By Foday Moriba Conteh
Sierra Leone’s most outstanding female actress, Augusta Dora Suwu, a known personality in the entertainment industry, a mentor, an activist for young girls, MC, actress and one of the nominees for the Sierra Leone Next Movie Star has on Tuesday 5th November, 2019 in an exclusive interview dilated on constraints restraining the growth of the movie industry in the country.
Augusta Dora Suwu disclosed that she started her movie career since 2000 during theatre days after being inspired by a young girl who took a male role in a play titled: “Tears of Brother Jero” adding that since 2016 when she started Cinematography she has acted in both National and International movies, like Refugee, Wanted, Impora, Tragedy of love, Victim, Sonia, Fatim etc.
She underscored that the Sierra Leone entertainment industry, especially the movie industry, has come a long way and is now trending as Sierra Leone films are making huge waves in the country and beyond. She said that deplorably, the local moviemakers are not realizing much from their resources, talents and toil as there is widespread piracy robbing them of their efforts, adding that although there is in existence an Anti-Piracy Act yet its enforcement has been very poor.
Augusta said that back in the days the entertainment industry was at a peak to excel especially Cinematography (Moviemaking) but unfortunately they declined due to bad marketing, piracy, lack of support to the industry etc.
It is against such a backdrop she is calling on the Government of Sierra Leone to enforce the Piracy Act and the Local Content Policy as the rate of piracy continues to increase every day and defaulters go unpunished but said with the enforcement of the Piracy Act such will give strength to the entertainment industry especially the movie industry.
She noted that the film industry has contributed tremendously to the development of the country, adding that with Government’s intervention the challenges the industry is going through presently the movie industry has the tendency to revamp the country’s economy by contributing to the country’s GDP as it is happening in other Africa countries.
She noted that another big challenge facing them as film makers in the country is the aspect of locations for shooting their moves as in most cases when they request for certain places in order to shoot like the Law Court building, State House etc., authorities will not allow them to use those places but when other movie makers from sister countries come and request for those places they are welcomed to shoot their movies.
She lamentably that regardless of all these challenges in the movie industry she is still passionate about cinematography, adding that her love and passion for movie keep her going.
She called on Sierra Leoneans to vote for her as the Next Sierra Leone Movie Star adding that she has been empowering young people in the movie industry especially young girls, adding that after becoming the next movie star she will get the platform for her to empower more young people in the movie sector and lobby other stakeholders in sister countries to see how they can empower the country’s movie industry.
He admonished young people not to see the film industry as a place for dropouts but rather to empower themselves academically in order to become outstanding personalities in that sector.
She urged the Government of Sierra Leone to draft a bill for a movie policy in the country which will cater for judicial regularization of the movie industry.