US Embassy gives helping hand to Gambia’s film industry
By Sulayman Waan
The United States Ambassador to The Gambia, Sharon L. Cromer has said the US Embassy is helping to build the film industry of The Gambia to enhance development in the sector.
Speaking to journalists shortly after a roundtable discussion with the US film writers and Gambia actors that happened after a six-week intensive training for the actors, Ambassador Cromer said: “The US Embassy in Banjul is helping to build the film industry of The Gambia. The country has talented actors, actresses, film directors and producers. They [should] take the opportunity to tell the story that is still untold in Gambian society.”
She added: “We are very excited to see the American mentors working with the Gambian actors.”
Furthermore, she advised the Gambian actors and actresses to work harder, and collaborate to ensure they attain their aspiration in the film industry.
The US film writers and producers recently trained local actors in a six-week intensive training funded by the US embassy in The Gambia.
Ambassador Cromer observed that Gambians are fast learners and are committed to their work. “In six weeks they (the actors and actresses) have learned what Americans will take months to learn,” she added.
Speaking further, she urged Gambians working in the film industry to continue their work to ensure they attain their respective goals, saying they would have better opportunities in the near future.
Moving forward, she said Gambian journalists have a crucial role to play to make sure the country’s film industry grows as expected. “There is a need for journalists to publish and broadcast about the industry,” she advised. Referring to the Tourism ministry, she said “I call on the Ministry of Tourism to understand what Gambian actors can offer the country and please support them.”
Baboucarr Ceesay, director for Khoros Film Foundation (KFF), said the training would have a positive impact on the local film industry, adding that the participants had learned quality work during the training sessions.
Ceesay said further: “The Gambia has very talented actors and actresses that can change the film industry to better compete in the international market.”
Martha Elizabeth Manga, a participant, commended the US Embassy for their commitment to supporting the country’s film industry, saying she learned a lot during the training.
“I have learned a lot in visual storytelling and many other things,” she said. “The training was very important to me and all participants.”