“Establishing Film Industry in Sierra Leone”

“Establishing Film Industry in Sierra Leone”
Read and digest the attached document: “Establishing Film Industry in Sierra Leone”

2. Identify, describe, and discuss the indicators that support the proposed ideas in the document

3. You will have to compare the outcomes (e.g., income) of film industries in some of the countries in Africa.
West Africa: The Need to Establish a Film Industry in Sierra Leone

Michelle Yang
Zifan Zhang
Binger Li

West Africa: The Need to Establish a Film Industry in Sierra Leone

Project Abstract
We propose advancing the need to establish a film industry in Sierra Leone with the objective of helping them find a place on the world stage. Being the small West African country, they only have one movie theater and very few schools in general, if any. What we suggest we do is to focus more on the developing film industry and put more emphasize on film school in Sierra Leone.

Statement of Problem
Most of the films shot in Sierra Leone are done by other film producers and actors from other countries. One of the major reasons why movies made in Sierra Leone are done by other people is the lack of support by stakeholders. A Hollywood Film made in 2006, “Blood Diamond”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly helped crystallize the image that Sierra Leone is the land of blood diamonds and child solders. The movie offered a bloody depiction of the conflict that ravaged Sierra Leone for most of the 1990s, but most of the film was done almost 3000 miles away in Mozambique. The new film school will train young Sierra Leoneans to create their own films. In the long run, we hope that by doing this the country’s homegrown movie industry might transform Sierra Leone’s battered images overseas.An established film industry will help to market Sierra Leona worldwide. It will attract investors into the country because by changing the bad image that was created by “Blood Diamond”. Still more, the local will have an opportunity to develop themselves economically through their input in the industry.Without doubts, from economic basics, the income that will be generated will have a ripple effect in other sectors of the economy. The film industry will also help to sustain the culture of the nation and in fact sell it out to other nations. For instance, Nollywood has helped so much to advertise Nigeria to the rest of the world. Today, so much is known about Nigeria because of the established film industry in Nigeria. It is also hoped that the film industry in Sierra Leone will have a positive impact on the educational systems and political infrastructure by way of enlightening Sierra Leoneans.
Background
Sierra Leone is a small Western African country that has been falling behind in everything. It has an estimated population of about 6.2 million people with the population growth rate hovering around 2.3%. Although the living conditions in Sierra Leone are somehow better than in countries like Burundi, the poverty and hunger levels in Sierra Leone today remain all time high compare to other African countries. It is among the poorest countries in the world today with about 72.5% of total population living in poverty according to a recent UNDP human development multidimensional poverty index MPI. Just like in most other African countries, corruption, poor governance, and poor management of public funds continue to tear Sierra Leone into pieces. The extremely poor education system makes it even worse. Education in Sierra Leone is legally required but shortage of schools and teachers has made implementation of this impossible. The film industry in Sierra Leone was at one moment promising. This was a time when the government through the ministries of Information and Education was actively engaged in the film industry. The film industry was well regulated and this ensured quality productions. Further, schools and colleges were encouraged to join the industry through events such as National Art Festivals.However, all these were dropped at some point. The film has been dragging along without proper regulation and no empowerment at all. Consequently, local Sierra Leoneans can now only produce poor quality films which cannot make it to the international platforms. No wonder, only foreign films shot in Sierra Leone make it to the international level. However, it is worth noting that the spirit to revive the industry is alive. What needs to be done is to set up necessary mechanism such as film schools to empower the industry into producing quality products.

Rationale
For many in the West, Sierra Leone remains the land of blood diamonds and drugged-up child soldiers, even though the country has been at peace for almost a decade. The film “Blood Diamond” was the one that instilled the image for many overseas. At a time when Sierra Leone was desperately looking to rebrand itself, the film scared off tourists and drove away investors. Now, we will aim to erase that image with the establishment of the new film school. The President of Sierra Leone stressed that the film industry will tell a new story of peace, democracy, humanity, and determined to progress in many areas of human endeavors. Sierra Leone’s first ever film and acting school, IDF Film School,will be established by the Director of Instittut de Francais, Ahmed K. Mansaray who also doubles as a movie executive producer and director.Sierra Leone will aim to become a very big industry that provides quality films for the rest of the world. The school will have 32 students who are mostly in their twenties and thirties. The film school is not only here to strengthen the voice and backbone of local movies and film industries but also to give it more culture and identity. The film school will provide a platform to change the cultural setting of Sierra Leone. Through quality films, it will be possible to teach good citizenry to Sierra Leoneans and generally communicate the Sierra Leonean culture to the rest of the world. Educational standards, social classes, and politics are also likely to improve for the better through documentaries and other informative products from the film industry. The film industry will help to preserve Sierra Leone culture and pass it down to younger generations.

