The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has urged Nollywood filmmakers to produce more movies under the ‘general viewing’ (G) classification for children.
Mrs Olayemi Alonge-Oyadiran, the board’s Director of Film Censorship and Classification, made the call in Abuja.
Alonge-Oyadiran noted that the trend of film submission for censorship during the past year showed that filmmakers have little or no interest in producing children-friendly movies.
She advised that since children were always attracted to entertainment, especially movies, there was need to produce more films suitable for their age.
“Filmmakers have continued to shy away from child-friendly movies as contents and themes of movie submitted for censoring in 2019 largely received such ratings as ‘18’ and ‘15’.
“It implies that most of the films they are producing now are meant for adults and they are not children friendly in any way.
“There is an urgent need for sensitisation of stakeholders on the importance of making movies that are full with child-friendly contents” she said.
The director noted that the trend was not good enough for the moral development of children since they were prone to watching films than adults.
According to her, most of the movies submitted for censorship in the past year, were centered on themes such as royalty, domestic violence, money rituals, prostitution and marriages.
She added that “only few treated themes on advocacy and awareness on diseases such as Sickle Cell, Polio, HIV and VVF”.
Entrench African Values
Alonge-Oyadiran therefore advised movie producers in the Nigerian movie industry to eschew story lines that erode values that define the African people.
She warned that films that reinforce violence and moral decadence have demeaning effect on age-long values and acceptable ways of life, which may escalate juvenile delinquency.
While noting that the filmmakers are business persons set out to make profit, she however noted the need for them to be socially responsible as they shape public opinions.
She further urged filmmakers to always submit their content to the NFVCB for rating in order to safeguard the Nigerian child.
“The language used in a film, act of violence and nudity, send messages out to people, especially children, who may apply them wrongly,” said the director.
According to her, 406 films were approved by the board in 2019, covering genres such as Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Bini, Urhobo, Hindi and movies in English.
The NFVCB is a Federal Government body that regulates the films and video industry in Nigeria.
The board is empowered by law to classify all films and videos whether imported or produced locally.
It is also the duty of the board to register all films and videos outlet across the country and to keep a register of such registered outlets, among other functions.
Its classification symbols include the “G” rating, that implies ‘suitable for viewing by persons of all ages’, “15” meant only for persons of 15 years and “18” meant for mature audiences.
Others are “12” meant only for persons of 12 years and the “12A” for 12 years and above, “PG” implying Parental Guidance and “RE”, which implies Restricted Exhibition.