Socrate Sarfo, the chairman of the Classification Department of the National Films Authority (NFA), has refuted assertions that Ghana’s film industry is in decline.
He claims that the local film market is thriving and that Ghanaians continue to watch their homegrown films.
The NFA Chairman said during an appearance on Gordon Asare-“Bekyeremu” Bediako’s Show on My ABC TV that it is incorrect to believe that the local film industry has collapsed.
The sector is operating normally, but its market value has declined.
He claims that the creators have themselves damaged the market for movies. “Ghana movie industry isn’t dead, people are watching our movies but the market has been destroyed. We (filmmaker) have destroyed the structure and dynamics to sell our movies.”
He explained that, previously movies producers were making huge sales from their films untill the market got spoiled when they started giving their movies to TV stations.
“We used to sell 100,000 copies of our movies in Accra Opera Square alone. If you release one film, you can sell about 100,000 copies in Accra. Every week, at least we released about 5 films and were able to sell 100,000 within one month. Producers were able to get GHc 2.5 million out of these sales in Accra alone not to talk about Kumasi.” Socrate Sarfo disclosed.
He went on to say that while consumers did not cease purchasing their films, they did opt to do so once they began donating them to television stations for free broadcasts.
“Our customers haven’t said they won’t buy our goods, but we the filmmakers made a mistake out of avarice by giving our movies to TV stations to air rather than paying them to advertise for us.
To promote our new movies, we used to lend them our older movies to show.
We gave them (TV stations) part 1 of our movies. It worked for us alright but later they demanded for part 2 which we did. So, they started piling up our movies to show on their network. Gradually, people who use to buy our movies got interested in watching our films on TV stations than buying our movies.
According to him, the decision by filmmakers to sell their films to free-to-air TV stations to show is the main factor contributing to the decline in their market value.
Because no consumer is ready to buy a movie knowing full well that they would obtain it on a free to air TV channel, the market has been negatively affected by the telecast of local movies on TV, and they (the creators) are to blame.
Source: Ghanatodayonline.com/Gideon Amoako