Chief Executive of Ghana Movie Awards, Fred Nuamah, has suggested that government should stop paying ‘blank levy’ moneys to film producers for the next two or three years and rather use the money to build cinema centres in the various districts across the country.
Blank levy is a government-mandated system where some extra money is charged on the importation of compact disks, iPods or other recordable media. The accumulated cash is then given to content developers, mostly in film and music.
Fred Nuamah argued that rather than giving out the money to the filmmakers, the money can be accumulated to build cinema centres, as he believes this would inure to the benefit of the entire film industry and save it from total collapse.
According to Fred, filmmakers have the opportunity to turn the industry’s misfortunes around by using that money to support the system rather than sharing it among themselves for individual use and always be waiting and relying on government to do everything for the industry.
He alleged that as it stands now, it is just some group of producers who have been enjoying the money. The chunk of new film producers, Fred Nuamah disclosed, don’t get access to the money meant for all producers because they are not part of the association of those producers.
For all to benefit, he suggested that government should use the money to build cinemas instead, since the industry needs cinemas at this crucial stage.
“The amount of money given producers every year to share among themselves can build us more cinemas. It is not that expensive to build a standard cinema and we can do something as industry practitioners with that money. We have the keys to our success,” he told NEWS-ONE on Monday.
“Why do we release films in Accra at Silverbird Cinemas and have to wait for weeks or months before those in Kumasi and up North see it. If we have cinemas across the country, a movie can be released today and people in the North can also see it at the same time. We don’t need to wait for government if we can do something about it. It is for the good of the industry if we do this,” he added.
Currently, not many film producers are shooting movies. Fred Nuamah believes that one of the problems pushing producers out of business is cinemas.
“If the cinemas culture is active here, producers can make their moneys back on the first night of screening across the country. So I urge government to sit with the producers and look into how best they can use that money profitably,” he stated.