Benpaali Young Filmmaker’s festival Day 1

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mkdakwa@gmail.com June 4, 20155:05 pm

Workshops ongoing: “Real Life Stories” workshop being facilitated by Jim Awindor. Also ongoing.

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Workshops ongoing. Ivan Quashigah speaks on the Art of Casting and Directing.

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After greetings in the various Ghanaian dialects, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts; Madam Dzifa Gomashie makes a passionate speech
She shared on her background in acting and performing when she was younger and how that helps her appreciate the arts.Yet she bemoaned the absence of some stakeholders in the story of the arts. Her questions to the audience were:
“Where are the industry members and stakeholders when we were engaging in such discussions like these?
What makes us shy away from discussions that will help us shape the destiny of the industry? (I hesitate to call it an industry, though. That term doesn’t quite capture it)
It’s okay to ask the state or government to do A, B, C…but what are we doing about our own situation?”
She encouraged us to take a second look at what we’re doing, because “Who wants a photocopy of anything, when the original is there?”

“When we have the opportunity to tell the story, what do we want to tell?
What do we want? Is it what we really want? Or it’s only what we’re portraying?
We see people who are ‘Ghanaian’ in look but from head to toe is a representative of the United States? So i get confused. Whose story am i supposed to help tell?”

She ended by again asking about the whereabouts of those who trained in the arts field? “How did it happen that the people who didn’t train in it academically took over what we prepared ourselves for?”

She voiced out her hope that as the participants engaged the experts talking with them, and as they read about things online, they/we ask how we’re contributing to the knowledge of the world about our culture
“I’m doing it in my own way. How are you doing it in yours? As you do that, think about the red, gold, green with the black star”

mkdakwa@gmail.com June 4, 20153:25 pm

Madam Dzifa Gamashie – Deputy Minister , Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Creative Arts – now speaking.

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Addressing the question of lack of funding or interest in the arts by governments and people in power, Professor Kodzo Gavua stated:
“We can use the arts to awaken the politicians to the fact that it’s a mistake not to invest in the arts. We have to work hard to show our value, to force that university administrator or politician to recognise the impact of the arts. We have to put in our maximum best, be very innovate and creative, seek alternative ways of approaching what we do in the arts.”

This was built on in one participant’s comment; “let’s open our minds and research the ways we can do things ourselves.The new Africa we want is the one that we in the arts can create and survive despite of which government is there. It’s up to us”

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Loira Limbal shared on her childhood and experiences she had, and eventually a documentary that shaped her life: “Eyes on the prize”. “It changed the trajectory of my life” she said, “I saw people doing things to better their lives, community and society”

As human beings, we learn through stories. Most stories we see around us portray Africa in negative ways. Yet that isn’t always the true story. Stories do matter, and more importantly, WHO tells the story.

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Professor Kodzo Gavua:

Film today is an aspect of our heritage because we can create heritage even in the present. We can use film then to create and emphasize our identity. We therefore want to use film to define what identity we want the world to have of us.


Benpaali gives us something to think about: a new dawn that is not following the existing trends like Ghallywood and Nollywood.

Filmmakers have power to influence attitude, to influence change and affect society. Film making then becomes the power that young people wield to paint a more optimistic picture of our world. There are so many positive things we can show. 

It is my hope that Benpaali film festival provides a positive reference point that help people to transform themselves. 
mkdakwa@gmail.com June 4, 20152:06 pm

Stories That Matter Keynote speakers discussions

Professor Kodzo Gavua: What stories are we telling and whose stories? Professor Kodzo starts his keynote stressing the importance of this festival because of the emphasis on youth. 

1 reply
  1. melange
    melange says:

    Totally cool….team1000words! I missed out today but I will keep sharing your site. Benpaali is totally worth the effort.

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