The credibility of Ghanaian film director, Kofi Asamoah, has been challenged after his public claim that he was given permission to remake a 2011 South African film, ‘Skeem’, has been denied by the producer of the movie.
Kofi Asamoah during a live interview on Pundits, an entertainment talk show on GHOne TV, was very categorical that he had the permission of Tim Greene, a Johannesburg film director, to produce a duplication of the latter’s film, ‘Skeem’, but Tim Greene has insisted he has never given such permission to the Ghanaian producer
“A Ghanaian journalist looked me up on Facebook to ask if I knew about the movie ‘John & John’. The director had been going around saying I had given permission for the ‘adaptation’. I hadn’t and, of course, it was a real surprise. Really, quite a huge surprise. Like, the most surprising single thing that’s happened to me,” Tim Greene said in a news report put out by Channel 24.
Hitherto, Kofi Asamoah had been basking in glory and hopping from one media house to another bragging that his movie, ‘John & John’, is one of the best things that ever happened to the Ghanaian movie sector.
The movie, a well-produced one, indeed, received great reviews and was well embraced.
Even when movie pundits drew Kofi Asamoah’s attention to the fact that ‘John & John’ could be an infringement on ‘Skeem’ and there could be copyright challenges, the Ghanaian producer insisted he has met the producer of ‘Skeem’ at a film festival in South Africa after which they spoke and agreed for the adaptation to be done.
In a rather embarrassing twist, this was what Tim Greene told Channel 24:
“I haven’t seen the whole thing, but extrapolating from the trailer, it’s a wholesale rip-off. The characters, the situation, events and – line for line – the dialogue….it’s basically a full jack.”
Tim Greene said he would not seek court redress over the matter and that his team and that of Kofi Asamoah were now talking about how to straighten the wrong.
“We’re engaged in conversations right now about making things right. We’re asking them to retroactively purchase the remake rights. They’ve agreed, but we haven’t received any payments yet.”
When Tim Greene was asked if he would have granted permit for a remake of ‘Skeem’ had Kofi Asamoah approached him, he responded in the affirmative.
“Yes, without a doubt. In fact, we would have considered it a great honour. There is nothing more flattering than another film maker saying they like your work so much that they want to invest their own blood, sweat and tears into making their own version of it.
“I’m fascinated and endlessly entertained by the whole thing. And weirdly flattered. I mean, they did a bad thing, but no one died. Life goes on. Hopefully, it will all turn out well in the end. I like it that my little movie is having a surreal little afterlife,” Tim Greene explained.