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Ghana Cinema

ghana cinema

Ghana Cinema

The Gold Coast Film Unit was set up as part of the Information Services as far back as 1948. The Ghana Film Industry

Corporation was created by government in 1971. The corporation was sold off in 1996 with a large percentage of the holdings

going to the Malaysians. Even before the sale, serious film making in Ghana was at a slow due to the difficult economic times

in the country.  Individual  Ghanaians were too poor to undertake the making of feature films.  Cheap handheld video

cameras were not available at that time. The few Ghanaian films that were produced during that era were of poor quality.

The emergency of local Ghana cinema production

The availability of cheap hand-held video cameras and easy editing on home computers changed the Ghana cinema scene.

But the Nigerians hit that trail long before us. They didn’t face the same economic problems. The Nigerian film industry took

advantage of the lack of local production in Ghana cinema  and swarmed the Ghanaian market with their africa movies.

Nigerian actors like Genevieve Nnaji, Ramsey Noah were household names in Ghana. The Nigerians had a head start in

africa movies over the Ghanaians in the production of africa movies.  The films were mostly made in pidgin English

which most Nigerians and Ghanaians could understand. The success reinforced itself as the Nigerians gained inexperience.

Nigerian  films became widespread in Africa gaining more popularity with the common availability of VCD and DVD players

and new television channels such as ghana tv3, ghana metro and ghana gtv.  Soon, there was talk of a Nollywood.

Today, Nigerian films are watched all over Africa even in the French speaking countries.  The majority of the best

african movies 2011 and african movies 2012 were Nigerian and Ghana cinema.

Ghana Cinema and Nigeria Cinema

Because of the age old relationship between the two countries, Ghana, perhaps,
became the second largest market for the

Nigerians. Ghana had to hit back at the Nigerian onslaught. Our local efforts were feeble at first. It was not until the

late 90s before we witnessed the evolvement of a booming video feature film industry in our country. The demise of the

state-owned Ghana Film Industry Corporation gave opportunities to untrained people of different backgrounds – from

camera projectionists to car mechanics – who took ordinary VHS cameras, wrote brief outlines, assembled actors

even from the streets and produced full-fledged “feature films” which became popular in urban Ghana.

The professional film-makers looked at the initiatives of the non-professional video film makers with suspicion.

They were, however, astounded by their popularity and extraordinary success, especially in Accra. The professionals

decided to come in and  help in improving the quality of film-making in Ghana. They began by screening films in the local

cinemas with the view to generating funds to enter into full time  production in video format. It was around this time in 1999

when talented actors were discovered including Van Vicker, Nana Amma McBrown and Adu Kofi, a.k.a Agya Koo,. The latter

was immediately accepted, admired and applauded by all Ghanaians for his acting prowess and comic antics. 

In Ghana Twi movies, Agya Koo dominates.  Ghanaian Twi movies are  gaining followers since the twi language is

spoken by the most people.  Agya Koo appearance in ghana cinema  dealt a heavy blow to the Nigerian video film boom in


Ghana Film Industry was booming thanks to Agya Koo. The quality of filming, editing, production and presentation improved

tremendously.  Agya Koo was born in 1970 and raised in Kumasi, Ashanti Region. His career began in

the early 90s as a comedian with the “Key Soap concert party,” where he took up and maintained the stage name Agya Koo.

In 1999 he made his screen début on the popular movie, “Kumasi Yonko.” Since then Agya Koo never looked back.

He sowed a seed which helped the plant of the Ghana Film Industry to germinate. It was his role in “Obi

nnim awieye” that made him a household name and a force to reckon with in the local movie industry. There is no gainsaying

the fact that Agya Koo has contributed immensely in redeeming Ghanaian movies but in the late 70s there were actors like

Super OD, S.K Oppong and the “Osofo Dadzie group,” Maame Dokono, Kofi Abrantie anthe “Obra group,” Awaakye,

Idikoko, Adwoa Smart and many more contributed in no small measure in arousing public interest in Ghanaian films.

Ghana Cinema Developing

Around 2004, the Ghanaian market became uncompromisingly hard for Nigerian film producers. They felt that the only

way to get into the Ghanaian market again was to feature some of the popular Ghanaian actors. An agreement was

immediately entered between the Nigerian producers and their Ghanaian counterparts.This led to the joint production of

films where Ghanaian and Nigerian actors assume different roles in a common film. In such cooperation, Ghanaians have

never accepted second fiddle roles. In the film, “Love is wicked,” Von Vicker shared equal billing with Jennifer Okeke.

There are other films like “Men in Love”, “Golden Lady, in which Ghanaians Jimornu and Nadia Buari respectively shared

equal billing with Nigerian actors. In the following films, there are two or more Ghanaian actor featuring side by side with

Nigerian actors. In “Heatwave,” Kofi Adjololo and Ekow Smith Asante were featured. Majida Michelle and Kofi Adjololo

featured in “Shakira.” Three Ghanaian actors/actresses, Majeed Michelle, Naana Hayford and Kofi Adjololo were featured in

“The Beef.”  Today, the Ghanaian authorities have started demanding fees from Nigerian actors and directors working in


Ghana Cinema Catching Up To the Nigerian Films

The Nigerians are still way ahead of the Ghanaians.  Many Ghanaians still prefer Nigerian films to local products.

This is actually an African movies phenomenon.  Nollywood has become a phenomenon the likes of which cannot be seen

in other African countries but the ghana cinema has grown with modern times in the use of modern technology and more

profitable projects.  NAFTI  Ghana is one of oldest film schools in the continent,  NAFTI  Ghana  has trained people from

all over the continent.







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