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Thread: Anima Misa speaks about 14 Years Out Of Sight and "Ghallywood"

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    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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    Default Anima Misa speaks about 14 Years Out Of Sight and "Ghallywood"

    Ghana's pioneer actress and producer, Anima Misa speaks in an interview she granted Times Weekend.Anima-Misa Amoah (AMA) was talking to the Times Weekend (TW) about her career and experiences as an actress, her long sojourn to the United Kingdom (UK), the prospects of the current movie industry, as well as her upcoming production with Kwaw Ansah titled the Good Old Days.


    Nothing disgusts veteran actress Anima-Misa Amoah, about recent developments in the Ghana movie industry than the name - Ghallywood.

    "I don't see how and why we should even have the suffix 'Wood' at all, in the first place," said the one time queen of the Ghanaian screens� who played the lead character in Kwaw Ansah's internationally acclaimed Love Brewed In The African Pot, and (10 years later) a major role in the same director's earth-shaking Heritage Africa. She was speaking to Times Weekend on Wednesday, in response to suggestions that the 'current' movie industry is not �jelling� as it was in the yesteryear.

    However, contrary to the opinion of some of Ghana�s veteran filmmakers who sweepingly condemn the quality of Ghana�s current films, Anima Misa thinks the industry is "doing pretty well."
    Her major beef is with the name. In her opinion, the industry needs a more creative and original name that stands out "which comes with a meaning to us as Ghanaians, so that it should not appear as if we're just following the crowd and doesn't know what we are about.

    "As a creative person, I would rather sleep over this issue over and over again and come out with a brand-name or an identity so unique that'll identify who we are as an industry," she intimated, adding that �the name, Ghallywood, is not independent, creative, meaningful and original.

    She said the fact that the American film industry was called Hollywood, and that of India and neigbouring Nigeria, Bollywood and Nollywood, respectively, does not make it appropriate for the indigenous industry to assume the name Ghallywood.

    "In any case, who knows where the 'Wood' is coming from and what it even means to us as a country," she noted, pressing on the industry and "whoever coined that name" to also aspire to "be leaders and not always following others."


    TW: For how long did you stay in the UK?
    AMA: I moved to join my husband, Charles Amoah, in the UK in1996, and I came back somewhere last year.

    TW: Is your husband Charles Amoah, the Highlife musician?
    AMA: (smiles) Oh, no. My Charles is an Immigration lawyer, currently with the Charles & Partners chambers in Accra.

    TW: Did you abandon the theatre and the arts whiles in London?
    AMA: Not entirely, even though I was doing it on and off. Raising up my son took lots of my time, so I did not get enought time as I would've wished for the arts. Nonetheless, I was doing some little, little things here and there.

    TW: What do you mean by little, little things?
    AMA: I occassionally got involved with some projects and contracts, but they weren't as big as my earlier productions like Love Brewed In The African Pot and the Heritage Africa.



    TW: I'm interested in the little, little things.
    AMA: Ok, I did a lots of voice-over works for films, as well as lots of radio plays with the BBC where wrote the plays and sometimes performed as well. I also did some productions like the Lost Fisherman by Sacka Acquaye, Amma and the Cruisibles, among other contracts.

    TW: So, have you now relocated permanently to Ghana?
    AMA: I'm more here now than before, and even before now, I used to come here frequently because I'll be here this week and there the following week. I've now come for a this project with Mr. Ansah, so I'll stay longer.

    TW: The film 'Love Brewed In the African Pot' brought you to the limelight on a mass scale, but before that what were some of the major productions you played roles in?
    AMA: Before that, I much into TV works and we did serials like Avenue A and many other dramas I can't even remember their names. I also did stage works like The Third Woman by Dr J.B Danquah and later the Heritage Africa.

    TW: How did you prepare and train for this career?
    AMA: Before I met Mr Ansah, I'd been doing photoshoots for some advertising companies and also did some theatre stage works. I've always been theatre-inclined because since childhood, I enjoyed the idea of pretending to be somebody else other than myself. So, as I grew up, I grew up enjoying acting and writing.

    TW: Have won any awards?
    AMA: I won one ECRAG, and another from the Entertainment Association of Ghana (I've to crosscheck to be sure of the name) for the role I played in the Love Brewed In The African Pot.

    TW: You've come back to Ghana and you find yourself working with and for Kwaw Ansah all again. What is it that bonds the two of you?
    AMA: I think my relationship with Mr Ansah is built on the mutual respect and appreciation we have for each others abilities, so apart from working together, we're also good (or should I say close) friends. Whenever he comes to London, he spents time with my family and my husband, and that's how he told me to come home for this project. But this doesn't mean we agree on everything.

