May 7, 2021, 11:33 AM
The most important and the most extensive use of the medium of motion pictures are realized in the entertainment film. In this form, the medium has attained one of the principal influences of the modern world in the determination of the character of our people and society.
I write with high expression to expose the important role Gambian Filmmakers play in the productive sector of our economic. Filmmaking contributes a lot in the socio economic development of any country and investing in it is to help create employment for the young people. But film is not just a driver of economic growth; it is an opportunity to bring real prestige to a nation.
On set for Gamstars Movie Production
Over the years, Gambian Filmmakers have been trying harder to get recognition from the people and the government at large. However, many struggled along the way; some frustrated and had to leave the field due to the lack of support, and courage from some sect of Gambians and the government at large.
To my estimation, the film industry can employ about ten thousand young people if the government stand firm in reframing the creative industry. One film production can employ about hundred individuals. For example, the producer has to hire costumier/tailor, rent cars and buildings, buy props, hire characters, camera operators, editors, sound expert, make-up artist, director and assistant, and more. All these mentioned above are needed in film production and they work in different aspect, so by employing them in a single film, is a way of building the unemployment gaps for the youths of the day.
Crew of Banjul Filmmakers
The government of The Gambia has to take it upon itself and act fast in creating employment for the youth by rebranding the National Centre for Arts and Culture and Ministry of Tourism, who are doing little or nothing to improve the film industry. I never had the NCAC organizing and important training or event for filmmakers.
It is the duties of NCAC to help the filmmakers, simply by organizing film festival for the filmmaker like how Dakar introduced a self-film festival named ‘Dakar Coup’. Dakar coup bring filmmakers across Africa and beyond in Senegal to learn and complete. Can’t we Gambians have something like that? Indeed we can but provided that the government of the day is committed in helping young people, especially the filmmakers.
In this way, film not only provides income-generating opportunities, but it also enables social development by providing a safe, creative space for new voices and ideas.
From the first republic to date, none of them invested in films. That is a truth sign for not having interest in that aspect of development. We have heard of former president Yahya Jammeh, who had invited Nigerians actors to grace his single day event and he will in turn pay them fifty thousand united states dollars (US$50, 000) each. That amount of money which is equivalent to two million four hundred and fifty thousand dalasis (D2, 450, 000) can help develop the Gambia’s film industry.
Director Cham on set
Gambian filmmakers are challenged with lack of support in either cast or kind and they have several movies out for marketing but among the constraints they face is lack of film market in Gambia. It is the responsibility of the government to create an amazing film market for the Gambians filmmakers. By working towards that, foreign films should be ban for two years in the markets and our television stations. That will help Gambians recognized our efforts because when that is considered and implemented, only Gambian films will be sold in the markets and played in televisions.
We as a nation have to recognize the efforts of young people who are contributing daily to the productive sector of our economic.
Pa Modou Cham
Gamstars Movie Production