Mr. William Akuffo, President and Directing Lecturer

William Akuffo, President and Directing Lecturer

William started as a film distributor distributing international 16 mm and 35 mm celluloid films. However, when government stopped importing these films, the few celluloid films in the system became overused and the films became shorter thus 90 minute films became 60 minutes. The story was also disjointed and broken which created chaos when shown in local cinema houses. William trained informally in filmmaking  with Alphonso Miller later known as Juma Kangwana, a Black American accomplished film student graduate of New York University (one of the best film schools in the world) who he brought to Ghana from Nigeria to work on film distribution and later  decided to make his first movie.

As a film distributor and a projectionist, William had seen some video equipment and thought if it was used to produce a feature film he was sure that the quality would have been better than the disjointed celluloid they were using. At the time, William was building a house which was incomplete at Teshie Nungua Estate in Ghana which he sold in order to finance the first video project.The first attempt to make the film collapsed in 1981 and after a year of work in 1987, William released the first video feature film in the world called Zinabu. On completion of the film, in order to add sound, William brought a friend Richard Quartey. Zinabu was rejected by Ghana Film Theatre since it was not celluloid so William rented a private cinema called Globe Cinema where he premiered the film. Zinabu became the best of the video industry and was later replicated in Nigeria and around the world.

At the same time, cinemas were going out of vogue and video centres were becoming popular so this provided a platform for screenings of the film. William then went on to produce feature films including Diabolo, Sugar Daddy, My Sweetie, Bora! and also directed international and Ghanaian movies starring popular actors/actresses such as Genevieve Nnaji’ in God Loves Prostitutes and Stephanie Okere, Shawn George and Peter Bruno in 2 Hell with U. Recognising that his productions were not too perfect because they started on the wrong footing as the actors were not trained in screen acting, William identified that training on film acting, camera, editing and directing was needed hence his idea of creating Ghallywood. Ghallywood was registered on 5 May 2005. In addition, he recognised that the Academy location in Circle was limited as more space was required in order to build sets so that industry practitioners could practice the trade properly hence William acquired of over 200 acres of land in Dawa where Ghallywood is located.

In his spare time, William enjoys volleyball and watching movies especially Behind the Scenes.

 

Back to The Ghallywood Team