Former PRO of the Film Producers Association Of Ghana (FIPAG), Ola Michael has poured cold water on Kumawood movies, saying that he will not sanction his children to watch some of them because of the usage of strong language and content that is not child friendly.
Ola who is a also producer of such movies himself, made these comments as a pundit on Sunny FM’s Christian Entertainment Review Show (CeRshow) on Saturday. The program discussed how the concept of God is captured in Kumawood movies and their influence on societal behaviors.
Generally, some Ghanaians have raised concerns about the pervasiveness of “filthy language” in our local movies and that they have a high potential of influencing children negatively.
Nonetheless, Ola implores that it is the responsibility of parents to decide the kind of movies they would allow their children to watch. To him, every film maker has their target audience. However, it is not within the power of the film maker to ensure that the movie is strictly consumed by the target audience.
“As a parent i wouldn’t allow my children to watch some of the movies (i make)….. because i don’t make movies for children” he said
He added that “…once my movie is certified to come to the market, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that what they are buying is within the age range”.
He also believes that regulators have a role to play to curb the situation. He makes a case that the Film Act needs to be amended to include provisions that can help sanitize the industry.
Admitting to the fact that attaining quality works has been a hurdle, Ola strongly asserts that it is a problem of finance and not professionalism. According to him, the best rate one can get for producing a movie could be as cheap as GHs 150,000. Producers are therefore inclined to supply the demands of the market in order to generate the right returns.
There have also been misgivings that some Kumawood movies are tainted with so much exaggerations which is a far cry from happenings in the real world.
Ola was quick to defend that Kumawood movies do not really exaggerate events but rather bring to bare the reality with a touch that audience can relate to. “When you gt to church and the pastor is casting demons, you don’t see the demons but they tell you it’s done. But in movies, you need to show how it comes out”, he elucidated.
In conjunction, he revealed that most producers take inspiration from churches with respect to stories that are God centered. Hence, the display of demons is inspired by what the church is portraying.
“When we go to church, we see what the pastors do. So we also transfer it into our movies”, he confessed.
The term “Kumawood”, according to Ola, is not that exceptional as almost every region in Ghana has got a special name to qualify to qualify what they do. In Koforidua for instance, we have “kofwood” and the likes.
He added that Kumawood evolved six years ago when one gentleman launched an awards scheme dubbed, “Kumawood and Ako Ben Film Festival and Awards” to reward local players in the movie industry. Today, the name [Kumawood] has almost become acceptable even though it is not approved by all.