Leila Djansi had some of those bitter inconvenient truths that Ghanaians hate so much to lob at the Ghanaian movie industry in the wake of Abraham Attah’s Oscar exploits.
Djansi, who is based in the US herself, warned that Attah’s burgeoning career can in no way be sustained if he stays to act in Ghana. The only solution, for her, is for the 15 year old to move his career to Hollywood, where he can consistently fight for roles.
In a note on Facebook, the filmmaker also had some strong words for the Ghanaian movie industry, which is lagging behind due to multiple factors. These she diagnosed brilliantly, and predicted that unless those are exterminated, we’ll continue to be mired in a stagnating industry with no real quality.
I think it’s Jesus who said something about those who have ears to hear…
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Read her post below…
Here I go again. Anyone ready to make any videos? 3-2-1…
I am so happy for Abraham Attah. I am also sad for him at the same time. Because, unfortunately, unless Cary and co make that smart decision to relocate Abraham Attah to the US, his career cannot be sustained in Ghana. It’s Monday y’all. Award season is OVER. DONE. Roles for him are few and far between in Hollywood if he is not visible. It’s hard for child stars.
It’s exciting to see Ghanaians all excited and staying up to watch the Oscars and its kinda sad to see them make these sacrifices knowing the people they’re watching have never seen nor heard of them.
Instead of standing in the bleachers and screaming fan based shoutouts, ask for a place at the table.
Yep, Leila is too known. Someone has to put her in her place. Leila has to conform to Ghana standards, where is Stella Den-something when you need her; blah blah blah.
But when you stand outside the crowd and you see the HUGE opportunity to advance that they’re missing, you weep. I would LOVE to be in Ghana and make movies from there and be close to my family instead of here in America where you don’t know when some trigger happy cop is going to off you cos you’re black. But the way some of us make films, Ghana cannot sustain us. I cannot hire a crew of 50 people, a cast of 100+ and not be able to make any money back or have them good/skilled enough for a smooth flow production.
You want to see Ghana films travel? how about telling ourselves the truth and stop throwing tantrums when someone does?
- Lets make better movies. Enough of the vanity, love and fashion movies. We have so many stories to tell. Azumah Nelson, Yaa Asantewa, Kwame Nkrumah, Rawlings, Nana Konadu… It should not take 3 white kids to come to Ghana and make “Nakom” before a film shot in Ghana will make it to a major festival.
Let us be honest. We make terrible films. (I do too). Let us learn how to tell stories and tell them well. Let us tell honest stories. Not forced ones, but stories that hit close to home. Look at films from Francophone Africa. Honest stories have legs.
- UNITY. Can we hold hands and sing Peace like a river please? The industry is too individualized. Everyone is serving their own self. Opera Square got it right when they created a foundation to sustain the kind of movies they make. But, there are different people in the mix. Since a group of people stopped the film bill from traveling any further and the industry is stuck under opera square, so be it. But it’s kinda like having a phone that is not Facebook capable when you need one that is Facebook capable. Opera square is great for a certain style of filmmaking. It cannot accommodate the new ways so it has to evolve to sustain everyone. If someone makes a movie on 50,000 dollars why should he sell it for 5ghc? But if another makes a movie 0n 5000 dollars and sells it for 5ghc, he can break even. Let’s create an industry that supports everyone, or set up tiers.
- EDUCATION and TRAINING. I will never stop saying this because I have never seen anything like it… When an AD asks permission to go take a nap whiles we’re shooting, or when an AD spends all his time taking pictures even when talent is on set…you know something is wrong. We need well trained crew. Crew who understand the ETHICS of their departments. Not the glory of posing beside the camera, but the getting the work done and done right type of crew.
- This is what I said and the calvary got galvanized. Globalization has taken over African filming. It’s no longer relegated to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya or SA. We are making movies that cross borders. How about we create a faction? Because you cannot carry everyone along. Not everyone wants to change. Like minded people could form a coalition, brand that coalition. advertise it, start with the festivals, send the coalition to panels, create strategies to sell our films far and wide. Make it visible. Show the world Africa is more than war and HIV… Give the power to the producer, not the distributor who holds your film for 5 years and pays you peanuts. The coalition has rules, you want a members’ film, these are our rules…
The Academy is changing it’s rules and going for diversity and inclusion. Africa deserves a place at the table. Not at the fashion and party table with the kids, but at the grown up table. But… we are going to have to put in the work.
The oscars are closer than you think. Ask Abraham and Lupita.
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