TV Stations Have Done More Harm – Shirley Frimpong Manso

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There have been several calls from film producers for TV Stations to stop showing freshly released local films on their channels. This suggestion was made in order that film producers are able to make some sales on their films before these films are released on television. In spite of the constant calls, however, most tv stations continue to show freshly released films on the networks.

Tune in to most Ghanaian tv channels around mid morning or afternoon and you are sure to find local film content being screened. What is more, some of these films are sometimes acquired and screened without the express permission of producers. Apart from causing drastic reduction in sales because the prospective buyers decide to watch the films on TV instead of buying the DVD copies, it also makes it difficult to attract sponsors onto the productions. The excuse normally given by sponsors is that they stand the risk of losing out as the production may not do well.
Speaking at the premiere of ‘Kalybos in China’, ace female movie producer, Shirley Frimpong Manso producer of ‘A Sting In A Tale’, ‘Adams Apple’ and ‘Perfect Picture’ stated clearly that although there had been a remarkable rise in the number of TV stations across the country, they were not helping grow the film industry. She further explained that most film producers found it difficult to break-even let alone make profit in recent times. The producer of ‘Adams Apples’ attributed this to screening of films to the masses by TV networks, and said this practice was killing the desire of audiences to purchase DVDs.

Talking about the way forward, she advised that film producers come together to have a round table meeting with operators and stakeholders of TV stations in the country to discuss the issue thoroughly and find a lasting solution to it. She also suggested that for instance, there could be a quota system for local productions in the programming of local TV content by the channel operators.

Her colleague producer, Kafui Danku, has also added her voice to the call at the ongoing NAFTI 22nd Film Festival in Accra, Ghana. During her interaction with the students, she pressed on TV station owners to desist from airing freshly released films on their channels and advised that they acquire the rights properly through the appropriate authorities.

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