How Ghana YMCA’s Film Workshop Helped My Journey From Theatre To Film

My name is Clement Obiri. A native of Koforidua and a continuing student of Ghana Technology University College (GTUC), Koforidua Campus reading Information Technology.

I’m an event organizer with an event Crew in Koforidua called KofCity We Dey. Growing up as a child as child in Sunday school, I used act stage drama and other performing arts. I continued doing that in Senior High School at Ofori Panin Senior High school.

I developed interest for filmmaking last year when a friend of mine recommended me to one of the filmmaking production houses.

I had not participated in any major film production, but I had staged in a series of Drama on different stages. I’m with a production house called Acting the Mind of God Productions (AMG) which was focused solely on stage drama. But last year, I was part of the Ghana YMCA’s Make A Difference Filmmaking Project with Eddie Mankata. I was cast in his short film, “Beyond The Service” and I played the role as Paul, Serwaa’s father.

Due to the relationship I now have with Eddie Mankata, I saw the ad on his status concerning the Ghana YMCA/Weltfilme online training. I joined the online training and after that we were put onto a WhatsApp platform/group and the physical training was posted in the group and I decided to partake in it.

I have gotten so much experience in filmmaking by participating in these two workshops. At first, I thought it was just a normal thing but now I have come to realise that there’s more to it than I used to know. I also learnt that as a fictional film director, you have to know when, how, and who you are going to cast. You also need to pay attention to the time, the location and the characters that are going to be involved in the film. I also learnt something small about documentary filmmaking and it was great.

The facilitators for the training were also on point, they were very understanding. They took their time to explain everything. They were loving and caring, they took time to answer every question and they shared their numbers so we could reach out whenever we needed them. They were LOVELY.

The workshop has really changed my mentality towards filmmaking and it has also given me the motivation to work extra hard. We also learnt something on media for peace and I know that when you’re developing your plot, you don’t have to look at it from one angle but rather it should looked at from both angles in order to analyse it very well.

On film making, I am planning to put things together and probably shoot some scripts I have in mind with some few friends. I really do have plans towards film making.

Currently, it is obvious that the primary aim of today’s youth is to get money or do something for ourselves. But the means to do this isn’t there. I personally have a couple of friends from the University who are home without doing anything, so we tend to do anything that comes to mind. So aside workshops,  the YMCA can engage the youth to  know their wants, their needs, skills, and probably how they can help them put their skills into a trade or anything that will be beneficial to the youth because there’s  a saying that Satan finds hand with the idle ones. And if YMCA is able to help the young ones to get something doing, they will probably not be idle, and this can help reduce social vices in the country.

I just want to say a very big thank you to the YMCA and Welt Films for putting this workshop together because it has really taught us a lot. Things that we cannot even go and pay to learn they taught us for free. It is a very nice initiative.  It kept me busy in some way and I have also learnt so many things as well as made good friends in the YMCA who are really helping me to shape my life. So, a very big thank you to the YMCA and Weltfilme!

Clement Obiri
Participant of the Koforidua Filmmaking training workshop

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