Officers saddled with the responsibility of classification and censorship of films in Nigeria now live in fear. They have become targets of threats and assassination by filmmakers.
South-East Zonal Coordinator of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Mrs Elizabeth Uwaeozuoke made the observation while presenting a paper on film censorship and classification: regulation and compliance in Makurdi, Benue State.
She said officers of the board have been blackmailed, with threats forcing them to bend the rules.
“In most cases, family members are called on phone to talk to officers and lives have been lost in the process, ‘’ she said. The Zonal Manager who did not mention names is however bitter that most filmmakers just make their films and dump them into the market without censorship as required by law. She said the situation is so terrible that kids under 18 are now being exposed to films meant for adults.
According to her, challenges confronting the film industry include poor funding, sabotage, multiple film release with one story released with different titles and refusal by filmmakers to effect corrections when told to do so.
The coordinator called for a synergy between the board and the law enforcement agents so as to compel players in the industry to comply with the censorship rules.
In his paper, Dr Teddy Hanmakyugh, a director at the Film Institute, Jos said actors and filmmakers need re-orientation on preservation and promotion of national values through film making. He told filmmakers that money should not be the central focal point when producing films but what the society would gain from the film.
“One man cannot be a producer, a director and a marketer. We need better synergy of professionals to create films that make global impact and one man show may not do this,’’ Hanmakyugh said.
Kwekwu Thomas, Jos