The influence of every movie is dependent on the reception of the fans. One can argue otherwise. If we were to ask the ordinary Ghanaian cinephile what the future holds for the local industry, the majority of the response will be about its total demise. That will be a true assertion considering how ‘once the most promising film industry’ on the continent now on a grim decline. A film industry that was the standard and learning hub for surrounding countries like Togo, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and Uganda is left behind. If we decide to concentrate on the plights of our industry, I will easily fill up this magazine without breaking a sweat but that is not the focus this very moment.
Well, irrespective of our current predicament, I am fully convinced that there is some glimpse of hope. Yes, one might argue that the thickness of the cloud hovering over our industry is literally impossible to escape especially when you consider the absence of structures and other industry luring facilities, but I do see light, and I hope you do by the end of this piece.
In the past few months, I have taken my time to go beyond the movies at the very surface of our industry right down to the ones that failed to get a cinema release or streaming debut. Someday I hope to share certain interesting statistics and views I came across right here in this magazine. Ultimately, I came down with basic questions like, what is the future of this industry? Where are we going to rank in the next 20 to 50 years among other top film industries? Where will our salvation come from? It will not be disappointing if anyone’s first thought is our industry’s top dogs but sorry, they are not. Our future and redemption will be coming from a group of young individuals moving out of their comfort zone to take risks and make the changes that matter. These young individuals in the industry have shown bright signs of purpose and aesthetics. One fascinating and crucial thing to point out is that some of these guys did it with the least of budgets, yet, they did not compromise the ART.
Gold Coast Lounge, City of Bukom, The Return of Jamal, Tsutsue, Terminus, Azali, Da Yie, Beasts of No Nation, The Burial of Kojo, and The Genesis of the Ashantis just to name a few are some of the movies that are changing the industry from the blind side of most people. It is important to note that some of these movies were shortlisted for the Academy Awards, Golden Globe award, and other prestigious awards. We should not be entirely looking for a win from these award platforms before we can cement the influence they can have, but these nominations should begin a new revolution for us.
A long journey ahead and I hope these young guys keep pushing their limits but they cannot do this alone. The media, cinephiles, cinema, and the Government need to play their respective roles ensuring we lift our industry once again. This is within our grasp.
Attakaay (The Movie Guy)