Connect with us


Idris Elba tells President Akufo-Addo he wants to build a film studio in Ghana



Multiple award-winning movie star Idris Elba has informed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo about plans to bring multiple filmmaking studios to Africa starting with Ghana.

Friday, February 3, 2023, Idris and his team paid a courtesy call on the president at the Golden Jubilee House, because of “our programme to build film studios across Africa” even though “currently, we call it West African Studios but that’s because it’s a working title.”

Idris also revealed the work has been in progress for about four years with the intention “to put a facility at the centre of African filmmaking” having noticed the lack of infrastructure in the African film industry.

He noted, however, that: “In South Africa, they have a big facility [and] a lot of film production go there.”

The Hollywood superstar disclosed that while delibrating with his team, they noticed that “policy is where the actual groundwork” needs to be done to realise the dream for Africa.

“We’ve studied the modules of obviously South Africa which has an incredible incentive package,” he said. “And around Europe. Greece, Morocco… These are all places where they realise the value of the filmmaking dollar and have brought that policy into play.”

Mr Elba acknowledged that the Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante-led National Film Authority has “done the work [and] put together a very comprehensive plan to propel Ghana into the forefront. [However] it needs to be robust, it needs to be competitive to the rest of the world.”

With President Nana Akufo-Addo writing in his notebook, Idris stressed that: “We believe for sure, and I know you believe it too, it’s been part of your legacy that you want to leave that Ghana should step up in terms of attracting those filmmakers.”

READ ALSO  I regret campaigning for Akufo Addo - Maame Dokono

The Beast of No Nation star rehashed the purpose of his visit as presenting to the Ghanaian leader: “the parametres of what we need to do. In short, the work’s been done; understanding what international filmmakers need for Ghana specifically in tandem as we lay the ground for the studios.”

Idris, 50, argued that without the right policy underpinning filmmaking in Ghana, the plan to draw investors to the West African nation will be fruitless.

“I’m led to believe that there are some plans for some other studios to be brought to Ghana which is fantastic and one should not cannibalise the other but without the policy component, I think, it’s safe to say that we can have as many studios as we want but we will not have the filmmakers attracted here,” he said.

The British actor, of Ghanaian descent, highlighted a personal project he aims to bring to Ghana.

“What I want to do personally [is], I have a film that I am directing and I am hoping to bring that film or at least some of that film to shoot in Ghana. [For] that film, I would say we’d be here in December. We start pre-production in August. Some of the film, say two or three weeks, will be in Ghana, say by December,” he indicated.

He announced his intention to use his film as a pilot to make a case for the grander project of bringing state-of-the-art studios to Africa to attract the international shakers in the movie industry and hoped for “a fair wind,” and consensus regarding what “we could do in terms of the policy.”

READ ALSO  If I Die Today, I’m Going Straight To Hell Because I Campaigned For Nana Addo – Big Akwes Cries Out

“Needless to say, it’ll take a lot of collaboration to move quickly. However, it would be very beneficial for us to show and to make an announcement to the world that Ghana is open for business [so] here [are] the steps, the policies are in place, and we are actually bringing a film [by] one of [those of] the soil,” he touched his chest proudly, “to our country and we’re going to put our money where our mouth is.”

Idris Elba concluded by emphasising he and his team’s confidence in the president’s interest to partner with them in the said pursuit, only that “it’s just a question of whether we can push through with the relevant parties to make it happen.”