After about four years on the drawing, the first real signs that the long talked-about Accra International Film Festival (AIFF) would see the light of day were seen at a press launch held at the Pre-Opening Villa of the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City, near the Du Bois Centre in Accra.
Members of the diplomatic corps, company executives, stakeholders in the film business, politicians and people drawn from other sections of society chatted, nibbled on finger foods and sipped their drinks, all looking forward to the festival to be held from June 25 to June 30 at the Silverbird Cinema in Accra.
When it does happen, film fans would have the opportunity to see works from Ghana and across the continent as well as films from the African Diaspora.
Movies that festival officials say would be shown include Jack the Giant Slayer by American director, Brian Singer; Tribe by Nollywood director, Ifeanyi Onyeabor; Warrior Queen by American director Hezekiah Lewis and No Time to Die by our own King Ampaw.
“Ghana has been an eye-opener in filmmaking for many other countries across the continent and a first-class film festival has been long overdue here,” said King Ampaw who is also the chairman of the AIFF board.
“ We are working hard to help make African films more visible on the global scene and we are sure AIFF would eventually grow to be the key international Anglophone film festival in sub-Saharan Africa.”
David Dontoh, AIFF’s Communications Director pointed out to Showbiz that only meritorious awards be given out this year and that competition for awards would begin next year.
Guests that have been slated to be in Accra for AIFF, Dontoh said, include Ayuko Babu, founder of the Pan African Film Festival in the United States; Sir Ridley Scott, English film director and producer; Idris Elba, British television, theatre and film actor; popular Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji and Burkinabe film director, Gaston Kabore.
The festival’s Executive Director is Osmo Kwame Addo. He is also the CEO of Katamadara Concepts which is partnering Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City to organize the festival.
Addo said at the press launch that he was hopeful the AIFF would trigger the international film community to shine a bright light on Ghana every year.
Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations-designate, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, before formally launching the festival, congratulated the organizers for “adding a landmark venture to the arts and culture calendar of events in this country. A team of film producers and actors came down from Kumasi for the press launch.
The AIFF is presented by PZ Cussons and supported by His Majesty’s Freight Services, Viasat1 TV. Silverbird Cinema, SIC company, TV3, AIT and Graphic Communications Group Limited.