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National Film Authority of Ghana sets date, theme and Executive team Africa Cinema Summit 2024 Edition

By Bismark Odum Sackey and Mustapha Yahaya

June 6th, 2024 (Accra, GHANA)   Under the patronage of H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC), the National Film Authority of Ghana, in partnership with Silverbird Cinemas, today announces the second edition of the Africa Cinema Summit. The event, themed “The Relevance of Cinema in African Communities,” will take place from October 7-10, 2024, at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra.

Last year, the inaugural Africa Cinema Summit convened representatives from 20 African countries. This landmark event facilitated critical discussions on the cinema landscape in Africa, focusing on exploring and tailoring opportunities to suit the unique characteristics of each geographic location across the continent.

The 2023 edition yielded significant accomplishments, notably highlighted by the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo’s assurance to approve the Film Tax Incentive for the Ghanaian film industry. Furthermore, collaborative ventures were successfully established among African countries, with the Filmhouse Group committing to distribute Ghanaian films across Nigeria and other partner nations. In the same vein, Silverbird Ghana pledged to incorporate local snacks into their cinema foods and Ster-Kinekor, the leading cinema chain in Southern Africa committed to exploring e-sports in their cinemas.

This year’s edition aims to further consolidate the progress made in the African cinema industry, fostering collaboration, innovation, and sustainable growth. The 2024 summit will focus on the ‘Growth in quality of local content production and consumption driving the case for increased cinema investment’ the summit will further delve into ‘Reimagining and rethinking cinema for Africa’s mass market segment’. The Africa Cinema Summit 2024 will bring together Cinema exhibitors, builders and investors, industry leaders, filmmakers, producers, distributors, studios, policymakers and stakeholders from across the continent and the globe.

In addition to the theme and date announcement, the NFA also named their executive steering committee consisting of executives from the global cinema, content and creative communities who will spearhead the summit alongside Ms Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, CEO of the National Film Authority of Ghana, and her team.

Moses Babatope, Co-founder and former Group Managing Director, Filmhouse Group


Rob Arthur, Founder and partner, Entertainment Solutions


Tim Yaw Struthers, Senior Advisor, Global Engagement, National Film Authority of Ghana


Ojoma Ochai, Managing Director, Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) Africa


Funmi Onuma, Country Manager, Silverbird Cinemas

 

In line with H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo‘s assertion that “both the cinema world and Africa need each other,” Africa represents an underserved market. Currently, with less than 2000 cinema screens catering to over 1.4 billion people, and with less than 20% of the population having experienced a cinema visit, there exists significant potential for growth. Moreover, considering the rapid population growth across Africa, the demand for cinematic experiences is poised to increase substantially.

Hon. Andrew Egyapa Mercer, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana commented, “Funding the film industry is a wise investment. Opportunities for investment in the sector are wide and we call on all those interested in investments in Africa and especially Ghana, to consider investing in the infrastructure that supports the ecosystem, especially in studios and cinemas. This can only yield great returns on investments considering that the future of cinema is this continent. Ghana as well is committed to working on the policy changes needed to help propel a thriving film ecosystem”

Ms. Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, CEO of the National Film Authority of Ghana and convener of the summit, commented, “Africa’s cinematic prowess is undeniable, yet remains largely untapped.

Through the biggest cinema event in Africa, the Africa Cinema Summit, we envision a transformative journey that can create over twenty million jobs and contribute an impressive $20 billion to the continent’s combined GDP, as projected by the 2021 UNESCO Report. I am also delighted to welcome back key executives from the global cinema, content, and creative communities to collaborate with me on this new edition and beyond. This year’s focus on the growth in quality local content and reimagining ways of introducing the cinema culture to Africa’s largely youth population who have never been to a cinema, is exciting in that we are diving into the deep end of some really core issues. Over 80% of Africans on the continent have never been to a cinema, as the lack of cinema infrastructure has meant the eroding of the cinema culture in African communities. This is a big opportunity, and we have the mindset that it is possible to drive Africa’s 1 billion youth population to think about Cinema as a viable entertainment option. The entire cinema world must join us on this journey that holds the future sustainability of not only African cinema, but world cinema”.

The Africa Cinema Summit will take place from October 7-10, 2024, at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

About National Film Authority of Ghana
The National Film Authority is a government agency mandated to enforce 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 related matters. It was set up by the Government of Ghana under the Development and Classification of Film Act, 2016 (Act 935) to regulate and streamline the ecosystem of film in Ghana.

