‘Black Star Films’ is still the name for Ghana’s film industry – Juliet Asante
Despite the directive by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mohammed Awal to put a hold on the use of ‘Black Star Films’ as the name for Ghana’s film industry, Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante, the Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority, thinks otherwise.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Showbiz A-Z on Saturday, March 4, 2023, Juliet said until a new name is chosen by the people of Ghana, ‘Black Star Films’ remains the name for the film industry in Ghana.
“We do have a name,” she said, adding that “the Ghanaian people voted for a name.”
When the host, Kwame Dadzie drew her attention to the fact that the ministry ordered that they pulled the reins on using the name, she said “inaction perhaps means consent.”
“Let’s say we go for voting and clearly somebody wins, and somebody says they are putting this on hold, so the person who has won, please…Until a new election is done, and until that gap is filled, because nature abhors vacuum, until that gap is filled, legally, the person that has been voted for [legally] is the person in power,” she said.
On Wednesday, December 8, 2021 by the National Film Authority (NFA), announced ‘Black Star Films’ as the name for the film industry in Ghana.
About two weeks after the brand name was unveiled, it was suspended as a result of a petition by some industry stakeholders.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey wrote on his Facebook page that the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Honourable Awal Mohammed had “directed that the usage of the newly selected brand name for Ghana’s film industry; ‘Blackstar Films’, be put on hold pending the outcome of the ongoing stakeholder engagements.”
He noted that the decision was precipitated by the displeasure of some industry people with the selection of the brand name.
Mark indicated that the office of the Minister was engaging the National Film Authority (NFA) and the aggrieved parties over the matter.
“As we await the outcome of the stakeholder engagements, it is hereby directed that the brand name be put on hold with immediate effect,” he wrote.
The announcement of the name came 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 sifted down to ten (10) by the Brand Name Committee chaired by Professor Audrey Gadzekpo.
The National Film Authority, therefore, asked the public to select, from the ten names, their favourite by voting.
According to the Chairperson of the Committee, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the name that had the highest votes won.
Some industry stakeholders led by broadcaster and actor George Quaye kicked against the name saying it was against the law and that the Executive Secretary of the National Film Authority, Juliet Yaa Asantewaa Asante owns a festival (Black Star International Film Festival) which bears a similar name to the selected brands name for the film industry of Ghana.
They also noted that by law the brand name for the industry was automatically the Ghana Film Industry.
According to them, getting a brand name for the film industry was also a misplaced priority.
They then petitioned the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture by collating signatures of people who shared in their reservations, through change.org.
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