|Audio Attachment:Listen to Juliet Ibrahim's interview on Peace FM's Entertainment Review"|
Peacefmonline.com is reliably informed that contrary to earlier reports, some of the winners of the maiden edition of Ghana Movie Awards, who attended the Cannes Film Festival in France as part of their price package, did not get to walk on the red carpet at the festival whiles others were not even recognized as movie stars from Ghana.
According to a reliable source who spoke to Peacefmonline.com from France, the Ghanaian stars, who were promised a walk on the red carpet and possible interaction with world renowned film makers and Hollywood stars, ambled around in France like ordinary people, or better still like tourists despite on-line pictures projecting that they were at the Cannes Auditorium and did get to walk on the red carpet.
When Peacefmonline.com got in touch with one of the Ghanaian movie stars Juliet Ibrahim, she confirmed that indeed she was in France but added that things did not really go exactly as planned by the organisers of the trip. She also affirmed that the group went through some difficult challenges.
�Well, if that is what you heard, then that is true. The problem we are facing now is that people in Ghana think we came to France to attend a red carpet event or something like that, but that is not how it was...It's not as if the Ghanaian stars were treated as celebrities, because Ghana did not present any movie so we could not get to walk on any red carpet. We (Ghanaian actors) were not even that close to the Hollywood movie stars. We weren't noticed...articles were falsely published on the internet that we walked on the red carpet...that is very untrue...We are not even recognized as Ghanaian movie stars on a mission. There wasn't even a Ghanaian movie stand,� Juliet bemoaned.
Later, when Juliet Ibrahim was again reached via phone on Peace FM�s �Entertainment Review� programme on Thursday May 19, 2011, she stressed that she could only speak for herself because she had been left alone in France.
�At the moment, I can only speak for myself because I am the only one left behind. My other colleagues John Dumelo, Yvonne Nelson, Yvonne Okoro and others have all returned to Ghana, because of similar problems. As for the rest, I can�t really say because right now I am left alone in my hotel, nobody seems to care about what goes on with me...I foot my own hotel bills and I pay for any means of transport by myself�.
The Ghanaian contingent to France was led by Ghana Movie Awards founder, Fred Nuamah and also included John Dumelo, Yvonne Nelson, Yvonne Okoro, Majid Michel, Nadia Buari, Juliet Ibrahim, Abdul Sallam of Venus Films Productions, the manager of Golden Tulip Hotel, Nigerian actress, Susan Peters of �Busting Out� fame, actress Nicoletta Samoans who went on her own to cover the festival for her upcoming TV programme, and a host of others.
In response, Fred Nuamah who led the contingent to France admitted that there were a few lapses because they were given a relatively short notice to prepare for their interviews at the French embassy among other issues.
Speaking on the same platform, Fred explained that only ten people were given approval by the French Embassy to attend the festival; and even that was at the last minute, hence most of the winners were called up with less than a minute to spare.
Regarding their preparation, he said, Luftanza Airlines paid 70% of the plane fare whiles the movie stars paid the remaining 30%, adding that he booked hotel rooms for the Ghanaian stars for three days from 11th to 13th May, but as at the time they reached France, their bookings had expired, so the stars had to pay for their own hotel bills which he (Fred) promised to refund to them later.
"I didn�t neglect Juliet but it was because she came to France with her younger sister and a friend so they had to stay in a hotel in another city, which was a bit far off from where the others were lodging," he explained.
According to Fred who arrived in Ghana on Thursday May 19, they were not able to "walk on the main red carpet on the opening day 11th May because they arrived in France on 13th May, but Majid Michel and Nadia Buari walked on the famous red carpet on another day".
"It was because the Ghanaian stars were divided; some were in Cannes whiles others were based in Nice....You had to add an ID to your accreditation, and it looks like the rest didn�t add it, so we had the opportunity to walk on the red carpet. Even later on in the evening, we all went together, aside from Majid and Nadia. I went with Abdul Sallam, one Nigerian actress, among others,� he said.
Asked what else the Ghanaians did, he said "you needed a pass to have access to certain places, so they could not gain entry to certain places, but they had the opportunity to interact with some international film producers, French producers".
They were interviewed by some international Television stations like CFI (Canal France International), France 24, TV3 Ghana, and others. I was very happy when I heard that Nadia Buari went to meet Jude Law in Monaco, and my best experience was when Majid stood by Robert De Niro for a photo-shot with Jude Law standing behind him. Jude Law then waved at Ghanaian actress Yvonne Okoro and interacted with her for some few minutes. It was like an African star meeting an American star. It was a memorable experience�.
Fred Nuamah denied returning to Ghana early because he was faced with difficulties, but that he had some commitments back home to attend to.
Touching on the accusation of discrimination made by Juliet Ibrahim, Fred said he was bemused by the allegations since he had no favourites among the group.
�My mum and my dad were not part of the group so why would I discriminate against anybody...It is when people exaggerate and think otherwise. Why would someone discriminate? How many awards programmes have been organized in Ghana? Who has been able to ever do this?
Responding to the issue of why there was no representative from the local language (Akan) movie sector on the trip, Fred said as at the time they had to go for the interview, Agya Koo was in America whiles Kyeiwaa was on set in Kumasi shooting a movie.
Source: Eugene Osafo-Nkansah/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
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