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04.11.2005 General News

NAFTI, others want GETFund

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Accra, Nov. 4, GNA - Mr. Martin Loh, Director of the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), Friday appealed the government to review the GETFund Act to enable NAFTI and other government tertiary institutions who were not under the Minister of Education (MOE) benefit from the fund.

He said, "I have read the GETFund Act over and over again and I do not really seem to appreciate why a way cannot found for the public tertiary institutions, especially those affiliated to the public universities but are not under the MOE to benefit from the GETFund."

Mr. Loh, was made the appeal at the matriculation of 30 new level hundred students admitted into the institute to pursue a four-year degree course in various disciplines offered by the school.

He noted that three years ago, he made a representation to the Minister of Education and he (the Minister) promised that the GETFund would be reviewed to enable NAFTI and Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) benefit from the fund, saying that it seems this important review had been place under other matters.

"Our hope was placed was placed in the GETFund but to know avail, but we have noted that private universities in the country have been benefiting from the fund as well as the Teaching and Learning Innovation Fund (TALIF)," he complained.

Mr. Loh said the institute needed lot of funds to complete its much-needed studio complex, which was estimated at three million cedis when it commenced 26 years ago, but now the cost of its completion stood at 30 billion cedis.

He was however, quick to point out that NAFTI owed it to the government of Ghana and other sponsors for providing funds for the infrastructure in the institute currently, which had made it the leading training institute in the film industry on the African continent. NAFTI has been given recognition by the renowned International Association of Film Schools (CILECT) as the regional training centre for Africa, he noted.

Professor Clifford Tagoe, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG), to which NAFTI's degree programme was affiliated, called on Parliament to expedite the passage of the Film Development and Classification Bill into law, to ensure that films that appeared on screens met the requirements of the law.

He expressed worry over the content and technical quality of films shown on our screens, saying that the image on our screens tend to corrupt our children and youth instead of imparting our values and strengthening our identity as Africans, a sentiment recently expressed by Ms Josephine Hilda Addoh, NPP-MP for Kwadaso.

"NAFTI's efforts to ensure improvement in the content and technical quality of films and programmes telecast in Africa needs the encouragement and support of all of us in education, industry, business and finance as well as other stakeholders whose objectives are to improve the quality of life of our people," he said.

Prof. Tagoe urged the new students to exercise a high level of discipline in their studies and ensure not to offend the sensibilities of the very society they were expected to use their films to provide enlightenment for.

Rev. Chris Hesse, a Veteran Film maker, who presided, decried recent film productions in Africa, saying that they were full of "juju" (black magic), sex and witchcraft, which put more fear into viewers and frozen their thinking faculties.

He said many people around the world looked at Africa and saw primitive culture that needed to be transformed into the 21st Century, adding that film makers had the duty to change the erroneous foreign perception by portraying the modern and civilized Africa in their films to the world.

Rev. Hesse Africa had 3,000 cinema halls with about 1.4 million seats for over 400 million inhabitants and that meant that there was half a seat for as much as 100 people, instead of two, which was the minimum compatible with the aceepeptable development of a country. This, he said, was a sign that Africa having sold its birthright and allowed the masses to get stuck to foreign films and television productions screened on most of our television.

He expressed concern that, Ghana, which used to be the leading African country in film production had now become the dumping ground for other countries rubbish and Ghanaians took pride in marketing such junks.

Rev. Hesse called for a concerted effort at revamping the entire film industry in Ghana to ensure that films productions aired on Ghanaian televisions met cultural, nationalistic and quality technical standards.

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