By Joshua Olomu
Abuja – The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has rated highly the quality of Nollywood movies verified and classified by the board in 2017.
Mr Adedayo Thomas, the Executive Director of the board gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Thomas, in a retrospective look into the past year, noted that many Nollywood producers have now given quality of production a top priority and had enhanced marketing and distribution.
“Observation on recent trends in the industry shows that the new Nollywood producers have improved on the quality of content and are now competing with foreign movies in cinemas.
“This goes to say that the new Nollywood has come of age as 67 Nigerian movies were premiered in cinemas across the country in 2017,” he said.
Thomas said that during the period, the board adjudged the content quality of indigenous language movies better than those in English language.
He noted with dismay that indigenous movies received by the board had continued to decline with Yoruba and Hausa movies becoming major sub-markets by sheer volume of products, size of audience and pedigree.
“Their story lines are more socially-relevant, the plots are more engaging and the interpretation of roles more mature than home videos in English.
“This is especially true of Yoruba movies with rich tradition that goes back in time long before Nollywood,” he said.
He noted that in the classification of movies by language, the ones in English top the year with 67 per cent and the Hausa and Yoruba movies pitched 16 and each10per cent respectively.
According to him, the year witnessed a marginal decline in the number of movies submitted for censorship and classification from 1,023 movies in 2016 to 946 in 2017.
Thomas said that the decline could be traced to a recent trend in the industry where producers submit four-hour movie as one and thereafter split it when it would be ready for distribution.
The executive director said that the board was working towards curbing the trend.
The NFVCB boss explained that out of the total submission, 196 movies were for cinema exhibition.
He disclosed that 475 local films were verified and classified, while 342 were referred and two were held back by the board.
Thomas expressed concern over the paucity of the “G”- rated movies for ‘general viewing.’
He, therefore, urged content producers to produce more movies under the ‘general viewing’ (G) classification for the viewing interests of children.
“The creativity of the Nigerian movie maker and scriptwriter is being challenged to address the scanty offering in this segment,” he noted.
Thomas said that the board recorded unprecedented success in the previous year adding that it ensured that uncensored and pirated films were completely removed from the movie market.
According to him, the board carried out major raids in Alaba Interational market, known to be the hub of pirated films in Lagos.
He said that similar operations were also carried out in Edo and Kaduna States, and several markets and sales outlets in the Federal Capital Territory towards the last quarter of the year.
“The market value of the items seized worth millions of naira and that would serve as deterrent to prevent such illegal products from selling in the market at the expense of genuine ones.
“We are working towards taking the culprits to court very soon,” Thomas said.
He noted that the motion picture industry was not all about entertainment, but a big business that must be encouraged and protected to grow and bring profit to its investors. (NAN)