Stakeholders in the Nigerian movie industry have called on movie producers to be mindful of the kind of movies they put out for public viewing.
According to the stakeholders, movies that are contrary to our beliefs and values as Africans should be avoided since they have a lasting effect on their viewers.
These comments were made at a conference on Film and Video Classification and Censorship in Onitsha, Anambra State. According to the stakeholders, movies that promote violence and immorality affect age-long values of Africans.
Speaking at the conference, Mr Fidelis Duker who is the CEO of Nafifo Ventures, Organisers of Abuja International Film Festival (AIFF), said: “Everybody involved in making the film should ask if its contents reflect our culture and values as Africans.
We are all supposed to be self-regulators to uphold our value system and morals as Nigerians, and not to wait for the NFVCB to compel us before we do the right thing.
At the point of conception when the scriptwriter has the idea, he should begin to imbibe values, and the director should do the same.
The language used in a film, act of violence and nudity, send messages out to people, especially children, who may apply them wrongly.
We are Africans and we will remain a people with strong moral values which need to be sustained and transferred to the younger generation,”
Duker also advised that producers should prioritize shaping public opinion over making profits even though they are in the business to make money.
He therefore urged them to produce content that would be suitable for the Nigerian child and also submit their works to the NFVCB to be rated before release.
Another stakeholder, Mr Obiora Chukwumba, a Film Regulatory Consultant, touched on the importance of distribution and marketing of Nigerian movies.
“By the system of physical distribution of films, the distributor is directly in charge of the market, and if he is professional in his conduct, he will adhere to the ethics that guilds it.
He is to preserve the product, the market and make sure that there are no leakages.
The moment the distributors hold themselves accountable, they will determine what enters the market, and if any film does not carry the authorized classification label, it should not be allowed in the market,” he said.
The conference was part of stakeholders’ education campaign of the NFVCB across the country, especially in Nollywood film and video production hubs.
The aim of the conference was to make practitioners and consumers understand the essence of classification and censorship in the evolving Nigerian movie industry.