About Silverbird Cinemas
Silverbird Cinemas is a trailblazer in the entertainment industry, acclaimed for its exceptional cinema experiences and impactful contributions to the growth of African cinema. With state-of-the-art facilities and a commitment to innovation, Silverbird Cinema continues to elevate the cinematic landscape in Africa and beyond.

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ANIKULAPO Season 2 to be shot in Ghana

By  Mustapha Yahaya

Renowned Nigerian filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, has announced at the just-ended Cannes Film Festival in France, that, part of season two of ANIKULAPO, will be shot in Ghana in support of the National Film Authority’s, “Shoot in Ghana” campaign.

The ANIKULAPO, Netflix hitmaker, Mr. Afolayan made this announcement at the recent Nigeria International Film and TV Summit (NIFS) held in Cannes, France with various film industry gurus and media personalities in attendance.

Ms. Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, the CEO of Ghana’s National Film Authority who brokered the deal in France, was at the Summit when the announcement was made. According to Ms. Asante, “This is an important development. The shooting of parts of ANIKULAPO, in Ghana is a good opportunity to revive and enhance the film relationship between Ghana and Nigeria. Both countries stand to gain greatly from collaborating deeply and exploring each other’s markets and strengths.”

Mr. Kunle Afolayan is also committed to training; and his film school, KAP Academy, has trained over 10,000 students in Nigeria and other parts of the continent.

Mr. Afolayan’s announcement implies that, many Ghanaians, even those outside the film industry will be employed and skills will be transferred during the shoot. ANIKULAPO, is a Netflix original film and Television series.

Ms. Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante is encouraging filmmakers around the world to consider Ghana as a shooting location.

Ghana’s shoot in Ghana campaign was launched two years ago and has seen many ground-breaking successes, including the much talked about Super Bowl advert which was shot in the country (Ghana), and many more that haven’t been announced yet.

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Call for Scriptwriters: NFA’s Ananse Project

By Mustapha Yahaya

The National Film Authority (NFA) is extending a call to all scriptwriters in Ghana to partake in an exhilarating and enriching opportunity. Under its Scriptbank Project, the NFA is dedicated to discovering and nurturing young creative talent across the nation through various initiatives. One such initiative, the Ananse Project, aims to unearth the next top scriptwriter in Ghana.
In alignment with our mission, we are inviting young individuals under the age of 25 who possess a flair for writing and a boundless imagination to submit a short, engaging script under the theme: “Meet Kweku Ananse.” The script should be no longer than 8 minutes (8 pages) and should showcase the writer’s ability to push creative boundaries and tell captivating stories.
We are thrilled to announce enticing prizes for the top scripts:
First Prize: GHC 5,000
First Runner-Up: GHC 3,000
Second Runner-Up: GHC 2,000
Furthermore, winners will have the exclusive opportunity to join the scriptwriters for the Ananse Project. This invaluable experience will serve to further enhance their writing skills and provide exposure to the dynamic film industry.
Don’t miss out on this chance to showcase your talent and be part of a groundbreaking project that celebrates Ghanaian culture and storytelling. Submit your script today and embark on a journey towards becoming a recognized voice in the world of film and literature.
For submission guidelines and more information, visit info@nfa.gov.gh
Join us in shaping the future of Ghanaian cinema and storytelling!

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Inaugural Film Investment Breakfast Meeting debuts in Accra

By Mustapha Yahaya

The inaugural Film Investment Breakfast Meeting took place at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

The Film Investment Breakfast Meeting, meticulously organized by the National Film Authority, serves as a unique platform for businesses to delve into mutually advantageous partnerships and gain invaluable insights into the investment opportunities within Ghana’s dynamic film landscape.


Key highlights of the event comprised presentations spotlighting investment opportunities within the Ghanaian film industry, as well as dynamic discussions on fostering collaborative ventures between investors and stakeholders in the film sector. Additionally, attendees had the opportunity to explore synergies with other industries available to the film industry and Film Development.

