Netflix praised by the Censors Board for its role in promoting Nigerian films
The Executive Director/CEO of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Alh. Adedayo Thomas, has praised Netflix, the American streaming giant, for its willingness and commitment to acquire Nollywood films for its platform.
Thomas gave the commendation on Thursday during an interactive session at the board’s two-day conference, “Nigeria Digital Content Regulation,” which took place from December 1 to 2 in Ikeja, Lagos State.
Netflix, according to Thomas, is particularly interested in African stories, particularly Nigerian stories, and is always willing to work with relevant authorities in accordance with the law.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to Netflix, in particular, for its interest in Nollywood films and willingness to collaborate with and listen to us as regulators.”
However, we believe that we can do more to improve the lives of all stakeholders in our beloved film industry so that it can contribute more to the national economy.
” With a positive outlook, the Nigerian entertainment and creative industries have grown significantly, opening up new business models along their value chain.
“This can’t be separated from the appreciation and adoption of new media, technological innovations, trends, and inputs, all of which Netflix and other streaming media are key players in.”
Anyone can now produce and showcase their digital content online, from traditional film, music, stand-up comedy, celluloid cinemas, video cassettes, DVDs, and satellite television.
“Consumers can access content through subscription video on demand,” he said. “Quality has improved, entertainment value has increased, forex earnings have increased, and pressure on Nigeria’s unemployment rate has eased, among other things.”
Film regulation in the digital age, according to the NFVCB’s CEO, is a global challenge that requires collaboration from all industry players.
He stated that, while the advent of digital platforms has increased the global visibility and market for Nigerian films, there is a need to strike a balance between business and legality.
“We are also concerned about our national values and consumer protection, and we feel compelled to develop policies to address these issues.”
Because a Nigerian film is first and foremost a Nigerian product, anyone interested in purchasing it should inquire as to whether it has been approved by relevant authorities.
“They can verify the authenticity of such a certificate from us within 24 hours if a film owner offers them a certificate bearing our name,” he said.
The conference, according to Thomas, was the first of its kind and was intended to bring together practitioners and various stakeholders in the film ecosystem to brainstorm on how to regulate streamers and content providers in Nigeria.
Mrs. Shola Sanni, Netflix Director of Public Policy, Sub-Sahara Africa, said earlier in a panel session that the OTT streaming service collaborates with independent producers in a variety of contexts across Africa.
“This translates to significant investment in local content in Nigeria, which opens up new opportunities,” she explained.
Members of Nollywood’s various guilds, including the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), attended the conference (DGN).
Also in attendance were the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), the Theatre and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), and other organizations.