President of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG), Steve Asare Hackman’s term in office finally came to an end with a dramatic victory for former president, movie producer and renowned Ghanaian actor, Mr. Augustine Abbey known in movie circles as “The Great Idikoko”, been declared once again as president of the association when his opponent, Douglas Odame in few minutes to the election stepped down to throw his support behind him.
The election of new executives for the association which was organized and monitored by officials from the Electoral Commission of Ghana took place at the Musician Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), headquarters in Accra on Thursday afternoon.
Speaking to Newsybase.com, excited Idikoko said he was surprised and didn’t expect such his victory to come in such a unified way.
“In fact this is something I didn’t expect. I thank Douglas Odame for showing that unity. One of the aims that made us set up FIPAG is to protect our job as producers. So we don’t need that professional main stream politics but rather unity and togetherness so that the Association can look more attractive and also grow. I think what my opponent did on the today is a way of sowing seed of unity and I urge all incoming executives to help in seeing this seed grow so that our industry will do better. Without unity, peace, love and togetherness, we can’t achieve anything” he stated.
According to him the job and success of FIPAG is not an individual job but team work. He advised that members should get the attitude of togetherness and not leave the job to individual executives after elections. He revealed he can’t really tell what exactly made members vote him as a leader again but he believe his contribution to the association has been recognized and members think voting him back as president will contribute a lot in achieving success for the association.
Touching on communication and media relation, Idikoko had this to share; “I think what FIPAG need seriously is a communication unit which will be headed by the PRO. Because we need to create a good relationship with the media, make friends who will understand our activities and know what we do. Have a round table with some of them who can help in branding FIPAG. The negatives that goes out there are too much and our image in the public is not attractive enough and some of these things affects our relationship with government and other cooperate bodies. Some of the things they hear about us don’t encourage them to even give us the needed support. I think we need to be circumspect with the way we carry information to the public”.
As part of his agenda for his current administration, he said just as drug dealers have the fear of moving around with narcotics or go about their duties, he will come up with measures that will put the same level of fear in pirates so they can reduce piracy in the industry. He said his administration will work towards having an anti-piracy court just as we have motor court that handles cases of motor offenders and all that. “We also need to push for something like that from the judiciary to strengthen our fight against piracy” he said.
He also said sometime prosecuting offenders of the film industry even becomes a problem and that the association need legal practitioners to help them achieve and also make the industry better.
FIPAG also seek to strengthen their relationships with the hotel association of Ghana so they can give us a good rate which will help in cutting down production. He also stated there will be a periodical meeting with members to know what their challenges are so they can find solutions to them even before their general meetings.
Idikoko who seemed excited about the passing of the film bill said they need serious executive body that will work towards enforcing what the film bill entails to help develop the film industry. “We also need to form partnership with other industry players like performers, musicians to expand our market. Work with them in establishing and growing our market to the other regions so that we wouldn’t be boxed to the Accra, Kumasi market only” he added.
He said they will also join the international equity in UK so that they can also access and enjoy the benefits that come from these bodies.
Television and Telenovelas
The new elected president said telenovelas apart from the power crisis (dumsor) is one big problem that really affect their job. He said the area that even affects them more is the pirated ones in the market which they will fight. “First televisions were under censorship board (cinematograph exhibition board of control) but later wrote letter to be self-censored so they are no more under it anymore. But their works affects the film industry and now the only thing we have is the broad casting standard which say they are encouraged to make 50% of their content local but the question is, are they doing it? So the telenovela has come to stay and it doing a lot of harm to the film industry but aspect which is really killing us is the uncensored one, pirated ones in the market. If we are able to fight this, I think the film market will grow again. Again the TV station are also doing their business, so how do we stop them? Maybe we can only go into dialogue with Tv stations in the country so we can work on it. I is not fair if your job affects or kill the job of other stakeholders” he said.