Benue State has been one of the foremost states with huge arts background and cultural troupe repertoire. Now, the state-owned university has begun fresh moves to domesticate the film and video making enterprise reservoir to create new income and empowerment streams for Benue youths.
Details from Benjamin Agesan, Makurdi
Organised by the National Film Video and Censors Board (NFVCB) in collaboration with Faculty of Arts, BSU, the three day workshop came with the theme; ‘The Essence of Film Classification, Editing and Content Development for Youth’. It was held at the auditorium of College of Health Science of the University. Resource persons were drawn from the academia.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Msugh Moses Kembe, who declared the workshop open said it was timely and apt in view of the target audience, which is the youth. The Vice Chancellor was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Edward Agbo Omudu.
He expressed concern that “Some stakeholders in the film industry do not know what classification signs such as 12A, 12, 15, PG, 18, and RE means. He said this is why they continue to develop, produce and distribute contents that are inimical to the cognitive development of viewers.”
Kembe, explained that such anomalies like the abuse of psychotropic drugs, rape, nudity, sex, violence, uncultured language and nepotism which find footage in some Nigerian films are highly discountenanced, hence, the need to redefine film contents in Nigeria.
He, therefore, commended NFVCB led by the Executive Director/CEO, Adedayo Thomas, for the good work in youth mentoring, behaviour molding and leadership development in Nigeria.
According to the CEO, the workshop was launched by the board to improve media literacy and mentorship for upcoming industry players, with special target on Theatre and other Creative Arts undergraduates of Nigerian universities. He was represented by Deborah Malgwi, NFVCB’s Zonal Coordinator, North Central (Jos).
He explained that it is aimed at bridging the gap between classroom experience and film making as a business.
The executive director maintained that the movie industry in Nigeria offers more opportunities and so, there is the need to teach undergraduates how to create value and better themselves through the industry.
Hear him: “As the key regulator of the Nigerian motion picture industry, NFVCB has decided to bring practical knowledge of how the sector works to these potential filmmakers to secure the future of our movie industry.
“We are teaching them classification and rating of videos and films as well as productive use of social media in order to properly position them for opportunities that abound in the industry.
“A lot of these youths are scriptwriters, actors, and directors. But there is need to bridge the gap between the classroom knowledge and the industry demands to chart a direction for themselves.”
While insisting that the potential filmmakers must be encouraged to develop themselves by pursuing their dream careers rather than look up to government, Mr. Adedayo said “with the right mindset and knowledge, they can become creators of jobs and contribute to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as soon as they leave school.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Dean Faculty of Arts, BSU, Gowon Ama Doki, commended NFVCB for the initiative to collaborate with his faculty for the workshop .
He observed that as Nigeria continues to grow and her strongest demography opened to various forms of social influences, there is every need to subject it under thorough scrutiny in order to sustain her status and role as the giant of Africa.
A video clip titled Poverty Cure was presented to the participants during the workshop. A 400 Level student of Theatre Arts Department, Vivian Anyaibe, said she learned a lot from it and the Poverty Cure clip that was presented.
According to her, she had been concerned if some of the movies in the Nigerian market are not censored but with the help of the Workshop, she realised that action needed to overcome some of the challenges in the movie industry.
Thanks so much for all you, Anyaibe added, saying that she learned from the movie clip that although people may have good intensions to help, their actions may hurt other people.
To Nyamve Terhile of Mass Communication Department, he was privileged to gain the knowledge that people pay to have. He described the movie Poverty Cure as efforts by foreigners to help African countries in need and thanked the organisers for availing the students with the opportunity to learn new things in the movie industry.
The workshop engaged the students on film classification and censorship in Nigeria; socio-economic and political dimensions of film and video classification and censorship in Nigeria; youth, film, behaviour modeling, and leadership development in Nigeria; film, youth orientation, cultural stereotypes and violence in Nigeria; enforcing the NFVCB film and video classification codes and effective censorship through stakeholders’ involvement as well as technology and the future of film production and was wrapped up with work presentation groups.