Ghana’s movie industry has suffered yet another blow as Ghallywood African Film Village, established in 2005 by William Awuku Akuffo to train persons interested in filmmaking, has allegedly closed down.
The film village which is located off the Tema-Aflao road sprawls a hush 200 acre land (800 plots) at Dawa in the Greater Accra Region.
It has, in the past, trained over 3,000 people in videography, film make-up, editing, sound, light, directing, acting, modelling, scriptwriting, among others.
According to earlier reports, top industry players like Majid Michel, Akumaa Mama Zimbi, Anita Owusu, Kisa Gbekle, among others, are all products of the school.
But indications are that the school is now almost a ‘white elephant.’
NEWS-ONE visited the premises this weekend to confirm its closure, and there seems to be some iota of truth in the rumours making the rounds.
The facility looked abandoned. There were no film students at the facility. Some parts of the property are also gradually succumbing to the bad weather conditions. While parts of the roof of the school’s summer hut looks almost like it’s been ripped off, grass has also taken over major part of the once beautiful environment. The main entrance of the village has been closed to vehicles but one can walk in on foot.
There were also no security men to talk to. But there were some three men who appeared to be encroaching on the property, cutting down growing trees and picking them for firewood.
One of them who won’t mention his name told NEWS-ONE that the school is not functioning. However, he mentioned that there is another branch in Accra. He could not indicate where it is located in Accra when he was asked.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach CEO William Awuku Akuffo proved futile.
Mr Akuffo is not just a respectable figure in Ghana’s movie industry but also known for his hard work to improve the industry. In 1985, he produced his first video film titled ‘Zainabu’.
He was the first to shoot video films in Africa. In 1994, Mr Akuffo started the Academy of Film Acting to train people in filmmaking; to harness in new faces in movies.
Then in 2005, he established the Ghallywood African Film Village, an academy of film acting. The village went through changes and was re-launched in July 2010.
But for years now, not much has been heard about the village in terms of training young filmmakers.