Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has pointed out that some teething problems in the Ghanaian Film Industry ought to be addressed to attract investments into the sector.
According to Mr Grant, his outfit has intensified efforts of drawing the needed investments into the dying industry to which some investors have expressed interest and are willing to invest in the industry, but until concerted efforts are made by industry players and government to fix some structural challenges, investments into the industry will never be realized.
“A group from Los Angeles has expressed interest in setting up a state of the art film studio and a theatre in art school here in Ghana, having identified a potential market in the subregion and continent that warrants such investments. But to make these investments succeed, there are some teething problems that have to be addressed.”
“Becuase there are three things investors want to be sure about before putting their money forward and that is returns on investment, sustainability and growth. And I daresay it’s time we moved from potential to actualization,” Mr Grant emphasized in a webinar by the National Film Authority (NFA) under the theme Prospects of the Pitch Series for the Ghana Film Industry.
The structural challenges Mr Grant notes, include addressing of copyright and piracy infringements, infrastructure development, fixing of distribution and marketing channels and data collection.
“With these challenges solved, it becomes easier to woo investors, once you put out your project and can properly define it, you can then make it sell to potential investors,” he stressed.
Mr Grants observations and subsequent assertion was corroborated and supported by Cecil Sunkwah-Mills, Managing Director of MultiChoice Ghana who was one of the four speakers in the webinar.
She, on her part bemoaned the difficulties faced by investors on copyright infringements and piracy.
“We often spend loads of money fighting to protect the copyright of content we buy both locally and internationally. Even if arrests are made, the legal process is really slow and frustrating. If we really want to attract investors, we’ll have to get the courts grinding on issues of rights protection,” she noted.
Across the globe, the film industry has proven to be a major contributor to economic development of many countries. The American film and television industry for instance paid out $49 billion to local businesses across the country and supported 2.1 million jobs in 2016 according to data from Motion Picture Association of America.
In Africa, Nigeria’s Film industry, Nollywood, is recognised as one of the largest film producers in the world. The Industry has been identified as one of the priority sectors in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for the West African Federal State with a planned US$1 billion revenue in 2020 according to a PWC report on “Perspectives from the Global Media and Entertainment Outlook 2017-2021.
Although the Ghanaian and Nigerian movie industries share some similarities in terms of potential and even challenges, it is evident that Nollywood has outpaced the Ghanaian film industry due to a number of factors including, the larger size of the Nigerian market and the growing financial sector support for the industry’s activity.
The NFA Pitch Series is an all film-related pitching event intended to bring filmmakers and the Ghanaian film ecosystem to the attention of investors, broadcasters, distributors, sponsors and platforms around the world for potential collaboration, sponsorship, sales and advertising opportunities.
It is a combined effort by the National Film Authority, the Ministry of Arts and Culture, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and MultiChoice Ghana to attract investments necessary to chart a brighter course for the Ghanaian film industry.