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Joy Entertainment Unpacked: Four times Ghana’s film industry has been promised studios

There have been attempts in recent times by the government to revive the ailing film industry in Ghana.

One of these is to provide state-of-the-art studios for film making in the country through Public-Private Partnership and government-led initiatives.

‘Joy Entertainment’ has unpacked four instances where stakeholders of the film industry have been promised the establishment of word-class studios, either directly by the government or other institutions and individuals.

On February 25, 2021 when he met the Appointment Committee of Parliament for his vetting, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Awal Mohammed said the government had allocated $20 million for the construction of film and music studios.

“We want to build a film and music studio. It’s one element that can increase the tourism potential of this country. We don’t have any serious studio in this country, so this is one of the first things that we will do. The film studio will help in music and film production and make Ghana the hub of film production in West Africa,” he said.

The National Film Authority has also announced that it signed a landmark partnership agreement with Pixel Ray Studios LLC which will lead to the construction of a full-service, world-class film studio in West Africa.

Pixel Ray Studios, a global television and film studio development, and production company, has solidified a partnership with the National Film Authority of Ghana to construct 10 sound stages on over 200 acres of property in Ghana.

In June, 2022, The Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey, announced that his Ministry was in talks with American film company, Tyler Perry Studios to provide a studio facility in Ghana.

Okraku-Mantey’s statement came after Yoofi Grant, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), led a delegation from Ghana to visit Tyler Perry’s Studios.

“We are pitching to the Tyler Perry team to consider Ghana if they have to build a studio outside the USA, that is the conversation now. The business development manager met the team and because of this conversation, he is coming to Ghana next month,” the Deputy Minister said in a radio interview.

On Friday, February 3, 2023, English actor Idris Elba met with the President, Nana Akufo-Addo and announced his plans to build a film studio in Ghana and parts of West Africa.

“We have been working at this for three or four years to raise a plan that puts a facility at the centre of African film making,” he said.

According to the ‘Beast of No Nation’ actor, “there is a lot of film making, but the facility is what is lacking.”

“In South Africa they have a big facility and a lot of film making goes there. We realised that policy is where the actual groundwork needs to be laid. We’ve studied the models of South Africa, incredible incentive packages. Greece, Morocco and these are all places where they realise the value of the filmmaking and they’ve brought that policy into play,” he further noted.

Highlighting preparations towards the project, Idris Ebla indicated that the National Film Authority has put together a very comprehensive plan to facilitate the process.

“It needs to be robust and competitive to the rest of the world. We believe for sure that Ghana should step up in terms of attracting those filmmakers. I’ve come and seen you and presented to you essentially, just the parameters of what we need to do,” he said.

In the meantime, people in the creative arts sector are anticipating that these plans come to fruition sooner or later.

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