NAFTI to be transformed into a university

The Government has approved the transformation of the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) into a modern and well-equipped creative and media arts university.

It would serve as the basis of training the well-developed crop of skilled force to support the growth of the industry.

Cabinet is also in the process of considering movement of NAFTI under the Ministry of Education, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, announced on Friday.

Speaking at the 12th graduation ceremony of NAFTI in Accra, Dr Omane Boamah explained that a new statutes and a bill for the transformation are being developed and would eventually be sent to Parliament for approval.

He said as a sign of its commitment, government is working on funding to modernise the institute and set-up a commercial production unit.

The ground breaking ceremony for the NAFTI transformation project would begin this year.

At the graduation ceremony, 33 graduands, who satisfied the requirement for their courses of study were awarded Bachelors in Fine Arts Degrees in their areas of specialization, while 40 other students were awarded certificates.

Four students received first class honours, 13 received second class upper division honours, another 13 received second class lower division honours, while two received third class honours. Dr Omane Boamah said when the modernisation project is completed, the NAFTI studio complex which had been abandoned for more than 35 years, would be re-designed and developed into a four-storey Media Arts Complex with commercial production and post-production facilities that could be rented by the industry.

The top-floor of the complex has been earmarked as the nation’s film and television archives.

“It is envisaged that five years after the modernisation exercise, the increases in admission figures in respect of the certificate, bachelor’s, master’s programmes, seminars and workshops would result in the adequate financial solvency of the Institute for it to be weaned-off government subvention,” the minister said.

Dr Omani Boamahsaid NAFTI graduates are putting Ghana on the continental map of serious cinematic productions and are making great strides despite the challenging situation of limited resources and decreasing government subvention.

He said Ghana needs good films, not only to entertain, but to define the direction of development of the nation and importantly, to define the identity of our people.

He said film and television programmes create the mental landscapes that shape the actions and identities of a nation.

He urged the graduands to let their training at NAFTI be used well to help create significant entertainment for the nation, and to define representation that would appropriately help define the culture, identity and development of Ghana.

Professor Linus Abraham, Rector of NAFTI said the Institute graduates have become the main source of professional personnel for media houses in the country while most of them have established commercial production entities and have employed people, thus offering them the opportunity to earn income.

Some are also engaged in production of movies for the cinema, while others are consultants in cinematic areas like sound, photography, editing and screenplay. Others are also in academia.

He urged the graduands to aim towards becoming independent and commercially successful film makers who would revolutionalise the industry with quality productions.

“Become entrepreneurs and undertake your own productions. You do not have to wait for five-10 years to find funding for big screen films. These days micro and portable production technologies make it easier to engage in productions,” Prof Abraham said.

Mr Kwaw Ansah, Chief Executive Officer of TV Africa, advised the graduands to make themselves relevant by telling the untold stories barging society to help effect positive impact on people.

Source : GNA