For three days, the National Film and Video Censor Board under the leadership of Adedayo Thomas hosted Nollywood stakeholders and security agents to a workshop in Lagos. The workshop was necessitated by the prevalent film censorship and classification issue that have continued to torment the film industry.
Titled ‘Strengthening Enforcement Against Unclassified Film and Video Works’, attendees were divided into four committees with the mandate to come up with different solutions to the grappling challenges faced by the board; from data collation to strategic approaches on field operations.
The third day saw the groups delivering a presentation on their proposed solutions. The President of the Association Movie Producers while presenting his group’s paper touched on the importance of the board to build structures that will ensure the enforcement of its rules while pointing out the need for the board to evaluate who is worth the movie producer title.
The second group on the other hand delved into the importance of data and information and the way forward. Presenting the paper for the group, Yetunde Onanuga from the Nigerian Police Force called for the review of the MOBICON bill while Keppy Ekpeyong decried the import of western culture in the movie industry and generally in the country.
He said that this disturbing trend is killing local production. He however suggested to the board to plan unscheduled visits to cinemas that violate the board rules as a means of curbing the release of unclassified movies.
A common thread that ran through the various reports was the need for the regulatory board to review its laid down rules and adopt new strategies that will be effectively deployed in the ever-changing film landscape, particularly in the distribution arm.
At the end of the presentation, Thomas who is also the Executive Director of the board thanked the different stakeholders for their participation.
“I’m more than overwhelmed with the participation of the individuals. You are planting a seed in faith, not knowing what the outcome will be. You have instigated action all over the world.”
The embattled director who is facing allegations made by a faction of the board revealed that it was the first time the board is having such an enlightening workshop.
He commented on how some members of staff of the board are just meeting with the Nollywood stakeholders for the first time.
Before making his conclusion on the reports presented, he asked if all gathered adopted the reports to which he got a positive response. He promised that nothing would be removed from the proposal.
He also stated that similar conferences will held in Lagos, Onitsha and Abuja.