General News of Thursday, 10 February 2005
Source: GhanaWeb Correspondent
Accra, Feb. 10, GNA - The Ghana Academy of Film and Television Arts (GAFTA) on Thursday criticised the sale of the Ghana Film Industry Corporation (GFIC) under the divestiture implementation programme, saying it has deprived filmmakers of the opportunity to expand and improve upon the film industry.
The GAFTA has therefore appealed to the government, to review the divestiture of the GFIC.
At a media briefing in Accra, the President of GAFTA, the Reverend Dr Chris Hesse said nine years after divestiture of the Corporation to Malaysians there had not been any joint venture agreement between it and the government. He said the Malaysians, were tasked under the agreement to revitalise and recapitalise the Corporation, but they had reneged on that undertaking.
Rev. Hesse said they have systematically overseen the dismemberment, disintegration and destruction of the base of the film industry in Ghana. He alleged that the Malaysians, barely a year after taking over the Corporation, rather offered it for sale on the internet for a sum of 15 million dollars contrary to what was stipulated that they had to operate the GFIC for 15 years and hand over the property to the Government of Ghana, which owns 30 per cent shares.
Mr Kwaw Ansah, a veteran filmmaker and Chief Executive Director of TV Africa, a private television station, also stressed the need for the government to intervene and see to it that the Corporation was recaptured from the Malaysians. "Since the doubtful divestiture of the industrial base, the film industry has experienced nothing but decline to the point of total collapse. This cannot be allowed to continue."