    TW: You recently featured in your brother Kweku Sintim Misa's (KSM) film 'Double.' Tell us your experiences with that
    AMA: 'Double' was just another exciting script. I used to share ideas on the film with Sintim even before I returned to the country. I must also say that of all my five living siblings, we're the craziests, so finding ourselves doing the film also got us very close to each other. It was really an enjoyable experience, especially as I landed the role as Mimi, a woman who constantly struggled with her conscience because she was having an affair with a married man! That was doing the exact opposite of what I wouldn't do in real life

    TW: Now, what do find worthy of praise about the current movie industry and which areas do you think can or should be improved?
    AMA: The industry is doing pretty well now, because for me every effort is an effort, and doing something is better than nothing. So, I'll rather be cautious not to pass any judgement. Occassionally, I hear people criticise the industry, with even suggesting that the industry of yesteryears was better than today�s, but I always say no to that. If something is not your taste, that doesn't mean you should condemn it as worthless, because if they hadn't continued from where some of us stopped, there would have been such a vacuum in the industry by now.

    TWDoes that mean all is well with the industry?
    AMA: I'm not saying that, because no matter what happens, I don't think there's anything perfect out there. So, we should grow and grow better since there's always room for improvement in every human endeavour.

    TW: What disgusts you about the Ghanaian movie industry?
    AMA: (laughs) Really, nothing disgusts me. Some of us have gone to school and learned, so we would want to do things a certain way to suit our taste, but something is not to your taste, that doesn't mean it's disgusting.

    TW: Then, what are some of the things that are not to your taste?
    AMA: For me, there's a lot to do about the pace, style and the script of the movie. I don't want to be judgmental, because every production has its target audience. Talking about pacing, I find a lot of our films are slow.

    For instance, an actor says he's going to Accra. As the person watching the film, I dont need to see the actor takes his bag, opens the door, climbs down the stairs, opens the front door, walks down another stairs to the car, gets into the car, and then drives to the gate, the gate is opened, the car comes out of the gate, and the car is driven on the road. It is better the actor says he�s going to Accra and the next thing, he's in Accra. Once something is suggested, our minds are already there, so we do not need so much dialogue when the visuals have already done the work.

    Also, about our language, some writers use very big words which don�t make the film real and natural. In the end, the acting becomes too much of an act, instead of living the role. Sometimes, it smacks too much of a stage performance and I miss a lot of people in stories. I don't need to continue lecturing, else this interview wouldn't end.

    TW: Not when I am enjoying it! Anyway, what is your take about the industry suddenly christened the Ghallywood
    AMA: (response produced already)

    TW: You're currently in a pre-production for the 'Good Old Days.' What is it all about?
    AMA: The Good Old Days is a series of films or better still a feature film. In the centre of this film is one particular family, and the story is set in the 1940's to the 1950's. Every episode is a complete story, so no episode sequels the other. The idea is to release them throughout the year, at regular intervals, and show the exploits of the family. Initially, it'll be released as a movie and eventually, maybe as a serial on TV.

    TW: Whose idea is the 'Good Old Days' and what is your role?
    AMA: It's all Mr Ansah's idea, that is from the script to the concept to the directing and then the stories, everything! About my role, I want to go behind the scenes this time round and co-produce it, even though Mr Ansah initially wanted me to play the lead character. All the same, I might still do some cameo appearances by straying into roles.

    TW: Wouldn't you be missing out with your role?
    AMA: Absolutely not. I wouldn't be missing out at all. Rather, it'll be a learning experience for me to go on after this production and produce my own films in the future. I'm just gaining experience learning the props and tapping into the knowledge of brains like Mr (Kwaw) Ansah.

    TW: Why did you accept this role? Is it just a job or is that what brings food to your table?
    AMA: I'll rather say it the passion for the job, rather than what put food on my table. Indeed, nobody works for nothing, but it's also not everything in this career that pays off today, maybe in the future. For me, I sleep with this job and wakes up with it, so it's one source of joy and contentment in my life. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed and there has to be some level of fulfillment other what you gain from it.

    The fourth of six siblings, including renowned satirist Kweku Sintim Misa (KSM), Anima-Misa Amoah attended the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Primary School in Kumasi and proceeded to the Wesley Girls High School (Wegehe) in Cape Coast. She is also a product of the School of Performing Arts of the University of Ghana, Legon.

    Ghanaian Times
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


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    Bipolar neoxiang's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree with her more. The name Ghallywood sucks!

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    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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    She is right.Do Ghanaians have a beef with originality or something ?
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


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    This is one of Ghana's best. She started acting with my aunt Mrs. Akunnor in Avenue A with the late Alexandra Duah. The so called star actresses should learn from her.

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    Godfather Chapati's Avatar
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    i agree with you all. this lady is a very good actress. i liked her role in "Love Brewed in an African Pot". she is so gud. i can watch that movie over and over again and will never be tired of watching it.i want to watch the other movie she acted in "Heritage Africa" so if anyone knows how i could get it let me know.

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