F-PAG: Congress For Change With Essa Jallow, elected president of F-PAG for the next 3 years

Dozens of established filmmakers joined with the National Center for Arts and Culture on Saturday the 5th of November at the hotel school Congress organized by Film Producer’s Association Gambia “F-PAG” to address problems and election of new executives.

The Gambia’s Film Industry has not been evolving as it supposed to be since its inception in the 1960s with the establishment of The Gambia Film Unit in 1967. Film Producers Association of The Gambia, known as F-PAG, was created in 2014 with its primary objective to bring filmmakers together to foster collaboration and accelerate the growth and development of Film Industry in The Gambia.

While more than half of film producers in The Gambia are still striving to survive, Gambia movie industry continues to struggle and out of excitement, many film producers  aren’t yet ready to give up.

The Congress was chaired by the Public relations and communications Manager Ousman Kebbeh  who welcome everyone and make known of his support for F-PAG. Moment of silence was taken for the Fallen heroes of the organization, Isatou Jallow and Ebou Waggeh after which the floor was given to the outgoing President Zaidy Jallow.

“I am extraordinarily grateful for the unprecedented support from our industry partners and the talented and concerned members of the movie industry ,” FPAG outgoing president Zaidy Jallow said. “The value of their recognition of the unique importance of movie to our communities, culture, and their support before Congress of the unique needs of movie producers in this country cannot be underestimated. It was an honor for me to be given the position, am happy that I was able to extend what I can do  for film producers through F-PAG.”

He further emphasize on how film are great unifiers where our nation’s most talented storytellers showcase their cinematic accomplishments. To Zaidy, every aspiring filmmaker, actor, and producer dreams of bringing their art to the silver screen, is an irreplaceable experience that represents the pinnacle of filmmaking achievement in The Gambia. These was later followed by the amendment of the constitution which will guide the actions of the new Executives and F-PAG members.

There was no bipartisan support for the new constitution, which had been set for a vote on Saturday before the Democratic election that follows while talks continue. In contrast there was broad support for the amended constitution that will unlocked alot of help for film makers to get through the 3 years until another amendment or change will be made.

There can be plenty more to come. So maybe it’s too soon to panic over what’s happening and the low ratings of struggles,since new executives are elected, the industry still hopes the  leaders are right: The Gambia theater might still need more help.

Questions and answers were encouraged as well as opinions and contributions throughout the Congress. With the proliferation of streaming and other dark options, some have wondered about whether movie production as a will in The Gambia will survive. But proponents — and major contributors and their allies — also point to the profit motive of change and improvement as their main goal.

Nominations was made, and the Elected president Essay Jallow, behind a dozen microphones, he waved to the crowd and took a leap into history as he declared his bid for the Democratic nomination for presidency of the Film Producer’s Association Gambia.

Essa Jallow, the elected president of FPAG made known that, the dramatic language of the plea—“our movies cannot get to be played on TV stations without us being charge or asked to be in percentage” . He couldn’t help but recall a peculiar truth about the movie business. That is, it is usually dying of something. In fact, he made it clear that  morbidity is an old habit in The Gambia Movie industry. The trick to get Gambia movies having their ways in the TV stations to him is to know what is really an existential threat and to have that way in all the way through without any hindrances or unnecessary charges will be his first goal.

Yamou Mbaye becoming the first woman to be elected as Vice President of F-PAG said, she feel happy and grateful for the position given and will try all that she can to serve the purpose. For the first time, a woman has been elected Vice President of  FPAG, it is an history  made and blazed a trail for future generations in the industry to follow.

By Amie T. Camara

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