A few days after some filmmakers in Kumasi had remonstrated the relocation of the proposed film village from Kunsu to Sekyere in the Ashanti Region, a pressure group has also come out to address the issue.
The Creative Forum Ashanti led by broadcaster Austine Woode held a press conference yesterday, September 16, 2020, to register their concerns as regards the film village.
According to them, they had already sent a petition to the government with a proposal that the group had already had discussions with the Chief of Kunsu (in the Ahafo Ano South District in the Ashanti Region) who had promised to give 250-300 acres of land for free to be presented to the government if they decided to build the film village in Ashanti Region.
“This decision was reached because the Chief of Kunsu had already built a mini film village in his town and used for many movie productions like ‘Abuburo Kosua’ ‘Susu Pre’ and others that show on TV.
Also, many industry practitioners confirmed to us that many of the film projects from the Ashanti region are done in the Ahafo Ano South District of Ghana that harbours Kunsu,” Austine, the convener said.
This comes on the back of a petition that the group presented to Parliament on July 24, 2019, to change the initial location of the proposed film village by the government of Ghana in the 2019 budget statement presented to Parliament by Ken Ofori-Atta from Eastern Region to Ashanti Region.
“We argued that the Ashanti region is the hub of film making and many of the people associated with film making agreed that for convenience and ease of doing their work, they would prefer a film village in Ashanti Region,” he added.
He, however, added that government through the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts after yielding to the request to build a film village in Ashanti Region after our petition is considering two other areas: Hemang and Sekyere.
“After almost three (3) months, the technical committee that came to visit these three (3) areas, Kunsu, Hemang and Sekyere have not come out with their decision,” he further stated.
On the sidelines of the signing of the MoU for the construction of the Kumasi theatre, The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbera Oteng Gyasi said the technical committee had decided on Sekyere.
After the media reported this story, some leading members of FIPAG who were invited to tour these areas with the technical committee have come out to say the Minister has told them she never told the media that Sekyere was chosen.
Austine also said that the President of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) and his Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mawuli Ekpe Peter, have stated categorically that after visits to the sites, the committee members told them Kunsu was best placed for the project because it already has a mini-film village.
Creative Forum Ashanti is therefore calling on the Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts to formally come out explains why the decision on the location for the film village changed from Kunsu to Sekyere.