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Ghanaian movie industry gets new name after years of controversy

Ghanaian Actor Prince David Osei

The Ghanaian film industry has finally been given a name after years of debates, suggestions and deliberations.

At a ceremony held on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, by the National Film Authority (NFA), ‘Black Star Films’ was announced as the name for the industry.

This comes after over a year of putting together a process for choosing the brand name.

Other film industries the world over that have brand names are Hollywood (America), Bollywood (India), and Nollywood (Nigeria).

How it started

In 2020, the National Film Authority asked the public to submit names they believe can best represent the Ghanaian Film Industry.

Over four hundred (400) names were received by the NFA.

The names were narrowed down to ten (10) by the Brand Name Committee chaired by Professor Audrey Gadzekpo.

Other members of the Brand Name Committee are Mr. Kwabena Agyekum (Executive Director of Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana), Abeiku Sagoe (Actor), Ms. Laurene Maana Abdallah (filmmaker) and Kofi Kyei (filmmaker).

The National Film Authority, therefore, asked the public to select, from the ten names, their favourite.

According to the Chairperson of the Committee, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the name that had the most votes won.

“We took into consideration the popular votes. We were faithful to the popular votes and we determined that we would only have a problem with the popular votes if the name is being used elsewhere or there are some other things that will compromise the name,” she said.

The quest for a name for the film industry in Ghana, according to the Authority, is premised on the fact that having an identity as an industry is very important to ensure that efforts being put into building solid structures will have a cutting-edge advantage.

Dissenting views

While some have lauded the exercise, others believe it should not be a priority for the industry.

The NFA’s decision to conduct a voting exercise to select a name for the industry had been condemned by many industry actors, including the chairman of the Film Classification Committee, Socrate Safo, who strongly maintains the view that the process is unnecessary.

Actor Prince David Osei, in March 2021, asked the National Film Authority to stop looking for a brand name for Ghana’s film industry.

In a conversation with Hammer on Pure FM, he said that the frantic search for a name for the film industry is a waste of time and taxpayer’s money.

According to him, the name ‘Ghana Film Industry’ is enough to be a brand name for the Ghanaian movie industry which they are all trying to project.

“We are wasting so much time deliberating on this nonsense of looking for a common name for the movie industry and wasting resources on having meetings. It is Ghana Film Industry. Let’s stick with it,” he said.

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