Opinion

Things Must Change With the Ghana Movie Awards

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The 7th edition of the Ghana Movie Awards was climaxed on Sunday, and just like previous editions, this year was characterized by varied objections over the organization of the Awards.

Since its inception, the scheme has been bogged with countless calls of poor management, lack of transparency, lack of credibility, award buying and lackluster organization of main event.

Disappointingly, while the movie sector serves as one of the forerunners of the entire creative arts industry, its awards scheme falls on the pegging order as one of the most shambolic.

After 7 years of ineptitude, it is just about time the Ghana Movie Awards is placed under scrutiny and assessed on how muddled it has been over the years.

One-Man Show

CEO -Fred Nuamah
CEO -Fred Nuamah

For an awards scheme as big as the Ghana Movie Awards, it is mortifying to have its CEO, Fred Nuamah, run the organization as a one-man business. He serves as the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, the Finance & Administration Head, Communications Head and an errand boy.

He sets his own rules and regulations for the awards or culls them from some other scheme without paying attention to the terrain.He sets his own eligibility year for the awards or none at all, and he speaks for the awards on all platforms – choosing which platform to speak on and deciding on what questions to answer and what to ignore.

Since taking over from the GAMA Films-organized ‘Ghana Film Awards’, which was properly done, observers and critics have tagged the Ghana Movie Awards as a business venture; where its CEO uses the brand to simply make money from stakeholders and sponsors.

Accusations of Fraud

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The award scheme has been purported to be fraudulent with its master tactician being the CEO, Fred Nuamah. He has been figured several times for selling the awards to interested persons who are concerned with winning, regardless of whether they truly deserved it or not.

He has also been accused of making the final decisions on who wins what, in spite of his claims of some existence of an Academy that oversees the nominations and selection of eventual winners.

Some years ago, he initiated the ‘Founder’s Award’ – a never-seen-before category, where, as CEO and Founder of the Awards, he got to select who picked the topmost award that came with a car prize.

It is only in Ghana and with the Ghana Movie Awards that the founder of the scheme, sits in his bedroom, disregards all rules and regulations and decides, no, bets on who to give the top award to. It is simply outrageous!

Some winner (s) of this ‘Founder’s Award’ have accused him of demanding for money from them before he would release the prize.

Cluttered Processes

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It is extremely galling to listen to Fred Nuamah compare the processes of the Ghana Movie Awards to the Oscars every time he is queried over the mechanisms of the awards.

In the last three or so years, movies have picked awards without being released and the Founder, who also doubles as the scheme’s publicist, have always found a way to defend the decision. His excuse has been that; once the Academy sees it or once the movie gets to the editing bench, it gets to be nominated. Hogwash!

The website for the awards, which is supposed to be the go-to source of all relevant information on the awards was updated three years ago. The so-called Academy members’ list has not been revised in the last three years, and it is the same sorry state for criteria set for the Awards.

Incredibly, the awards has no eligibility period, the duration which stipulates the exact period a movie qualifies to make an entry to the scheme.

No serious movie awards scheme across the world has such haphazard processes as Fred Nuamah’s Ghana Movie Awards.

Waning Interest

After its first edition, the level of enthusiasm exhibited by stakeholders towards the scheme has dwindled over the years.  Influential associations or groupings within the industry have frowned on the treatment meted out to them by the founder, the lack of respect shown them and the sheer disregard of their influence within the industry.

The level of attention given by the media to what is supposed to be one of the much-anticipated awards scheme in the showbiz space, has been lukewarm – unfortunately.

From the call for entries to Academy sittings to release of nomination list to main event, there’s little or no media coverage, but don’t blame the media; even the organizer does not have a definite timetable for all the major activities that make the awards.

His mood obviously determines when call for entries are made, when the so-called Academy members converge and when they do vote for eventual winners, if there’s any voting at all.

Gradually, some actors, directors and producers are losing any interest in the scheme because they know how shady and shoddy the scheme has been over the years.

Blame it on the Actors/Directors/Producers

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Yes, Fred Nuamah has his share of ‘demons’ but blame the slapdash nature of the awards on the major players of the movie industry – the actors, directors and producers.

These guys are a bunch of hypocrites, who yelp only when they are not at the receiving end. Clearly, almost all the major players within the industry know, that things are implicitly awry with the Awards, but they choose to keep mute and perpetuate such ‘atrocity’.

These actors are privy to the jumbled organization of the awards, but they never mind; they are only interested in donning fine dresses (mostly borrowed) and tuxedos to the main event, fake smiles on the red carpet and mount the podium to collect awards. Shameful!

Things Must Change

Brazenly, Fred Nuamah shrugs off some accusations that are leveled at him and that have emboldened him cultivate a cavalier attitude to all forms of criticisms thrown at the scheme and his personality.

His irksome PR gimmicks deter the media from interrogating grave matters relating to the Awards.

We should not let him ‘fool’ us; the Movie Awards is serious business, a venture that can be utilized to throw positive spotlight on the industry and attract corporate entities to support an ailing industry.

We should put him on his toes, put him and the scheme under strict scrutiny and make the Ghana Movie Awards better.

 

Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo, www.entertainmentgh.com

 

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