The event drew a distinguished crowd comprising film industry leaders, investment professionals, diplomatic figures, legal experts, and notable personalities like Hon. Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, the designated Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, and Mark Okraku Mantey, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture. Renowned filmmakers and actors such as Jackie Appiah, Shirley Frimpong Manso, Chris Attoh, Martha Ankomah, and Adjetey Annan were also in attendance. Among the diverse array of businesses represented were FBN Bank, Airtel Ghana, Cinema 57, the Bank of Ghana, and several others.


The CEO of the National Film Authority, Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante laid a solid foundation for stakeholders to recognize the transformative power of investing in the film space, highlighting its multifaceted benefits. With a nuanced understanding of the sector’s potential, she emphasized the pivotal role of investment in nurturing and expanding Ghana’s burgeoning film landscape. She underscored how strategic investment not only drives economic growth but also serves as a catalyst for cultural enrichment and societal empowerment.


Speaking at the meeting, Hon. Andrew Egyapa Mercer, the Minister Designate for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, delivered a poignant message to investors within the film industry. Recognizing the transformative potential of digital technology, Mercer emphasized the critical importance of prioritizing digital platforms in film investment strategies.

Esteemed industry figures Danny Damah, the talented filmmaker from TD Afrique Films, Shirley Frimpong Manso, renowned CEO of Sparrow Productions, and Nii Amah Dagadu, representing Corporate Affairs at Multichoice Ghana, graced the stage as main speakers alongside Funmi Onuma, the esteemed Country Director of Silverbird Cinemas, and other distinguished guests. Each speaker brought a unique perspective and wealth of experience to the event, enlightening the audience with their insights and expertise. From innovative storytelling techniques to strategic perspectives on film distribution and industry trends, their contributions were invaluable.

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President Nana Akuffo Addo announces Tax incentive Policy for Film Productions

By Bismark Odum SackeyMustapha Yahaya

Ghana’s film sector is primed for a significant boost as the government plans to introduce a 20% tax rebate aimed at attracting film productions and propelling Ghana into the global spotlight as a premier filming destination. The proposed tax rebate seeks to invigorate film projects while nurturing the expansion of Ghana’s indigenous cinematic landscape.

Speaking at the State of the Nation Address in the parliament of Ghana, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo indicated that his “Government, through the National Film Authority, is committed to supporting the production of world class content and films, as well as increasing the cinema infrastructure in Ghana and by extension, on the continent”.

 

President Akuffo Addo announced the imminent release of a favorable fiscal(tax) regime for cinema projects, including income tax and VAT incentives, exemptions on import duties for film production equipment, twenty percent (20%) tax rebate for strategic film productions and film financing reliefs. According to the President this initiative “should provide another tangible reason for the choice of Ghana as a film production country.”

The proposed incentives include exemption strategy for taxes on imports and value-added services. This could translate to significant savings for filmmakers and other investors in film infrastructure and equipment, as they may be spared from paying port taxes and other crucial levies upfront. Additionally, local corporate entities that financially back the sector might also benefit from these incentives.

Over the past three years, under the leadership of Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, the National Film Authority of Ghana has pursued initiatives to position Ghana as Africa’s premier shooting destination and content hub, as well as working to develop the marketplace for film. The Authority’s “Shoot in Ghana” campaign has garnered considerable attention, enticing numerous foreign productions to Ghana. Notably, the campaign achieved a remarkable milestone with the NFL Super Bowl spot “Born to Play” which was shot in Ghana and produced by Danny Damah and Tony Tagoe production company TD Afrique films (Beasts of No Nation), amassing more than 500 million views within hours of its release.

Commenting on the President’s announcement, the CEO of National Film Authority, Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante said “The forthcoming tax incentive policy, as articulated by the President, stands poised to fortify Ghana’s position within the global film ecosystem, amplifying its attractiveness to filmmakers and solidifying its stature as a cinematic powerhouse on the international stage.

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Ghana secures a spot in NFL Super Bowl 8

By Mustapha Yahaya

In a bid to establish Ghana as a prominent film hub in Africa, the National Film Authority (NFA) launched the ‘Shoot in Ghana’ campaign, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at attracting filmmakers from around the world. Since its inception, this campaign has not only gained remarkable momentum but has also elevated Ghana’s status as a rising force in African filmmaking.

One of the campaign’s notable achievements is the recent NFL Super Bowl ad, which swiftly climbed to the fifth position on global charts, amassing a staggering 500 million views within mere hours of its release. This triumph serves as a testament to the campaign’s efficacy in showcasing Ghana’s potential as an ideal filming destination.

