FIPAG still on the nerves of foreign companies

The film producers association of Ghana-FIPAG seems not to have resolved to leave foreign production companies that come to Ghana to shoot movies or documentaries alone – despite harsh criticisms from some art critics.Leadership of FIPAG launched an all out directive for non-Ghanaians who make films in the country without having a work permit – a permit from the Ghana Actors Guild and a permit from FIPAG. The campaign, according to the Public Relations Officer for FIPAG, Michael Kwaku Ola, was meant to protect the Ghanaian movie producers and the industry as a whole and not scare off foreigners.
“People have in the past sneaked in and out of the country to shoot movies and documentaries among others without any work permit or permission from FIPAG. Well guess what, things have changed now. FIPAG, together with the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) will make sure that the right thing is done,” Michael Kwaku Ola told the media some months back.
A movie CD hawker at Opera Square in Accra Central called on GhanaCelebrities.Com to make a report that last week, the FIPAG pounced on some foreign production crew from South Africa who were shooting at Opera Square – bringing business to a halt amidst causing both human and vehicle traffic congestion.
In an interview with the head of the task force team of FIPAG, Mr. Samuel Ampadu, he confirmed to GhanaCelebrities.Com that “it’s true we disrupted a South African production company from shooting at Opera Square after getting notification that they were shooting without permit.
“It was after we stopped them from shooting that they showed us a permit letter from the Ministry of Information.” Per FIPAG’s directive, foreigners who come to Ghana to shoot movies must pay a certain amount of money to the association.
Explaining, Mr. Ampadu said “yes. That is true. They are supposed to pay some money to FIPAG so we have asked them to get in touch with the Deputy Minister of Information. After that, they will meet FIPAG executives to pay the money.”
Asked what the actual amount is and why the foreigners must pay, Mr. Ampadu said: “as for the amount, it will be decided by FIPAG. We usually take that money so that in case a foreign production house comes to Ghana to shoot and fail to foot a hotel bill or fail in defraying any financial obligation, we can use some of those monies to pay.”
Speaking to one of the Ghanaians who acted as the Ghanaian rep (pleaded anonymity) for the South African company, he expressed his disappointment: “It’s rather unfortunate! We were shooting a docu-advert when FIPAG’s task forces pounced on us. They disrupted us from shooting.
“They did not even ask for our permit first. They just came and stopped. Meanwhile, we had secured a permit from the Ministry of Information.” He continued that “they had even wanted to cease our cameras! You wanted to cease the over $ 60,000 worth camera. But they have asked us to meet them so we are looking at how things will turn out.”
In June this year, FIPAG threatened to storm the set of Hollywood actor Idris Elba who came to Ghana to shoot a movie but failed to officially meet FIPAG executives or the Ghana Actors Guild. According to the President of FIPAG, Mr. Steven Asare Hackman, “you can’t go to Britain and shoot a movie without having any memorandum of understanding with the film producers association there.” Credit:

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