The NAFTI Students Film and Television Festival on Tuesday began showing its movies to the general public to sample the creativity and uninhibited expression of ideas by the final year students who will be taking the centre stage in the industry.
The Director of NAFTI, Mr. Martin Loh, stated on Monday at the opening ceremony of the festival that the festival`s theme `Experiencing Your Mind`s Eye` is appropriate, because the positive culturally appropriate film and TV productions desired by the public on the screen will be experienced during the festival.
After the screening, there will be awards for the best producers, film directors, teleplay, editing, animation, sound, art director, actor, actress, set designer, production manager, academic student, picture, screen play, director of photography and best picture.
According to him, most film practitioners in the country fail to recognise that training in the field is important. This is what is causing the Ghanaian film industry to suffer the rejection it faces now, he said.
He stated that the students of the institution are offered education and training in film and television, which makes them function effectively in the industry with or without state of the art technology.
Mr. Loh disclosed that this year, the GETfund has promised support for the institute`s Research and Documentation project, and in addition the National Accreditation Board has granted it a fresh 3 year accreditation.
The NAFTI Director added that rehabilitation of their Studio to provide spaces urgently needed for training will commence soon.
He commended the hard work of the staff at the institute, as well as their contribution and the sacrifice they have made to see that the school is credible. However, he complained about the condition of service and salaries the teachers receive, stating that `it is nothing to write home about`.
He requested that their salaries be upgraded to the level of public Universities, referring to the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) which recently upgraded their staff salaries to the level of Universities.
He announced that the festival will be climaxed next Saturday with the graduation of twenty-two students of the institution who came out with first and second class passes at the Congregation of the University of Ghana, Legon.
The Students Representative Council (SRC) President, Kweku Duah Prempeh, stated that the present generation of film makers are challenged to ensure and sustain an optimum standard in film and television production that will parallel the universal standard.
He added that the `sustenance of this gold mine` depends on the concrete establishment of the framework of the medium of Audio-visual communication, both politically and commercially.
For the past three years, he pointed out that the students of the institute have been representing the nation at international film festivals in South Africa, Burkina Faso and Serbia.
The Director of the Ghana Trade Fair Company, Ms. Esther Ofori, who chaired the opening ceremony stated that she was very impressed about the quality and creativity of the productions of the previews of the movies to be shown during the festival.
She congratulated the past and present students for implementing their well taught skills in the movies that will be used during the festival. She encouraged them to work together to improve the film industry and if possible, revive the theatres.