Ghanaian Filmmakers sold their future to free to air TV stations- Socrate Sarfo

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Ghanaian filmmakers are unable to produce films, according to Socrate Sarfo, Chairman of the Classification Department of the National Films Authority (NFA), since they surrendered their market to free-to-air TV stations.

The NFA Chairman said in an interview with YouTuber Gordon Asare-Bediako on MyABC TV that before they opted to release their works to free-to-air TV stations, filmmakers were initially reaping enormous earnings from their productions.

It reached a stage where producers were able to make GHc 2.5 million from the sales of their films in Accra alone, not to mention Kumasi, he said.

However, when they offered their films at a discount to TV stations, their maker value started to decline.

“Previously we use 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.

“People were watching our movies on TV stations so most of them came to us and purchased our old movies. Initially they use to buy from us at high prices (GHc5000) but later they were buying it as low as GHc200.

“Now you will see a filmmaker selling his numerous films to TV stations but his senses didn’t tell him he was selling his future. Nothing more or less, it is the main factor that wrecked our market “Sarfo Socrate lamented.

Further indicating that, “No one will sell movies anymore if you visit Opera Square in Accra and other locations.

All movie theaters collapsed when we began distributing our films to TV stations.”

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com/Gideon Amoako

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