Much like the ambitious Kwesi portrayed in the ad, the NFA envisions Ghana as a dream destination for filmmakers, and this vision is steadily gaining traction. The allure of Ghana as a filming location is undeniably on the rise, with the NFA spearheading this transformative journey. The overarching goal is clear – to position Ghana as the premier destination for film production in Africa.

The campaign strategically capitalizes on Ghana’s diverse and vibrant landscapes, complemented by the warmth of its communities, creating an ideal canvas for the emergence of cinematic masterpieces. This combination of natural beauty and cultural richness provides filmmakers with a unique and compelling backdrop for their projects.

The ‘Shoot in Ghana’ campaign represents a pivotal chapter in Ghana’s cinematic journey, inviting enthusiasts and storytellers worldwide to join this transformative movement. It’s not just about taking pictures; it’s about actively participating in the creation of a vibrant portrait of Ghana’s cinematic future.

To be part of this cinematic revolution, embrace the hashtag #ShootinGhana and contribute to the collective narrative that showcases the untapped potential of Ghana’s film landscape. Join the movement, be an integral part of the story, and together, let’s unfold the full spectrum of Ghana’s cinematic prowess. The ‘Shoot in Ghana’ campaign is not merely about taking pictures; it’s about painting a vivid and dynamic masterpiece that will resonate on the global stage, firmly establishing Ghana as a cinematic powerhouse in Africa.

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Inaugural Africa Cinema Summit marks a milestone for collaboration in the film Industry

By Mustapha Yahaya

In a historic gathering that marked a significant milestone for the African film industry, the inaugural edition of the Africa Cinema Summit (ACS) brought together influential figures and key stakeholders to emphasize the crucial role of collaboration in shaping a thriving cinematic landscape across the continent.

The event, held from 14th to 16th of November 2023 at the Silverbird Cinemas and Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Ghana, provided a platform for filmmakers and cinema stakeholders across the globe to unite and deliberate on the imperative need for elevating content quality and fostering a more diverse film industry. The discussions highlighted the potential impact of collaborative initiatives in pooling resources, expertise, and perspectives, ultimately leading to an enriched storytelling.

A central theme throughout the summit was the belief that unity among African filmmakers will not only amplify cultural representation but also offer global audiences a more nuanced and authentic view of Africa. By working together, sharing experiences, and collectively tackling societal issues, filmmakers will be able to empower themselves to craft compelling narratives that resonate both locally and internationally.

The collaborative spirit within the African filmmaking community was evident as participants explored ways to strengthen ties and bridge gaps within the industry. The discussions centered around how unity could lead to the creation of high-quality content that reflects the diverse narratives and rich cultural tapestry of the continent.

One of the key outcomes of the summit was the recognition that the collaborative efforts within the African filmmaking community holds the potential to make a lasting impact, influencing the future of cinema and content creation on the continent. By coming together, filmmakers can leverage their collective strength to address challenges, seize opportunities, and shape the trajectory of the industry.

As ACS came to an end, participants expressed optimism about the future, emphasizing the transformative power of collaboration in driving positive change within the African film industry. The summit served as a catalyst for building stronger connections, fostering creative partnerships, and ultimately contributing to the growth and success of African cinema on the global stage.

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Africa Cinema Summit: Pioneering the Future of African Film

By Mustapha Yahaya

The National Film Authority of Ghana in partnership with FilmHouse Group and Silverbird Cinema, Ghana proudly announce the groundbreaking Africa Cinema Summit, slated to unfold from November 14 to November 16, 2023, at the prestigious Movenpick Ambassadors Hotel and Silverbird Cinema in Accra, Ghana. This three-day event marks a historic milestone as the first-ever Cinema Summit in Africa organized by Africans.

The Africa Cinema Summit promises to be a dynamic gathering, drawing Film Authorities, Filmmakers, Cinema Investors, Cinema Architects and builders, Heritage Center Authorities, Distributors, and Exhibitors, among other industry stakeholders. This unprecedented initiative is a testament to the commitment of the National Film Authority to drive the transformation and revitalization of the African film industry.

Aligned with the broader vision of the Ghana Cinema Agenda, the Africa Cinema Summit aims to address critical issues such as infrastructural gaps and the cultivation of a robust cinema-going culture. These challenges are closely linked to the scarcity of cinemas not only in Ghana but across the African continent.

