The President of the Film Producers’ Association of Ghana (FIPAG), James Aboagye, has revealed the decision taken along with other stakeholders to ban airing of Ghanaian feature films on TV was to protect producers, the movie industry and put a value on the films.
According to him, because many filmmakers do not know the value of their content, they can sell a feature film of 90 minutes for as low as ¢100 to TV stations.
Speaking on Showbiz A-Z on Saturday, Mr Aboagye explained that the producers are not making money from their work since TV stations have been getting these movies for low prices.
“It [directive] is meant to put a value on the films that we produce. Any film you have not seen before is a new film, so why put it on TV. Those days that we were doing batter with TV3, how many stations were available? It was just GBC, Metro TV, and TV Africa.”
“But now we have over 120 TV stations, so every minute there is Ghanaian movie on tv, and these are the same persons who take it there, come back and complain that there is no demand,” he told George Quaye, host of the show.
In May, Ghanaian filmmakers were tasked by their governing bodies to stop selling their feature films to TV stations from July 1.
According to the leadership, that is, Film Producers Association, Markers & Distributors Association, Film Crew Association, Ghana Academy of Film & Television Arts and other stakeholders, this was part of a decision to address challenges facing the movie industry.
“Any producer or film marketer who flouts these directives shall be sanctioned accordingly. Furthermore, all film stakeholders must take these directives seriously and comply accordingly until further notice,” parts of the statement read.
Meanwhile, Mr Aboagye explained that the constant showing of the movies on TV has crippled the sales of the movies.
“If you have 10 movies and you give each for ¢100, how much do you make? We cannot continue to create the mess while we are trying to get out of it,” the filmmaker said.
The FIPAG President stated that Ghanaians are hesitant to buy movies if they know they can view them for free on one TV station or another.
Mr Aboagye said that the directive issued to producers will give the Association room to find ways to integrate feature films into the market to push sales.
He added that the statement was not to discourage the showing of Ghanaian content on TV.
He explained that since people are eager to watch movies on TV, there is already a demand for it; thus, FIPAG and other industry stakeholders will work on ways to get movie lovers to purchase the films.