Actor and show host, George Quaye has led a group of stakeholders to petition the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to scrap the new name for Ghana’s movie industry- Black Stars Films.
According to the petition, the ‘Black Star Films’ bears a striking similarity to the awards and film festival, ‘Black Star International Film Festival’ (BSIFF) founded by the National Film Authority’s Executive Secretary, Juliet Asante.
The group wrote that “re-naming the Ghanaian Film Industry after the BSIFF creates a Conflict of Interest and ethically questionable situation.
“This is wrong and must be condemned by all well-meaning Industry players with all the contempt it deserves,” the host of Showbiz A-Z on Joy FM wrote.
He stated that the industry does not need any renaming because it has always been recognized legally as the Ghana Film Industry and well captured in all existing documents.
The industry, he wrote, “DOES NOT need to be altered.”
This comes after the National Film Authority (NFA) announced ‘Black Star Films’ as the new name of the movie industry on Wednesday, December 8, following a year-long process.
The change of name for the film industry, according to the Authority, is premised on the fact that having an identity as an industry is very important.
This, they added is expected to ensure that efforts being put into building solid structures will have a cutting-edge advantage.
Reacting to the petition, the Executive Secretary of NFA, Juliet Asante stated that although she founded Black Star International Film Festival, she does not own the name or term Black Star, hence there is no conflict of interest.
However, Mr. Quaye who believes otherwise, stated that if the NFA wants the Industry to have a nickname aside Ghana Film Industry, this should be done collectively to settle on one that does not “surreptitiously” surrender the Ghanaian Film Industry into the hands of one individual.
“We, the undersigned are by this petition imploring the offices of the Honourable Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture and his able Deputy and other bodies and agencies mandated to see to the concerns of the Ghanaian Film Industry to help right this wrong,” he added.
Meanwhile, George Quaye is not the only industry stakeholder who has opposed the new name for the movie industry.
Questioning the name change on Twitter, actor Eddie Narty quizzed if the committee members did not know about the existence of an already existing BlackStar Film Festival.
Among other things, he wrote, “Let’s not turn a blind eye to the core problems. Bring on investors that will help support local filmmakers and help build cinemas, so that we will be able to showcase our films nationwide not only Silverbird. Changing its name will not be of benefit to any filmmaker, we can do better.”
Actor Prince David Osei earlier in the year asked the National Film Authority to stop looking for a brand name for Ghana’s film industry. Music Producer, Hammer in an interview on Pure FM also said the 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.
Reacting to the diverse views, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey, has assured stakeholders in the movie industry that his outfit will address their concerns over the new brand name chosen for the Ghanaian film industry.
According to him, the Ministry has noted the divided opinions that greeted the name ‘Black Star Films’ including the calls for reviews.
“I want to assure the sector that the matter is before the able Dr. Awal Mohammed, and as a listening government, the matter will be resolved,” Mr. Okraku-Mantey wrote on Twitter.
I’m aware the outcome has divided opinions within the industry with calls for a review of the selection. I want to assure the sector that the matter is before the able Hon. Dr. Awal Mohammed, and as a listening government, the matter will be resolved….
— Mark Okraku-Mantey (@MOkrakuMantey) December 10, 2021