Editor’s lens: Protecting Ghana's film industry: a call to action
In the last few years, Ghanaian television stations have been showing loads of foreign telenovelas. The growing trend is drawing huge interest from film audiences and continues to be a threat to the growth of the movie industry, more so when these telenovelas have been translated into the Twi language.
This development has raised significant concerns, particularly among stakeholders who constantly lament the situation and have been calling for decisive measures to stop the television stations from the practice.
This is because the popularity of these programmes has cast a shadow over our indigenous film and television productions. They do not only divert viewership but also threaten the livelihoods of our talented actors, producers and filmmakers, among others, since their works are not patronised.
In a recent interview with Cape Coast-based radio station, Property FM, Highlife musician, Rex Omar expressed his frustration with the growing trend and indicated that it was detrimental to the growth of local talents in the industry.
He also mentioned that the happening portrayed Ghana as a country that was not serious with its creativity and one which lacked confidence in its creative prowess.
This contention has been similarly expressed by various stakeholders who have been calling for a firm approach to curb this practice before it turns into a crisis that could potentially cripple the already struggling movie industry.
Graphic Showbiz is entreating authorities to enact stronger regulations and policies to govern the broadcast of these foreign content on our television channels.
For instance, the National Communications Authority should collaborate with industry stakeholders to set clear guidelines for the broadcast of foreign content, including quotas for locally produced content.
Such measures will go a long way to enhance the visibility of Ghanaian actors, script writers, directors and producers, and also provide more opportunities for local storytelling and the development of indigenous talents.
While at it, it is important to recognise the collective responsibility for the production of high-quality Ghanaian content with compelling, culturally relevant films that can favourably compete on the international market.
The popular adage, “A stitch in time saves nine”, should be our guide.