Mr Adedayo Thomas, CEO of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), stated at a workshop in Calabar dubbed “Media Literacy and Capacity Building in Understanding Film Morality” that the board was not against creativity or intellectual property, but rather against immoral and non-cultural films and videos.
He explained that the workshop was vital to bridge the gap between the young and the old and bring the national campaign against unlicensed and uncensored films to Cross River through enlightenment.
“The goal of training and enabling young people to serve as ambassadors is to ensure that individuals who wish to work in the film industry can make films that are morally sound and respectful of our cultures.”
Mr Fidelis Duker, the founder of the Abuja Film Festival, noted that movies are a means for transmitting messages but that we must be aware of the type of message being sent.
“As a nation, we must not give glamour to evil by encouraging villainy in our films,” Duker remarked, “because the consequence on society would be catastrophic.”
“It is our moral obligation to ensure that our films do not glorify or portray evil.” Individually, we must first self-regulate by refusing to watch and report any film that encourages negative tendencies. Nigerians can never be Americans, and so if we want to progress, we must advocate our ways of living through our films that promote uprightness and morals,” he said.
Prof. Emmy Udegu of the University of Calabar’s Department of Theatre and Media Studies said, “When Nigeria gets morality right in its films, it would see a promotion of cultural aesthetics.”
According to Udegu, this cultural aesthetics encourages cultural exports and income generation for the country. He went on to say that, aside from the government, the Nigerian film industry, as one of the largest employers of labour, could be a significant source of foreign exchange and cultural preservation.