Story by Joseph Kobla Wemakor

The Festival of Films Africa (FOFA), one of the Africa’s biggest body which is noted for celebrating hardworking African film makers, media professionals and promoters of African heritage for their high level of creativity and arts in using pictures, sounds and animation in telling both complex and mild stories has honored The Light Foundation, Ghana (TLF), an NGO spearheading Ebola campaign in Ghana for the best informative and educative short documentary on deadly Ebola Virus Disease.
Sheik Ali Napari, Exec. Dir. of TLF receiving a Plaque of honour in the name of the foundation
The recognition came as part of the annual Festival of Films Africa (FOFA) award under the 2015 edition which is dubbed ?the 2015 Contest Short and Animation Film for Development Ghana, on theme: “Celebrating Art and Creativity”

The short and animation Film for Development Ghana as the name implies is an annual event that seeks recognize creative short and animated films produced by young people of Ghana to educate inform and entertain people on problems Ghanaians face on daily basis which includes maternal mortality, child labour, child abuse, Ebola Virus Disease, cholera epidemic, HIV/AIDS, and lack of good health facilities.

The Organizers of the event believes using the above problems to tell a vivid but factual story through short or animated films, inculcating Ghanaian values into it can go a long way in helping solve some of these major challenges Ghanaians battle with daily therefore initiated the FOFA award scheme to reward deserving individuals and Organizations.

As a sign of honour for The Light Foundation, Ghana (TLF) who warm the heart of a seven member Jury with the best Informative and Educative sixteen minutes (16) short documentary film on Ebola titled ?#Spread the Word Not The Disease? to come through with the Special Jury Choice Award conferred on them by the noble FOFA body which falls under its Jury Award category.

The foundation, for their prize, as a mark of recognition received a beautiful plaque of honour setting them apart from other nominees,setting a higher standard for other NGOs in Health and Education Sector to follow.

The Light Foundation, Ghana (TLF), is a not-for profit Organization spearheading Ebola Awareness Campaign in Ghana with a high commitment to stop the deadly Ebola from rearing its ugly head into Ghana.

The Foundations has embarked on a Nationwide Ebola Campaign since last year targeting at extending sensitization to at least 20 million Ghanaians.

In barely eight weeks, the team has printed and distributed over 80,000 copies of Ebola educational materials across six regions including high risk areas like Elubo and Paga.

They have also transcribed Hundreds of facts on Ebola into Braille for the visually impaired and engaged sign languages.

The foundation has also currently embarked on sensitization campaign within some zongo communities within the Greater Accra and the Volta Region targeting 5,000 Muslims to be sensitized within just two (2) months which saw almost 2,000 Muslims already reached under phase one of the project.

The full version of the Ebola award wining documentary film, under The Light Foundation Documentary on Ebola Nationwide Awareness Campaign; titled ?Spread the word not the disease? is available on the internet and can be accessed via facebook or youtube at: http:/m.youtube.com/results?q=the%20Light%20foundation%20ebola&sm=3

The thematic area for this year?s event according to Judi Consult, organizers of the event is focused on Health, Education, Local Governance/Environment, and Social and Cultural development.

Speaking during the award ceremony last Sunday, July 7, evening at the world trade Centre in Accra, Deputy Minister of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts, Hon. Dzifa Gomashie noted African film makers have not done any good to their motherlands with the kind of stories they tell in films, making it difficult for the true African stories to be told.

She bemoans the lack of movie production equipment which the industry faced recently making it difficult for Ghanaians to come out with quality movies in contrast a Country like Nigeria which is far ahead of Ghana but lags behind due to telling undiluted stories.

According to her Dzifa Gomashie, African movie Producers must desist from portraying the culture of European countries in movies they produce instead focus on promoting African values and culture for generation unborn to continue from where we left off.

?I believe it is time we tell our own stories knowing very well that based on the assessment of African films and stories told about us lately, you would agree with me that they are diluted, not original. This calls for concern and a ‘U’ turn to tell our own stories to promote our values and culture with innovation” she intimated.

The Project Coordinator of FOFA, Judith Oluwale Kuwornu on her part stressed the need for African Film makers to resort to the use of modern technology to enhance innovation as tool in producing quality contents that can compete with the international world.

She commended the nominees and the awardees for the excellent creativity and art they portrayed in their content, urging them to work hard in order to produce more quality contents to help project the name of Ghana?s Movie Industry to the International World.

In all the six categories of the awards at stake for grab for the evening, Hogan, a Nigerian Comedian emerged the FOFA Special Award winner for the year 2015 whilst ?missing mothers? a short interesting video titled H.O.P.E also picked up an award under the Health category.

In Education category, ?enti kuro nko agyina? was declared the best short video followed by ?Dear Valentine? which also was adjudged a wining video for the Local Governance / Environment category whilst under Culture category; ?Agorkorli? was adjudged the winner. ?Reunion? video has also won an award under the Social category.

Some media organizations including donor agencies who supported the event were also presented with citations, including TV3, Starr FM, TV Africa, Verve, Ghana Online Marketing Website, Verna Drinking Mineral Water and other individuals.

The FOFA short animated films contest 2015 is powered by Judi Consult and supported by the embassy of the United State Accra,Ghana and partnered by First Atlantic Bank,Africa World Airlines,GAFTA,Ministry of Tourism,Sikkim Manipal University,TT Brothers Ltd., Creative for life and many others.

The event was highly patronized despite the thunderstorms and early warnings of a heavy downpour by weather experts on that fateful day.

In attendance were high profiled dignitaries including Ministers of State, distinguished media professionals within both broadcasting, creative and movie industries. Notable among them whose presence graced the occasion were Hon. Dzifa Gomashie, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Pastor Mrs. Demay Alabi,Dr Rev. Hesse, Mr. George Bosompim of GAFTA, Ghanaian Movie Actor, Ekow Smith Asante and many others.

By Joseph Kobla Wemakor/[email protected]

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