The Ghana Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), a youth-focused non-profit organisation, has premiered twelve short films on COVID-19 themes aimed at sensitising the public on the disease.
The premiere held at the Goto Hall of the Mensvic Grand Hotel last Friday 30th October 2020, drew a fine crowd of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, representatives of development organisations and fraternal partners of the Ghana YMCA.
The twelve productions comprising six documentary films and six fiction films were produced by participants of the Ghana YMCA and Weltfilme’s filmmaking training tour held between July and September 2020. Within the period, the Ghana YMCA and Weltfilme trained over one hundred and twenty filmmakers across six regions in Accra and funded the trainees to produce short films under the guidance of the trainers.
In his welcome address to the audience, the Executive Director of the Ghana YMCA, Mr Kwabena Nketia Addae commended the trainers, who braved the odds to travel across the country to train young filmmakers. He also admonished the audience to not only view the films but to also pick up the vital lessons embedded therein.
“What you are about to witness this evening are the tireless efforts of our trainees and trainers who have braved the odds to tell the Ghanaian COVID-19 story from our own cultural lenses. I must be quick to add, however, that these films have significant value beyond their creativity. It is the contribution of the Ghana YMCA and its partners to complementing the public education on COVID-19 being done by the government and all well-meaning organisations. I therefore entreat everyone to pick valuable lessons from these films to better protect yourself and your loved ones from the coronavirus,” Mr Nketia said.
Since 2018, the Ghana YMCA and its partners have implemented an annual mega film training project which brings together expert filmmakers from Germany and Ghana to train young filmmakers from Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, and the Gambia on telling powerful stories for social impact. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 and the subsequent restriction of international travels, the project was adapted into a national filmmaking training tour in the various participating countries
Esene Sorkpor, a Director of Photography who was a pioneer trainee in 2018 and has developed into a trainer spoke about the experience of travelling across the country delivering filmmaking training in the midst of COVID-19.
“In the beginning, I was quite scared to be honest. Because when we started the tour in late July, COVID-19 sounded much more scary than it does now. It appeared even the WHO didn’t have a grip on it and kept changing their positions on preventions every now and then. But we protected ourselves by wearing the shields and washing or sanitising as often as we could. In the end, we all returned safely, and we are glad that we have been able to impact so many lives and more importantly provided unheard real-life perspectives on COVID-19 amongst the rural communities,” she said.
Following the successful premiere of the twelve short films, one of the films will now be screened on GHOne TV between 2nd and 13th November at 2.20pm each day. After which the trainers shall tour six regions across Ghana to show the films to rural communities and engage them on COVID-19 preventive protocols.
The Right On Film Project is a collaborative effort between the Ghana YMCA, Weltfilme, Sierra Leone Adult Education Association (SLADEA), National Adult Education Association of Liberia (NAEAL), The University of The Gambia, Cinéma Numérique Ambulant (CNATogo), and Xchange Perspectives with financial support from German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Bread for the World.
Source: Goddy Nana Mens / Communications Officer, Ghana YMCA / 0548780312