Goals and Objectives
The film school will aim to rebrand their image overseas. The school will also collaborate with other American and British stars to do at least three films. They will concentrate on three areas of film making which include: Pre-Production, Production, & Post-Production and the final month of the program will be devoted to each student’s individual films, each lasting at least 10 minutes long. The school will further promote their country by collaborating with TV stations, fashion, and entertainment industries. Some of these television media houses include We Yone TV, SLMTV, and MEDOTV. Sierra Leonean filmmakers need this formal training if they want to climb the movie ladder and be like Hollywood. The film school will not only shoot and teach movies but will further take to international film festivals like FESPACO and Cannes film festivals, with the aim of noy only exposing homebred talents but creating the enabling environment for Sierra Leonean film makers, actor and marketers to get an international voice and become internationally acclaimed.

Program Description
This project will enable students to be able to earn an education in filming in a country where there is very little education provided. The new Sierra Leone film industry – Sierrawood – as they call it will aim to erase those negative images and give the country a new face overseas. They will in time learn programs in film-making, specialization in screenwriting, directing, cinematography, documentary, and post production. All students who complete the program will receive a certificate and a digital master of all their projects.

Budget Analysis
The budget will include funds for a building and the school supplies such as cameras, tables, chairs, a white board, and a production room that are required within in order to start the film school. The total price for the school’s 18-month program is approximately two million leones, or around $450 a head. The students will be taught everything from the nuts and bolts of video production to the delicacies of movie makeup to the fine art of finalizing a script. Of course this all starts with the help of investors. This is where we would have to go to potential investors with a business plan, discussing everything from plot details to the fees for equipment and actors. In that way would they be able to consider pledging movie for movies at least for 1 million and above. This would be enough to finance the next three films the school may expect to make.

Conclusion
With the new film school in place, Sierra Leone will be able to reach new heights with their new found knowledge. Ten years from now, Sierrawood hopes to surpass Nollywood in terms of production, Nollywood being Africa’s biggest film industry so far. In addition, their new image will reluctantly give them a new face overseas as well and interest stockholders to invest into their industry. It many get off to a slow start but it will certainly attract many from afar with the instilment of this new film school.

References
Kamara, J. A. (2015). The Film, Flooding in Freetown! My Worrying Concern with Salone Film Industry. http://cocorioko.info/the-film-flooding-in-freetown-my-worrying-concern-with-salone-film-industry/

Major problems facing Sierra Leone today. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2015 from http://www.africaw.com/major-problems-facing-sierra-leone-today

McClanahan, P. (2011, December 14). Africa Rising: With Film School, can Sierra Leone change ‘Blood Diamond’ image Retrieved October 15, 2015 from http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2011/1214/Africa-Rising-With-film-school-can-Sierra-Leone-change-Blood-Diamond-image
Sierra Leone Film Foundation. (2014). Retrieved from http://sierraleonefilmfoundation.org/ q=content/projects

Sierra Leone’s first film school established. (2011, August 16). Retrieved October 15, 2015 from http://www.thepatrioticvanguard.com/sierra-leone-s-first-film-school-established

The Sierra Leone Film Industry:-“Foreign Actors gain preference over Locals”. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2015 from http://www.thisissierraleone.com/the-sierra-leone-film-industry-foreign-actors-gain-preference-over-locals/

October 29, 2015

RE: Establishment of a Film Industry in Sierra Leone

Dear: Whom It May Concern

On behalf of Sierra Leone, we are asking for a grant to provide us funding in order to establish a new film school within this small West African country. Currently, all the films that are depicted to be in Sierra Leone have been acted out from the perspective of white actors. Therefore, there is much misconception within these films. These false facts within the films have made Sierra Leone seem like a very hostile country and environment. Funding of at least $14400 USD is requested to implement this program and purchase equipment for the filming school.
The new film school will consist of 32 students who are mostly in their twenties and thirties. They do not have the ability to be able to purchase their own equipment due to much adversity seen within their country. The budget will include funds for a building and the school supplies such as cameras, tables, chairs, a white board, and a production room that are required within in order to start the film school. The total price for the school’s 18-month program is approximately two million leones, or around $450 a head. The students will be taught everything from the nuts and bolts of video production to the delicacies of movie makeup to the fine art of finalizing a script.
This project will enable students to be able to earn an education in filming in a country where there is very little education provided. The new Sierra Leone film industry – Sierrawood – as they call it will aim to erase those negative images and give the country a new face overseas. They will in time learn programs in film-making, specialization in screenwriting, directing, cinematography, documentary, and post production. All students who complete the program will receive a certificate and a digital master of all their projects.
The goal of the film school is to be able to collaborate with other American and British starts to do films. In this way will they be able to expand their brand image and become world reknown. The school will further promote their country by collaborating with TV stations, fashion and entertainment industries.
We appreciate your interest in helping Sierra Leone implement a program that will help the natives succeed. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any further questions.

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle Yang
Zifan Zhang
Binger Li