The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) is not against creativity and intellectual property but frowns at immoral and non-cultural films and videos, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Adedayo Thomas, has said.
Thomas made this assertion on Monday at the opening of a workshop in Calabar, with the theme: “Media Literacy and Capacity Building in Understanding Film Morality.”
He said the workshop became necessary to bridge the gap between the young and the old and to take the campaign against unlicensed and uncensored films in the nation to Cross River through enlightenment.
“The whole idea of training and empowering youths as ambassadors are to ensure that those that want to go into the movie industry can create movies that are morally upright and not offensive to our cultures.
“This is because the continuous exposure of the people to violent and immoral films does not affect the youths alone, but the entire fabric of the nation.
“This is why in our raids in Lagos, Onitsha, Sokoto, Kaduna, and others towns, in the last few years, we have seized and destroyed over two billion copies of uncensored and unclassified works,” the NFVCB boss
In his remarks, Mr Fidelis Duker, founder of the Abuja Film Festival, said that movies were a medium of passing messages, adding; we must be conscious of the type of message that is being passed.
Duker said; “As a nation, we must not give glamour to evil by promoting villainy in our films, because the impact would be catastrophic to the society.
“It is our moral obligation to ensure that our movies do not portray or give glamour to evil. As individuals, we should first self-regulate by refusing and reporting any movie that encourages negative tendencies.
“Nigerians can never be Americans. If we must grow, we must encourage our ways of life that promote uprightness and morality in our films,” he said.
Similarly, Prof. Emmy Udegu of the Department of Theatre and Media Studies, University of Calabar, said “when Nigeria gets morals right in its films, it will experience a promotion of cultural aesthetics”.
Udegu stated that this cultural aesthetics encourages cultural exportations and income generation for the nation.
He added that as one of the highest employers of labour, apart from the government, the Nigerian film industry could be a huge source of foreign exchange and cultural preservation.
The don, however, said that in order to achieve this, things have to be done well without promoting negativity. (NAN)