Maestro actress Jackie Appiah became a subject of gossip and bashing within Ghanaian celebrity circles at the close of last week when pictures of her on the red carpet at the opening ceremony of the 65th Cannes Film Festival in France reached Accra. The photos showed Jackie smartly dressed in an elegant hand-beaded Kente dress by JiL and was reported to have joined a list of top film stars from across the world at the opening ceremony of the festival.
NEWS-ONE checks showed that the complaints are mainly from Jackie’s colleague actresses and actors who complained that it was unfair for Jackie to have been made to take the lead to the festival when they were to travel as a group to represent Ghana. Fred Nuamah, Chief Executive of the Ghana Movie Awards, on whose ticket the stars are to attend the festival, is being accused of discrimination and showing an unfair bias to Jackie.
One of the aggrieved actors who pleaded anonymity noted,
“It is not fair that when you are to represent your country at such an international festival and you are to go as a group then one person would be made to take the lead and go ahead of the rest to walk the red carpet and pose for the photos so that later the rest of us would go join her and be treated like back benchers.”
NEWS-ONE also learnt that when the Ghanaian actors and actresses attended the festival last year, not all of them had the opportunity to walk the red carpet and this became an issue, with some of them crying foul. Some of them are therefore upset at the fact that the apparent discrimination seems to have been repeated this year as only Jackie Appiah was made to be at the opening ceremony and pose for the international media while her colleagues were made to leave Ghana at a time the festival was underway.
When NEWS-ONE contacted Fred Nuamah over the matter, he explained that Jackie Appiah has a Canadian travelling passport and it was easier to facilitate her travelling arrangements to France unlike the other stars who had Ghanaian passports, with which getting travelling visas was a challenge.
“How can I discriminate and favour one star against the rest? I would have loved to have even sent as many as 100 actors and actresses. Truth is what I have told you, Jackie uses a Canadian passport because she was born there or something so it was easier for her to fly to France.
“We are working on the travelling arrangements for the rest and trust me, they would all be at the festival.
It has not been easy but we are getting some cooperation from the Netherlands Embassy and they would all be there even including a Ghanaian media contingent,” Mr. Nuamah explained.
Over the weekend, a statement issued from the office of the Ghana Movie Awards said the Cannes Film Festival Accreditation Board had invited 15 Ghanaian movie Stars to the festival penned for the 16th to 27th May 2012.
It said the invitation was the result of negotiations between the Ghana Movie Awards office and the accreditation board of the festival to allow Ghanaian movie stars to walk on the red carpet in France for the second time.
The statement named the following stars as being part of the15 and said they were to leave by Saturday 19th May 2012, aboard a Lufthansa flight to France – Rose Mensah aka Kyeiwaa, Yvonne Nelson, Van Vicker, Prince Dave Osei, Martha Ankomah, Yvonne Okoro, Nadia Buari, Vivian Jill, John Dumelo, Majid Michel, Juliet Ibrahim, Jocelyn Dumas, Fred Nuamah, Roselyn Ngissah and Jackie Appiah.
The statement said the initiative by the organizers of the Ghana Movie Awards was to sell the Ghanaian movie industry beyond the borders of West Africa and to motivate the Ghanaian movie industry to achieve greater laurels.