Ghana’s film ecosystem is set for a significant boost. Recently, US-based production company Pixel Ray Studios unveiled plans to establish a modern full-service studio complex with ten sound stages in the west African country.
According to Audu Maikori, co-founder and CEO of Pixel Ray Studios, there are not enough “world-class” quality sound stages on the continent to “tell African stories properly” and meet the growing demand for local content production.
Ghana’s film landscape has seen some international recognition. Netflix’s first in-house movie production released in 2015, Beasts of No Nation, was filmed in the country. The depiction of child soldiers in an unnamed African civil war was a landmark in the streaming giant’s push into movies and original content production.
Maikori also said, “Nollywood is the second most prolific film industry in the world [behind India’s Bollywood], producing even more movies than Hollywood, but in terms of revenues, the total market share for African movies represents just 2 per cent of the global film industry.”
He also noted that the problem is “quality, not quantity”, with these productions mostly having little financing and distribution.
“There are plenty of stories, but not enough are told in the quality, context and nuances of African people and black people worldwide. These studios will serve as a place where you can come in, tell your story, access great labour, and impact the economy,” Maikori added.
In an effort to boost Ghana’s film industry, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in April 2021, launched a US$25 million programme to increase local film production. As a result, Unesco estimates that Ghana pumps out about 600 films per year, the second-highest number across Africa behind its neighbour, Nigeria.
Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, CEO of the National Film Authority (NFA) of Ghana, said, “We are working to position Ghana as a film hub and also a shooting destination.”
According to Asante, the NFA is working closely with several different Ghanaian ministries on policies to attract international production, including making it easier for international staff to get visas and bringing in a new tax incentive.