Recent data from the 2021 UNESCO reports underscore the enormous potential of the film and creative industry, estimated to be worth over 20 billion dollars, positioning it as the largest employment sector in Africa. However, the report also reveals a stark reality: fewer than 1,700 screens serve the entire African continent, home to approximately 1.4 billion people, meaning that more than 80% of the population has never experienced a cinema outing.

To bridge these gaps and propel the growth of the African film industry, the Africa Cinema Summit has been meticulously curated to bring together participants from across the continent. Confirmed attendees and strategic partners include leading film exhibitors in West Africa, with the FilmHouse group as the organizing partner. Notable screening partners include Silverbird Cinemas, Ghana,Ster-Kinekor, the largest exhibitor in South Africa, and Century Cinemax, a major player in East Africa. The alliance extends to Nigerian Theaters Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), Canal Olympio, and Pathe distribution, along with cinemas from French-speaking Africa.

Currently, Ghana has cinemas in only two areas of the country, operating fewer than five (5) cinemas for a population exceeding 35 million people. Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante, the CEO of the National Film Authority and the convener of the Summit, emphasizes that the event is grounded in the twin pillars of content growth and cinema screen growth on the continent. She asserts that this initiative must evolve into both a national and continental dialogue, encouraging broad participation from students, market women, teachers, corporate entities, and government bodies. According to Asante, the benefits of this endeavor will impact every facet of society.

As we stand at this pivotal moment in our history, the Africa Cinema Summit beckons film stakeholders from across the continent to engage in meaningful discussions about the challenges hindering the sector’s growth, with a steadfast focus on finding sustainable solutions.

A flourishing film market holds the promise of numerous opportunities for the industry, including job creation, economic growth, community development, and the global dissemination of the rich Ghanaian and African narrative.

 

For media inquiries and additional information, please contact:

info@nfa.gov.gh

 

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National Film Authority ends capacity-building and stakeholder engagement workshop in Accra

National Film Authority (NFA) has concluded its stakeholder engagement and capacity-building workshop for filmmakers in Accra. The one-day workshop, held on Wednesday, July 26th, 2023, at the prestigious Alisa Hotel, marked the climax of previous engagements across the country, with workshops in Kumasi and Tamale preceding the final event in Accra.

Sponsored by the World Bank and supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MoTAC), the workshop was part of the NFA’s 
Cinema Development Agenda. Its primary aim was to educate Ghanaian filmmakers on the latest trends in film production and distribution, introduce them to emerging technologies and equipment for film production, and provide training in international best practices.

The creative industry, particularly the film ecosystem, has a significant global impact. To ensure that Ghanaian filmmakers can effectively compete in the international market, the NFA recognized the importance of developing the skill sets of local talent. Thus, the capacity-building workshop became a vital initiative to equip filmmakers with the knowledge and tools required for their professional growth.

During the workshop, Prof. Gabriel Eshun, the Technical Advisor of the Ghana Tourism Development project, encouraged filmmakers to leverage their craft to promote Ghanaian culture. Films, he emphasized, are a powerful medium for storytelling and can play a crucial role in showcasing Ghana’s rich cultural heritage, thereby boosting tourism.

Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, the CEO of the National Film Authority, also highlighted the NFA’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for filmmakers.

She asserted that positioning Ghana as a content hub could yield substantial benefits for the country and the film industry. Ms Asante emphasized that the NFA, since its establishment in December 2019, has undertaken several strategic projects to revitalize Ghana’s film sector, making it economically vibrant.

The workshop was also used as an avenue to discuss the draft of the Legislative Instrument (LI), which the NFA is working on to be presented to Parliament. The LI aims to provide a robust legal framework for the film industry, ensuring its proper regulation and growth.

At the workshop, the NFA announced that the tax incentive policy for the film industry has been finalized and it is anticipated to be passed by the end of the year.

This policy is expected to boost the growth of the film sector by attracting more investments and encouraging local productions.

The National Film Authority’s capacity-building and stakeholder engagement workshop was a resounding success. By equipping Ghanaian filmmakers with the necessary skills, knowledge, and support, the NFA has taken significant steps towards strengthening the country’s position in the global film industry.

With initiatives like the draft LI and the tax incentive policy, the future looks promising for Ghana’s film sector.

 

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