On location in Ghana with Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante – President of the Black Star International Film Institute » The Location Guide

Written by The Location Guide on Jun 28, 2019. Posted in Interviews

I was bitten by the movie bug at 17 once I obtained my first appearing job. My career took off very quickly with a supporting position in HBO’s 2001 production Lethal Voyage. I also gained ‘Best Actress’ in Ghana in the similar yr.

I then went again to school to do a business degree and began my company Eagle Productions Ltd. After my diploma I felt like I wanted to again my craft with some real expertise so I returned to the National Film and Tv Institute (NAFTI). I then took a second diploma in film directing.

I have all the time been in leadership and the dynamics of public coverage, particularly as a black lady in movie. I took my masters in public policy and my MPA at the Kennedy faculty of Authorities in 2011. This was a monumental turning point for me. It satisfied me to spend a while in helping to shape the coverage path of Ghana.

My journey in getting my 2015 movie Silverain to market also opened up a whole world to me and made me very acutely aware of the gaps that wanted to be closed. This result in the establishing of the Black Star International Film Institute, organisers of the Black Star International Film Pageant.

I have all the time been huge on schooling, focusing a quantity of my pieces as a blogger for the Huffington Publish on the subject. When the invitation came to chair NAFTI it felt prefer it was the end result of many years of preparation and I used to be very completely satisfied to take the alternative.

“Having the credibility to help motivate change is what I enjoy most about my role.”

What does this position involve and what do you take pleasure in most about the job?

Each roles give me a really distinctive chook’s eye view of what the gaps are and what must be completed. Having some energy to make some of it happen could be very thrilling! An necessary half of my position is constructing consensus and motivating stakeholders to take actions that move the sector ahead. Ghana has very robust players and having the credibility to assist encourage change is what I take pleasure in most about my position. One of my objectives is to assist Ghana define itself as a movie hub in the region. The message is beginning to sink in and we are properly placed to realize this with the right intervention.


You’re both a artistic individual and a enterprise savvy, organised leader which is a uncommon combination. Why didn’t you simply turn into a filmmaker?

In immediately’s world it is very important be multi-skilled. I really like being a filmmaker, however it is equally as necessary to me to help others obtain their goals with our very limited funding and help. I do know that I might be very profitable as a filmmaker as I have already executed that. Nevertheless, I come from a mindset of sustainable outcomes and that society is best off profitable collectively. To be recognised as a filmmaker from Ghana who has accomplished properly doesn’t fulfill me. What success seems wish to me, is to be mentioned together with other successful filmmakers from my country and for the world to recognise the collective readiness of our market. For me, that is what success appears and looks like. Without the enterprise aspect of things, will probably be troublesome to open that door and maintain it open. Which is one cause why the pageant is concentrated on the enterprise of movie. As a filmmaker, reaching new audiences at film festivals is essential, however much more essential to me is getting a deal. the query for me is can we help the subsequent filmmaker navigate the terrain successfully?

“NAFTI has supplied the region with skilled, and relatively cheap, film crew for the last 40 years.”

The Institute just lately signed an MOU with the Authorities to point out Ghanaian content material at all Ghana missions round the world. This can be a massive win for us as it’s going to help Ghana promote itself extra forcefully at points of contact round the world. This excites me!


What are you able to tell us about Ghana as a location filming vacation spot?

Ghana has many things to offer. You’ll find some distinctive landmarks and structure here. For example, many of the castles and forts used to transport slaves from Africa are in Ghana. As a country that is each Christian and Muslim, relying on which half of the country you’re in, there’s some very fascinating structure for filmmakers. There’s additionally an abundance of sunshine, forests, seas and so forth.

Ghana can also be a very protected country, ranking fourth safest in Africa. It has a very secure democracy and financial market. We at the moment are the second fastest growing African financial system at virtually eight%.

A rustic so rich and numerous in its individuals and cultures could be a filmmaker’s heaven giving inspiration to design and costumes. Current movies like Black Panther and Aladdin attest to this as they reference Ghana in the artwork and costumes used.

“Like any country, it is important to identify the right people to work with.”

