Producers and distributors of local movies, popularly known as “Kumawood” say the industry has collapsed.
Most of the producers have stopped producing movies and converted their shops into selling mobile phones, electrical gadgets and decoders among other products.
Investigations by The Spectator revealed that most of the producers have stopped producing movies for the past two years.
They used to sell over 100,000 copies of movies, but, currently, it is difficult for them to sell even 5,000 copies.
Some of the producers interviewed by The Spectator attributed the collapse of the industry to the sale of movies as cheap as GHC200 to television stations, the influx of digital television, showing of telenovelas at prime time, lack of funding from government and guidelines to streamline movie production, coupled with poor copyrights protection systems among others.
The Chief Executive Officer of K Obouba Movie Production, Isaac Ofori Brimpong, who sells electronic gadgets in addition to few CDs now, and has 19 years of experience in the movie industry, said stalwarts in the industry, including himself had stopped producing, because it was no more lucrative.
He said local television stations which assisted to show movies at a cheaper rate later went for telenovelas from other countries which had collapsed the industry. “I will not say the industry is being destroyed. It has collapsed totally. It is dead,” he emphasized, adding that “We should reduce the frequency with which we produce movies, and get competent people to lead the industry,”
The Executive Member of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) and owner of PaulGee Productions, Paul Adjei, who used to sell over 100, 000 copies of movies said he now sells less than 6000 copies.
According to him, he used to produce movies worth $60,000, when the industry was vibrant, but today, the story was different.
Speaking to this reporter, Mr Adjei, who has about 15 years of experience in the movie circles said the industry was sinking, adding that, it was difficult to get loans from banks to Pre-finance.
He bemoaned the lack of theatres in the various districts to encourage premiering of movies across the country.
Baffour Awuah of Baffour Awuah Production, who produced the likes of Agya Koo Sakawa, Agyakoo Trotro, and has about 40 movies to his credit, said most of the producers were out of business.
“I used to sell six different movies in a year, but I have stopped now. I don’t even remember the last time someone sold about 5,000 copies,” he said. “I don’t totally agree with those attributing the fall of the industry to insults in movies. It is the reality, if you see bad things in movies, don’t emulate it,” he noted. Yaw Owusu Ansah of Liberty Film Production was optimistic that the industry would bounce back if those foreign contents are reduced, adding that he had not produced any movie within the last two years.
Charles Boateng of Antwi and Ceeboat Ventures fame, who has over 20 years of experience in the movie industry, maintained that “The industry has collapsed. We need a lot of help. When the Broadcasting Bill is passed, it can alleviate our plight and encourage more local content,” he said.
Charles Afreh Sika, Cedee Movie Production, and a distributor, Hayford Adjei shared the same sentiments.
Prominent actor, who most people refer to as the face of “Kumawood”, Kwadjo Nkansah, affectionately referred to as Lil Wayne, on his part said, “Life cannot be rosy all the time, I will say the “dumsor” and relocation of the distributors from Kejetia as a result of the construction of the market worried us,” he said.
According to him, though telenovelas were part of the woes facing the industry, there were other issues such as hate for the industry.
He said some producers used their family and friends, instead of using characters who have the merit.
Lil Wayne called for good directors and better costumes to enhance the quality of movies.
Akwesi Boadi, known as Akrobeto, said there were seasons when industries or institutions faced challenges and the movie industry was not an exception. He was however optimistic that steps would be taken to revamp the industry.
Source: The Spectator