First lesbian movie producers risk jail in Nigeria.
Pamela Adie and Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim (filmmakers), are likely to be jailed if they proceed to release ‘Ife’, Nigeria’s first lesbian movie.
The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) refuses to approve the movie for distribution.
He explains that its content violates the country’s extant law on homosexuality.
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Homosexuality is prohibited by law in Nigeria and offenders could bag 14-year sentence if convicted.
It is understood that the movie will be screened privately in Lagos by the end of the month.
Its international premiere is scheduled for October in Canada.
First Lesbian Movie Producers Risk Jail As Board Kicks
In a chat with BBC, Adebayo Thomas, NFVCB director, said the board will prosecute the film’s producers if they eventually release the movie without the board’s approval.
“There’s a standing law that prohibits homosexuality, either in practice or in a movie or even in a theatre or on stage.
If it’s content from Nigeria, it has to be censored,” he said
Thomas insists that the board has the right to censor the movie, regardless of the platform it is released
“As long as it’s Nigerian content and it’s telling a Nigerian story.”
“If it did not pass through NFVCB and it is released, the filmmakers will be prosecuted according to the law,” he notes.
NFVCB Threatens to pull down film
The NFVCB boss also threatens to pull down the film if eventually released.
According to him;
The board already partnered with several online platforms including Google and YouTube.
“As long as it’s Nigerian content, we will pull it down because we have collaborations with Google, YouTube and other key players,” he says.
Adie insisted that the film would help tell stories of LGBT women in Nigeria.
“You rarely see stories about LGBT people, especially about queer women that speak to the realities of our lives.
‘Ife’ was made to bridge the gap and to get the conversation going in Nigeria,” she says