Is Kumawood an asset or liability?

JOT Agyemang, an actor, media practitioner and currently President of the Institute of Media Practice, on Thursday started a rather interesting discussion on whether or not Kumasi’s rapidly growing ‘industry‘, Kumawood, is an asset or liability to the bigger Ghanaian film industry.

Kumawood stars

See tweets and reactions below.

Is Kumawood an asset or a liability? Some say that Kumawood rescued the Ghana Movie Industry.  Does Ghana have a movie industry?

A film industry should comprise of technological and commercial institutions of film making.

These include production companies, film studios, cinematography, screen writers, pre and post production houses, distributors and others.

The Government of Ghana sold off the only Film Studios we had.

Film is expensive business and those who make movies with as little as GHC 5000.00 cannot be said to be making movies.

Film makers like Kwaw Ansah, King Ampaw, Sidney Riberio, Chris Hesse and others set the pace for a vibrant industry.

All through these years, The Concert Party thrived. Greats like F Micah, Teacher Yarlley. Opia, Lord Bob Cole hit the road with Comedy.

Many people laughed. The Concert party entered the hinterlands where Film could not reach and gained an audience born from rural Ghana.

Soon Films as we knew them died. Cinema halls like Orion, Rex, .Rivoli, Globe shut. I put the blame at the doorstep of the military.

Film became a luxury and at that time to live in Luxury in Ghana was a crime.

A few families had the old VHS or Betacam Video boxes and they only watched foreign films.

1n 1992, Ghana changed and the doors opened again to film makers. This is where all our problems began. A new kind of Film Industry was born.

Video productions took hold and Celluloid vanished. Soon everyone could buy a video camera and film making became as easy as ABC or did it?

We produced some great films from some great film makers using videos but these were trained Film makers who didn’t own shops in Opera Sq.

Then Nollywood swept through Ghana and everyone wanted to be part of Nollywood and then we wanted our own identity.

So we coined an absurd name Ghallywood and then others came with KUMAWOOD. We don’t even know how Hollywood got its name.

Then some untrained Distributors and Marketers decided to create a spin off of the Ghana Film Industry in OseiKrom.

They began to churn out three movies a week. Spending in some cases 3 days on Location for a movie.

Many handpicked so called actors became household names and became celebrities. Nothing wrong with that.

All this while, a rivalry emerged between the so called Kumasi gang and the Accra Film Mafia.

Hang on guys!!! What on earth is KUMAWOOD? Can we say what is made by unskilled and untrained video men in the not so garden city is Film?

A film must have the following 1. A Plot 2. A Setting 3. A Competent Technical Crew 4. A Script 5. Art Direction.

6. A Director who understands the meaning of Analysis and Interpretation

A Producer who does not sit in a store selling pirated movies

If Kumawood is just to entertain, then I have no quarrels with them but as film… That is another story altogether.

A film must have substance, diversity, design and fluidity. Kumawood has none of these. The storylines are the same, the plot structure lost.

Lighting and Sound are thrown to the wind. A scream becomes a norm even when not needed. Acting is a skill that is learnt.

The editing is sometimes so terrible that you cannot tell a cut from a fade or dissolve.

Truth be told even though millions enjoy the KUMAWOOD productions, can cannot say that they represent our already weak Film Industry.

KUMAWOOD needs to change. They can make a difference if they choose the best Technical people to work with and pay the best rates.

After all Movies like ‘Sika Sunsum’ by Kofi Yirenkyi and good old ‘I Told you so’ are examples of good local content movies.

I may get the insults, I may get the backlash but in a rather CORRUPT Film Industry such as ours even bad can be made to look good.

Tomorrow Join me at the same time for ‘THE CORRUPTION IN THE GHANA FILM INDUSTRY’ – ‘Awards from a Kitchen Table’. Thank You.

Reactions

@JOTAgyeman , What is the way forward for the Industry then by @eyradoe . This was his reply

@eyradoe Concentrate on creating technical competences through workshops and seminars so those who need training can get it.

@JOTAgyeman,  Mr Pls appreciate and raise concerns on how to develop Kumawood and stop the hating. Its Ghana and dats all we have.

@CitizenkOteng Mediocrity is what kills us Sir. So it’s Ghana so we should accept it right? When one tells the truth, they call him a hater!

@sheilacious1 @Koo_The_Boy @JOTAgyeman When are we getting there? The right thing should be done. Almost all our movies are abt  witchcraft.

Film is a reflection of our thoughts, our images, our lives, our heritage, our emotions and our demons @sheilacious1 .

The art of telling a good story begins with the creation of images deep within our inner self.

What many Film Producers in Ghana do is to Plagarise other peoples storylines and give it a localsetting.@sheilacious1

JOT Agyeman ‏@JOTAgyeman  3m

What many Film Producers in Ghana do is to Plagarise other peoples storylines and give it a local setting.@sheilacious1

@Koo_The_Boy @JOTAgyeman I’d rather is about developmental issues and lessons of life

What happened to personal responsibility. Some of these misfortunes are as a result of personal choices we made. Learn from it and move on

‏@sheilacious1  6m,Some of these movies are the reason why we feel every misfortune in our life is the fault of some spirit or demon.

‏@sheilacious1  Yes revenue and employment is created no doubt but we can still do it the right way. Our movies don’t even portray us as a people

‏@sheilacious1  You want to watch a movie and learn about your culture and valuable lessons not witchcraft and sex.

‏@sheilacious1  @Koo_The_Boy @JOTAgyeman When are we getting there? The right thing should be done. Almost all our movies are abt  witchcraft and sex

@JOTAgyeman Lets help better kumawood…Lambasting and criticism is not the key..And it wont change the minds of Ghanaians about them.

JOT Agyeman ‏@JOTAgyeman  @CitizenkOteng I think you are missing the point. No one is lambasting and criticriticising. And I am not out to change the minds of Ghanaians.

What many Film Producers in Ghana do is to Plagarise other peoples storylines and give it a local setting.@sheilacious1

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