The Film Distributors and Producers Association of Ghana(FIPAG) will from February 1 start arresting drivers of commercial vehicles who show local movies on their buses.
The president of the Film Distribution Association of Ghana, Mustapha Adams told Showbiz last week that movie producers are losing big sums of money due, in part, to the growing number of long-distance buses that show movies free of charge to passengers.
Mustapha Adams said that at the beginning of every local movie, it is written that the movie is not for public viewing but drivers still go ahead to flout the rules.
Asked why producers have decided to act only now although the practice has been going on for a long time, Mustapha Adams said that although producers had made some efforts to dissuade bus drivers from showing their movies on their trips, such prodding seem to yield no positive results.
On the other hand, some operators of long distance coaches who confirmed showing local movies on their buses had a different view. According to the Road Safety Officer of VIP buses, Asiedu Mensah, showing movies in their buses rather encouraged patronage as passengers who like the movies shown were likely to buy their own copies later.
“On many occasions I have been personally asked to procure some of the movies we show for passengers. As it stands we are rather helping the producers to market their movies” he said.
Some passengers that Showbiz spoke to expressed delight about the movies they watch on their journeys. According to Adwoa Kissiwaa,a regular passenger on the Accra -Kumasi route, showing local movies in the buses is the only form of entertainment and it would be unfair for film producers to stop drivers from doing so.
“I personally enjoy watching them in the buses because that is the only time I get to watch them. I never watch them at home and so do my friends” Adwoa said.
Another passenger, Robert Morden told Showbiz that, the decision of FIPAG to prevent drivers from showing local movies would deprive passengers of entertainment on the long trips. He suggested that FIPAG should come to an arrangement with drivers over a fee that they would pay and allow the drivers to continue showing their movies.
Adwoa Kangberee who said she enjoys local movies thinks the decision of FIPAG is not the best. According to her, the best option for FIPAG is to demand royalties from the drivers and allow them show the movies to entertain the passengers.
Source: Graphic Showbiz
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