Mr Fritz Baffour, Minister of Information, on Saturday reaffirmed government’s commitment to assisting the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) with the necessary credit facility in its restructuring, infrastructural and technological development.
He said the credit facility would help transform the Institute’s into a sub-regional centre of excellence in training creative and media arts students and help in contributing to the development of the creative industry in the country.
Mr Baffour said this at the 9th graduation ceremony of 27 students who graduated from the institute in Film Directing, Television Production, Editing, Motion Picture Photography and Animation and Art Direction Television.
The graduating students consist of four 1st class honors, twelve 2nd class upper division and eleven 2nd class lower division honors.
Mr Baffour said not only have NAFTI graduates excelled in the film and television industry but have become the main source of professional personnel for media houses in the country.
He said in 2009 the Ministry formed a committee which recommended the transformation of the diploma awarding Institute into a fully fledged University to help provide a modern and dynamic training environment to support the creative industry.
Mr Baffour congratulated the graduates and urged them to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a productive venture and make a difference in making positive films that do not demean the culture but enhance the sense of self worth.
Professor Linus Abraham, Rector of NAFTI, said the Institute started as Diploma awarding institution in 1979 and was in 1999 affiliated to the University of Ghana.
He said the Institute offered comprehensive programmes designed to make a focal point for excellence in media and creative arts in Africa adding that the Institute had introduced two new departments, the multi-media design and production and the department of broadcast journalism to strengthen its department.
He said the Institute would soon start postgraduate degree programmes and introduce a professional Master of Fine Arts in digital film-making in affiliation with the Media Arts Academy in Cologne, Germany.
Prof Abraham said Film and Television training is a capital-intensive programme and required a lot of investment in technological facilities for training adding that this development accounted for the limited number of students the school gives admission yearly.
He expressed concern that in the environment of rapid digitization of media technologies, the institute’s studio facilities are still in the analogue age and sometimes the school has had to borrow equipment for training.
Prof Abraham said the Institute is currently engaged in commercial productions and the rental of studio facilities to enhance its Internally Generated Funds and that NAFTI is one of the media production centres that regularly undertake productions for the Centre for Distance Learning and Open Schooling.