FOCAP tells government: Open cinemas and theatres to avert collapse of industry

Pressure is mounting on government to as a matter of urgency reconsider lifting the ban on the operations of cinemas and theatres in Ghana.

According to players in the industry, authorities need to act fast to avert possible collapse of businesses in the sector.

A statement issued by the Foundation of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP) laments stakeholders are now facing embarrassment after being chased by banks over unpaid loans.

“Sadly, some banks and financial institutions are chasing after movie directors and stakeholders for unpaid loans and it’s becoming unbearable and embarrassing,” the statement said.

FOCAP believes with the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines it should be possible to open theatres after 10 months of closure.

We can’t breathe

“FOCAP believes that with the arrival of the vaccines and the on-going vaccination exercise, it should be safe to open theatres now as we continue to observe the COVID-19 protocols.”

It added: “A period of over 10 months of closure of any industry is enough to collapse that sector and that’s what the creative arts industry has gone through whiles other industries have been left to work without any hindrance and we believe it’s time to allow this sector to breathe before it dies out.”

President Akufo-Addo announced a ban on cinemas and theatres last year following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Below is the full statement from FOCAP:

Foundation of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP) is calling on government to, with immediate effect consider re-opening the CINEMAS and THEATRES with COVID protocols observed to enable the Creative Arts and Movie industry have a breather in the area of revenue in order not to collapse the industry completely.

FOCAP recalls that some eminent movie makers and some pressure groups like the NFA Action Group; an industry(Film) pressure group asking government to at least open the cinemas and Theatres with all COVID19 protocols but government did not heed to it. The National Film Authority (NFA) and the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture also received documents outlining all the mechanics as to how our cinemas and Theatres will be safe yet the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and NFA didn’t give a listening ear to it.

It is shocking that government during the elections allowed political campaigns without adhering to COVID19 protocols yet didn’t allow our cinemas to open where the people can be controlled but rather used the very closed cinemas for their own political activities.

Again, in the President’s presentation of the State of The Nation Address 21, FOCAP witnessed participants disrespecting COVID 19 protocols on social distancing.

FOCAP is asking the National Film Authority, the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and the Creative Agency to intervene for the Creative Arts industry because It is dying slowly and needs assistance.

Sadly, some banks and financial institutions are chasing after movie directors and stakeholders for unpaid loans and it’s becoming unbearable and embarrassing.

FOCAP believes that with the arrival of the vaccines and the on-going vaccination exercise, it should be safe to open theatres now as we continue to observe the COVID19 protocols.

A period of over 10 months of closure of any industry is enough to collapse that sector and that’s what the creative arts industry have gone through whiles other industries have been left to work without any hindrance and we believe it’s time to allow this sector to breathe before it dies out.

Fred Dzakpata

Gh Extractives

Ghextractives.com is an independent multimedia portal that seeks to provide credible information and news content to readers especially players in the extractive sector in Ghana, Africa and beyond. It also provides a unique platform for players in the energy sector to market their products and reach a wider audience

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