The opposition of some players in the film industry, including the Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP), notwithstanding, the National Film and Video Censor Board (NFVCB) has insisted that movie producers must be registered members of a government recognised association in the industry to practice.
The Executive Director, NFVCB, Adedayo Thomas, stated this over the weekend in Asaba, Delta State.
He spoke at a gala night ending a four-day workshop for members of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP) themed ‘Delta State Film Weekender Producers Master Class 2021.’
Adedayo, whose term was recently renewed, explained that the NFVCB was not out to stifle creativity but promote it.
He noted that “to all of you, a regulator is like someone with a hammer to kill your creativity, but I must confess to you that the Censors Board has moved away from the killer of creativity to providing a platform and environment for you to flourish in your businesses.
“The going forward will be better. The NFVCB has decided to make the film industry a professional industry. There is the need to identify the professionals through your associations and guilds. AMP today is one of it and several others. But it has been streamlined to those who qualify, from Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and other issues.”
Adedayo reiterated the Board would not classify works by unregistered practitioners.
“All of us must belong in an association recognised by NFVCB. If not, your work might not pass through the classification, and if not, it becomes unrecorded. When such an unrecorded film is out, it becomes offensive to the government. This is where we have issues.”
Despite filmmakers in Asaba producing 400 movies monthly, the Director noted that the NFVCB recorded only 416 movies nationwide in the first quarter of 2021 because most producers were not registered.
“This is killing creativity and the business of filmmaking in the country. Film production is not entertainment. The government has recognised it as a sector of the economy. We employ the largest number of labour in Nigeria. We are first in the world in terms of content production; then, we should make the best use of what we have.”
Adedayo added that the NFVCB’s operations and processes are now fast, noting that “Censorship is now one week. There is no difficulty any longer in censorship in Nigeria. You don’t need agents. If your certificate is not ready in one week, query the officer.”
He further disclosed that the government had commenced training persons who would monitor and ensure piracy was brought under control.
Recall that some practitioners, including ANCOP, have kicked against registration by the Censors Board. They argue that the Board’s request is illegal and outside its mandate.
Emmanuel Manulu had earlier in March served the NFVCB a pre-action notice following the Board’s refusal to censor his films.
Manulu claimed that the Board denied his two films, ‘Devious Fate’ and ‘Don’t Leave Me’, preview and censorship because he did not belong to an association.
Some of the associations and guilds approved by the Censors Board include Creative Designers Guilds of Nigeria (CDGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Film and Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN), Association of Movie Content Owners and Producers and Distributors of Nigeria (AMCOD and National Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP).
Others are Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN), Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), Film Distributors Associations of Nigeria (FDAN), Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria (SWGN) and Association of Nigerian Movie Directors (ANMD).