Ghana has one of the most, if not the most, credible film faculties on the continent. NAFTI has provided the region with expert, and comparatively low cost, movie crew for the final 40 years. There’s additionally a lot of gear obtainable in Ghana so all the filmmaker has to do is convey minimal crew and gear to shoot.

Our Government is wanting into the incentives wanted to help this. We are wanting into what others have finished round the world and the way we will meet or surpass the incentives provided by them. However even without an incentive, our low labour costs and common value of doing enterprise will assist filmmakers select to shoot in Ghana.

What places are mostly utilized by overseas film and TV productions once they film in Ghana?

Co-productions have worked in Ghana for many years. A current success story was Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation (pictured above). It showcased the numerous nature of Ghana’s terrain – lovely waters, forest areas, distinctive structure and so on. Ghana even has a prop house for the filmmaker who needs to lease props.

A stupendous airport expertise, nice resorts and leases, good food, a nicely developed transportation network and ‘visas on arrival’ are things filmmakers additionally find very useful.

What are the more uncommon places that Ghana has to supply?

Ghana’s castles and forts are quite unique capturing alternatives. Not many individuals are aware of them. Ghana additionally has seashores and lots of lakes, rivers and waterfalls. As a filmmaker, I additionally find the market places in Ghana to be real gems. The type of character that scenes like those might convey to a production is invaluable. I do know this personally as a result of I’ve shot market scenes in Ghana and it was superb for those productions to have that further character that I didn’t need to build a set to realize.


What places worldwide can Ghana easily double for?

The cities have an awesome outlay with some really good infrastructure and so might cross for many small cities around the world. The airport appears like several airport in the developed world and looks very new.

What are the advantages of filming in Ghana?

Like all country, it is very important determine the proper individuals to work with. With a very good local producer, issues like permits, police assistance (the place wanted), visa on arrival into Ghana, getting your money in and out of the country, getting gear via the ports ought to be very speedy!

Ghanaians are recognized for being very congenial, welcoming and hardworking. Most of the crew I have labored with fit the bill. Those who have shot in Ghana even have good issues to say about the Ghanaian work angle and basic disposition of the individuals.

What has been your most troublesome location task or request in Ghana so far and why?

Capturing in the markets of Ghana, although lovely, has been my most troublesome location to date. Simply because there was a lot that was out of my control. Figuring out the job and going with the stream to some extent was useful. The expertise left me with a better film and with parts I never envisaged when writing the script.

Are there any specific ideas that you simply want to share with our readers about filming in Ghana?

Like all over the place else and with every part else, it takes some effort to seek out the proper individuals to work with. With that taken care of capturing in Ghana must be a relative breeze compared to many other places inside the area and out of doors of the region.

What would you advocate crew and forged do to have enjoyable and chill out in Ghana?

I really like the reside music tradition that Ghana has. This isn’t to be missed beneath any circumstances and there are various locations that provide it. In truth the entertainment and night time life in Ghana is one of the the reason why I really like being here so much. Many of the things I discover listed here are both not obtainable in different nations or are actually very expensive. Ghana’s cuisine can also be superb.

I’ve to mention the month of August as one of the most enjoyable occasions to visit Ghana. The Black Star International Film Pageant and the Chalewote Road Artwork pageant together create a filmmaker’s excellent want record.

What’s your favorite movie pleasant lodge and restaurant in Ghana?

We do quite a bit of work with the African Regent Lodge for a quantity of reasons. It’s minutes from the airport and small enough to supply a comfortable experience. The meals is nice, particularly in case you are trying to attempt some Ghanaian dishes. It really gives a up to date African experience.

What do you do to chill out and sit back your self after an enormous manufacturing?

I really like music! For me, it is both reside music or music movies. I additionally love that the majority golf equipment go to virtually dawn. I can really do the all night time if I’m in the mood

What was the final movie you saw and liked?

I’m presently watching a collection based mostly in Japan on Netflix and I am loving it. It is subtitled and because of that I wasn’t positive I was going to love it, but I have been binging on it for two weeks, so there you go!

What e-book are you at present reading?

The Religious Crucial by Lawrence Taub. Nice e-book!

Thanks Juliet, it has been great speaking to you.

Click on right here to contact Juliet.

Pictures courtesy of Yaw Pare.