Ghanaian filmmaker, Ivan Quashigah has called on the government to give filmmakers tax rebates on movie equipment they import into the country.
During an appearance on Citi TV‘s entertainment discussion show, ‘The Chat’, Mr. Quarshigah told host AJ Sarpong that the high cost of film equipment is taking a toll on film producers in Ghana.
“One problem for filmmakers in this country is the cost of film equipment. We buy the equipment. There is no equipment gear house in Ghana where you can go and loan a camera to film. And the cameras are becoming very expensive. And when you bring them into this country, because of the cost, you are also bound to pay heavy duties on them,” he said.
“I believe that if the government gives us some rebate on the import duties of the equipment we bring in, it will reduce the burden on filmmakers,” Ivan further noted.
Speaking about the effects of telenovelas on the Ghanaian movie industry, he said there must be a strategic attempt to limit the prominence given to them on local television.
He intimated that even though he is not calling for the total ban of foreign telenovelas on our screens, he believes if prime time slots on TV are reserved for only local productions, as is done in Nigeria, the Ghanaian movie industry won’t be overshadowed by foreign content.
“I think that we need to follow what other people have done. Like in Nigeria, what they do is that the prime time is given to local content. If that is done there will be work for people in the industry and in a few years we will be doing things that Nollywood is doing now,” he said.
“We have to be a little bit selfish about this issue. We have to know that it is our lives that matter, it is our culture that matters,” he added.
Ivan, the producer of the popular ‘Things We Do for Love’ and ‘Yolo’ TV series, also urged filmmakers in Ghana to dub their films in foreign languages for the international market.
This discussion comes on the back of recent comments made by some prominent Ghanaian lawmakers.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, stated that telenovelas are corrupting Ghanaian women, while the First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, said that he finds telenovelas offensive.