Nana Yaw Yeboah
(Photo: Eric Don-Arthur)

He’s an award-winning Filmmaker, Director and the Founder of Ghana Film Foundation. With over a decade of experience in the film industry he’s worked on documentary films, series, corporate videos, commercial and feature film.

Originally from Ghana, he’s had the opportunity to travel around the world and uses his foundation as a way to give back to aspiring filmmakers in Ghana and other parts of Africa.

In Africa

Growing up in Ghana, I had aspirations to be a filmmaker, and it was scary. In a country where according to the current rules of financial engagement, art is the very lowest of priorities and mostly considered to be for those who are not “smart” enough to be doctors, bankers or lawyers, the thought of wanting to be an artist, is audacious. Fighting the mindset, getting the right training and finding the financial and logistical help to become an artist is hard. In most cases discouraging.

Talent is distributed equally. Opportunity is not.  A kid in a remote village in Ghana could be as talented as a kid in America. How far and how great these two kids make it in life depends heavily on what opportunities they have.

Africa continues to lose its great minds to other continents who offer better opportunities. You are only as good as the opportunities you get in life. We have the talents; we need to create the opportunities. So I’m helping in my own small way to create opportunities for those who need it.

One of the major barriers to filmmakers in Ghana and in most parts of Africa is equipment. Film equipment is expensive and many people can’t afford it or don’t have access to them. You have no excuse to not write down your ideas because pen and paper is cheap, you have no excuse to not read and learn to improve yourself. You have no excuse to not dream and imagine. You have no excuse to not tell the stories you imagine… it’s free. But you have an excuse if you can’t afford good equipment that you need to make a good film.

So I will share my personal equipment with you. Cameras, lights, sound, editing, etc. I will also share my knowledge in cinema with you. We Africans need to help ourselves…we have the capacity to and we must. People believed in me and supported me, without their help I wouldn’t have made it.  This is my commitment to Ghana’s film industry’s future.

This Short Script competition is our first project towards this promise. A good script is necessary to make a good film. So that’s where we are starting. Stories are personal but also universal. So, write. Even when you think nobody will understand or like it. You may see your story one day on the big screen.

Nana Yaw Yeboah