FILM producer and CEO of OldFilm Productions Peter Sedufia is confident the tourism potentials of Ghana will be hugely boosted when the government partners with filmmakers to come out with movies that shine the spotlight on the country.
To him, even though subsequent governments, including the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), continuously showed huge interest in the growth of Ghana’s tourism industry with various projects such as Year of Return, he believes movies could be a major driving force for the country’s tourism.
In a chat with Graphic Showbiz on Tuesday, July 4, Peter said audiovisuals (films) were the best ways to sell a country to boost tourism. Unfortunately, the sector only becomes relevant to political players in the wake of political campaigns.
“Truthfully, if we want to push Ghana’s tourism, then the film industry cannot be ignored. People will come to the country to see and experience what they watch in movies such as natural reserves and historical sites.
“Unfortunately, the sector is not supported to push such causes and only becomes relevant during political campaigns,” he said.
Peter’s comments came in the wake of a disclosure by American filmmaker Angela White, who said she was disappointed with the Government of Ghana (GoG), following the lack of support for her film projects in the country last year.
Stating her concerns during a panel discussion at this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, which started on Thursday, June 29, the renowned filmmaker said she is likely to take her next projects to South Africa for the ostensible lack of support from the GoG.
Angela White noted that even though she generated a lot of revenue for the country with a thriller titled Nine, which was filmed in Ghana last year, she didn’t enjoy any support from the GoG, thereby entreating them to recognise the economic benefits and cultural exchanges that foreign partnerships bring.
Peter mentioned that Angela White’s concerns were not out of place but such happenings were not peculiar to foreign film productions since local film companies faced similar challenges.
“I perfectly understand her disappointments, considering that she comes from a place with proper structures including sound government policies to aid their work, which is nonexistent here.
“And that is why I’ve always been blunt about my answers to questions on why I don’t do a production about Ghana. Why should I and why should that even be my foremost interest as a filmmaker and businessman?
“For me, what the audience likes is what I will give them and also give me money. If the GoG wants the story of Ghana to be told, then they should partner and fund such national projects.
“Besides, what Angela White is saying is not new, but adding to ongoing conversations about the government’s low interest in the Ghanaian movie industry,” he said.