The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) recently destroyed 100 million naira-worth copies of movies and videos that were seized in Lagos.
The films which were about 30,000 were pornographic and other obnoxious materials illegally imported into the country.
While conducting the exercise at NFVCB Office at Alagbon, the Executive Director of the board Mr Adedayo Thomas noted that the action would be a continuous exercise until film piracy in Nigeria was completely stamped out.
According to him, the board is strongly determined to curb the distribution of illicit movies to safeguard the future of the nation.
“Our collaboration across board has led to a massive seizure of pornographic films and other unwholesome video works by our Lagos zonal office.
“That is why we are here to carry out the symbolic burning of the seized items worth N100m.
Thomas explained that the board’s goal is to grow the creative industry through approvals and support for cinemas, which has led to huge economic benefits and increases in revenue.
“Recent Box Office earnings indicate that Nigerians spent about N7 billion on tickets at the cinemas in the year 2019, a 200 per cent increase from about N2 billion spent in the year 2018, grossing more than N1billion in December 2019 alone.
“We have introduced licensing certificates and labels with digital security features to prevent counterfeiting.
“We have also created a confirmation desk to duly authenticate approved film distributors, exhibitors and video works,” he added.
He urged parents and guardians to influence children and their wards to go for only films and video works classified by the board.
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We at AMH laud the National Film and Video Censors Board’s move especially at the start of the year by sending strong signals to pirates in the film industry that the big dog is awake and that film piracy in Nigeria is condemned outrightly. Due to the activities of these crooks, many producers and distributors are plunging into huge debts owing to loans obtained from the bank for movie projects while these pirates smile to the bank.
Film piracy in Nigeria has got to stop else, this monster of a sort will continually slow down the industry’s growths in great measures. We have seen cases such as Half of a Yellow Sun, AY’s 30 Days in Atlanta,’ Kunle Afolayan’s October 1 and even Kemi Adetigba’s The Wedding Party where the filmmakers were taken to the cleaners.
We also want to state that asides from clamping down on obnoxious activities of these brigands, the NFVCB and other movie regulatory bodies must strive to drive home their stance better by leveraging on the media to sensitize movie consumers, film vendors and the general public to stem film piracy in Nigeria.
There is also the growing concern of nefarious activities occurring online where movie consumers search for top-rated movies in a bid to download and view these films for free. If you search on Google for any popular Nollywood movie for instance; you will find that one of the most popular searches is always how to ‘download’ that particular movie.
As of now, the average movie buff needs to know that buying and selling of multiple-in-one films, unclassified foreign, local and pornographic films, all in DVDs and CD formats are prohibited.
Lastly, while film regulatory agencies and bodies proceed to arrest and prosecute these defaulters, they must also find ways to drive the collaborative narrative, as all hands must be on deck if the war against film piracy in Nigeria must be won and if the movie industry must grow in leaps and bounds.
The Nigerian film industry which is reputed to be the second-largest film producer in the world in terms of quantity – second to India’s Bollywood, cannot continually be seen as a ‘big sector, little reward’ must be seen and known to be thriving.