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Filmmakers Submit A Petition To Tourism Minister For Opening Of Cinemas In Ghana

The National Film Authority – Action Group (NFA-AG) – a Creative Arts industry pressure group largely made up of film industry stakeholders, has submitted a petition to Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyesi.

This is to call on the President to lift restrictions on our cinemas in Ghana to enable the film industry to kick start its process of recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic in line with many other sectors.

NFA-AG petition was submitted after the group carefully evaluated the potential spread of the virus at our cinemas and the attached risk assessment shows the residual rating as safe for reopening. They are proposing an online booking system which will allow them to track and trace customers easily. The group said they have also taken notice of the measures outlined by the cinema operators and submitted to the Ghana Tourism Board for consideration.

Read excerpt from the petition below:

Our petition comes at this good time, especially after His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has lifted restrictions on a number of indoor/enclosed sectors where large groups gather such as Churches, Mosques, Conferences, Award shows and drinking bars. In addition, passenger buses have been allowed to operate at full capacity while travelling to further destinations.

We believe the above sectors’ modes of operation are similar, if not same or worse than the cinemas. We gathered that, while enclosed space events such as Churches, Conferences, Award shows and their likes can admit a minimum of 500 and a maximum of 2,000 people or more per hall, the cinema hall has maximum capacity of 300 seats. And with the 300-seating capacity, the cinema operators are willing to do only 50% per show, so as to enforce the social distancing directive.

We are of a strong view that people can wear their nose masks from home, go to watch movies at the cinemas and return home without taking off the nose masks at any point. Whereas people who patronize drinking bars would have to take off their nose masks before drinking, which we find as a higher risk compared to activities in the cinemas.

It is our request that, if all these sectors are open to the public, cinemas must open too.

We as stakeholders will put in efforts and make it our utmost goal to inform and educate filmmakers and cinemas goers on the risks and how to minimise them at every opportunity.

The NFA-AG hereby, presents this petition to Honourable Barbara Oteng Gyasi, MP. to advise the government on the above subjects for cinemas to be allowed to operate

alongside the COVID-19 safety protocols, as stated in the attached Risk Assessment by the NFA-AG.

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