Martha E. Akorsah has been sworn into office as Liberia Movie Union (LIMU) first female democratically elected president, taking the wheel of a broken union surrounded by division for years and battling for transformation.
“Your vote was a cry for transformation in the union, equal benefit for your talents and the standardization of the industry,” Akorsah told movies practitioners in her inaugural address.
“Your vote was a call made that require each and every one of us taking that bold and decisive steps to address problems fixing our institution and for decades and without progress,” she added with a smile.
Inheriting a Union that has nothing to boost of Ms. Akorsah said, “The movie union is a rise and fall institution that practically has nothing. Leaders have come and gone but the union is still the same.”
“As I currently speak, the union is in need of office space, furniture for various offices, computers and an operational vehicle to properly carry out its functions,” she stressed.
The out-going acting president of LIMU, Kediatu Kamara was absent for the inauguration. But Abdue Sherriff former Secretary General did the turn over of power.
The ceremony was well attended by dozens of movie practitioners and the public including Former Senator John Ballout board chair of LIMU. The program was held at Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Headquarters on Broad Street over the weekend.
In addressing her policy she said, “ the standardization of all Liberian movies remain a key priority to this leadership; the structural framework of the union in the 15 counties and an annual awards to appreciate and celebrate the hard work of film practitioners.”
The president also promise quality training for movies maker and introducing an electronic registration process for all members throughout the entire country.
She applauds the Liberian government for its support over the years but appeal for inclusion into its national budget, as it will help transform the industry.
Ms. Akorsah said, “The lack of financial support will be a major obstruction to the progress and implementation of planned policy.”
“I’m very grateful for the little support the industry has received from the public but it is time that they willingly appreciate their local movies without someone appealing to them.”
The time has appear for members to make a fundamental break with the past that divided the union for years and slowed down the progress, she lamented, adding it requires your full cooperation and willingness to live in guidelines of policy implementation that is geared for the improvement of the industry.
“It saddens me to know that people still live in the world of ‘if it’s not me or my associate, I will not support’”, she said with frustration on her face.
“I believe in achieving cooperate success. Your effective cooperation to abide by administrative policy and instruction will be the beginning of improvement,” she said to movie practitioners.
Meanwhile, the Minster of State Without Portfolio Sylvester M. Grigsby said the standardization and quality of Liberia movies should be the leadership’s focus.
“If this is done the industry will be on path with the world,” he emphasized.
He disclosed that the movie industry plays a very important role in giving a green light to the culture and it also serves as custodian to the culture.
“I’m challenging this leadership to begin regulating and monitoring movies that will be released for public view,” he said. “The industry may be small now but don’t over the content of movies because it can influence negatively or positively,”
He joined the president’s call to appeal to the national government through the Ministry of information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) to aid the union with funding.
Min. Grigsby said well-equipped industry boosts government revenue generated and directly benefits the society by helping to reduce poverty rate.
In remarks the induction officer and publisher of the In Profile Daily newspaper Calton Boah call on Liberians to be more supportive to the industry in this difficult period of time.
“If your leadership put into place proper framework and work together as team surely success will be yours. I know that with determination this can happen,” Mr. Boah said.
Mr. Boah said collective efforts to speedily implement policy that will tackle piracy in the industry will boost the union’s income generating and build the trust of the votes.
Other LIMU officials inducted include: Henry D. Johnson, Vice President for Administration; Theordo T. Hodge, Vice President for Operations; Thomas Swen, Secretary General; Doris Aquoi, Treasure; Everlyn Ponder, Chaplain; William Dream Debo, Producer’s Guild Chair; Kortu K. Momo, Director’s Guild Chair; Joseph C. Weah, Actors Guild Chair and Dukuly Khalil Marketer’s Association Chair.