned and called on the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts to expedite actions for Ghana’s Lawmakers to pass the Film Bill.

According to him, the industry in which Film Makers ply their trade lacks structures like copyright law, Classification of film, Exportation and importation of educational films, Film Development Fund and many other issues of concern.

Kojo Preko Dankwa noted that the Bill is vital because many Movie Producers and Directors are no more active in the business whilst others have incurred huge debts.

Meanwhile Film Federation of Ghana (FFG) made up of the Film Producers Association of Ghana, Film Directors Guild of Ghana, Ghana’s Actors Guild, Ghana Film Crew Association, Ghana Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Film Distributors and Marketers Association of Ghana have also urged the Ministry to help accelerate the process of passing the Development and Classification of Film Bill so they can bounce back to business.

The Development and Classification of Film Bill is an ACT to provide the legal framework for the production, regulation, nurturing and development of the Ghanaian film industry, and for the distribution, exhibition and marketing of films and for related matters.

Film making in Ghana has been rather erratic. It showed some promise in the early post-independence period with the establishment of the Ghana Film Industry Corporation which was meant to spearhead what was envisioned to be a vibrant Film Industry in the country.

The Ghana Film Industry Corporation was established to be a centre for research for filmmakers to obtain the right and quality information and also to archive all films and preserve them for posterity reasons.

The Film Industry was established to contribute thirty percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

The State, through the Ghana Film Industry Corporation, funded the production of a number of films. Later some private film producers, both Ghanaians and foreigners, also came along and over time, Ghana became a preferred location for co-productions between Ghanaian and foreign film producers.

Deteriorating economic and political conditions in Ghana in the 1970s, however led to a downward trend in the development of film making in Ghana.

With the sale of the Ghana Film Industry Corporation to the Malaysian investors in 1996 in line with the government policy of privatization of State Corporations and companies and the conversion of the many cinema exhibition halls dotted over the country into churches or for other uses, the film industry in Ghana suffered a serious setback.

Source: Kasapafmonline