Film-makers have been urged to be deliberate in shaping people’s perception of the country through their storylines.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Ben Anane-Nsiah, also stressed the need for them to be more creative and realistic in their storylines to make their films compelling to watch.
"You influence what people think about a destination and if you are deliberate about it you can get a lot of converts. Even those who have not been here would have the desire to come.”
"Being in Ghana can be fun so it is important that those of you who are film-makers deliberately show the reality of our situation and not what we often see. We need to change the narrative," he added.
He was speaking yesterday during a meeting with students from the Georgia State University in the US who were in the country to learn about the country's film industry.
Also present were representatives from the Ghana Tourism Authority, the National Film Industry, GH Media School, Accra Film School, Animax Studios, Mills Media, the University of Ghana and the Department of Film and TV and University of Media, Arts and Communication, among others. Some of the issues discussed included the importance of script writing and role of the crew in film-making.
From the discussions, it emerged that the country’s film industry was gradually making strides although there was still room for improvement in telling the Ghanaian story.
According to Mr Anane-Nsiah, there were rich and poor people in Ghana just as there were in every country, therefore, the creative should not paint Ghana as the worst in the world as portrayed in some of their storylines.
“Paint the right picture to encourage people to consider the nation as their destination. I am sure if I tell you to choose between going to Uzbekistan or southern France for a vacation, you will choose the latter.
“The reason is Uzbekistan does not mean anything to you, but at least southern France does because of the positive things that are projected in their films," he added.
The CEO of the National Film Authority, Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, spoke on the relevance of film and creative arts in general in tourism promotion.
“We all know that Ghana has set off on this amazing journey to attract the world and, indeed, our tourism numbers have gone up,” she said.
Ms Asante said the country could also take advantage of the phenomenon called film tourism by building the capacity of industry players and sharing experiences with best practices.
“We want to expand into so many opportunities and we are ready for collaborations and sharing of energies as opposed to come and take and go. So that's why we are very excited that you took the time to visit us here,” she added.