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Censors Board destroys illicit films worth N500m

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The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), on Friday, destroyed unclassified and other prohibited films and videos valued at N500 million.

The items seized from the Nigerian market were destroyed at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the officials of the NFVCB, officers of the Nigerian Police Force and that of the Federal Fire Service were among stakeholders present during the exercise.

The items destroyed included DVDs, CDs, copies of 20 in 1 video films, unclassified foreign and local films, as well as pornographic materials.

Executive Director of the board, Adedayo Thomas, said that the items were confiscated during raid operations and enforcement drive in markets in the Federal Capital Territory and its neighbouring towns.

“Our enforcement drive within a period resulted to the removal of these unapproved film and video works with street value of over N500 million.

“The creative industry is acclaimed to have contributed 1.4 percent to Nigeria’s GDP, and it can do more for owners, producers and distributors of films and video works to get value from their investment.

“If the sector is in a mess, investors will not come, that is why we are cleaning the market for the film owners to enjoy the reward of their work,’’ he said.

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He attributed the success recorded by the board during the period to the unrelenting activities of its Task Force, a body constituted to champion the raid of illegal film outlets across Nigeria.

Thomas added that the board has secured the collaboration of the Nigerian Police Force, which has speed up the arrest and prosecution of marketers and distributors of illicit film and video works across Nigeria.

He explained further that the Task Force mandate was to rid the Nigerian market of unapproved distributions, unlicensed distributors and exhibitors, among other functions.

One of the key facilitators of the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is the continuous improvement on, respect for, and enforcement of intellectual property and ownership rights in the film industry.

“This is pursued by discouraging the distribution of unapproved, unclassified and unwholesome films and tackling other illicit activities in the film market.

“Industry players lose billions of naira to adulterated, smuggled and unclassified works through agents and distributors, which ultimately denies the government its statutory revenues.

“It is on this premise that the National Film and Video Censors Board, about two years ago, re-constituted the National Task Force on unapproved movies with the support of the Minister of Information and Culture.

“The immediate intervention of the Task Force, which includes industry stakeholders, guilds and in-house operations staff of the board, led to many unprecedented massive raid successes across the country,” he said.

In his remark, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, commended the NFVCB for remaining resolute in raiding Nigerian film market of unwholesome products, adding that the force was willing to always work with it.

The  IGP, who was represented by AIG David Folawiyo, in charge of Training and Development, pledged the police willingness to provide training and technical support for the board.

The NFVCB has by this milestone strengthen our laws, and the Nigerian Police Force is willing to work with it, even more.

“All states command have been given signals to always release officers to provide support for  the NFVCB, nationwide whenever needed.

Also, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who lighted fire on the illicit films, said it would serve as deterrent and prevent illegal products from selling in the market at the expense of genuine ones.

The minister, represented by Mr Augustus Babajide, Director of Entertainment and Creative Services, said: “This kind of enforcement will encourage creativity and attract investors to  the creative sector.”

NAN reports that the NFVCB, established in 1993, regulates the films and video industry in Nigeria.

It is empowered by law to classify all films and videos, whether imported or produced locally and also register all films and videos outlet across the country, among other functions.

 

NAN

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Bollywood, Nollywood good to work in, says Nigerian actress who broke into Indian film industry

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Nigerian actress, Kehinde Omisande, believes collaborations between the Nigerian film industry and their Indian counterpart will yield good fruits.

Omisande recently broke into Bollywood after she featured in a Netflix original, ‘Little Things’, an Indian movie.

Though she is yet to work in the Nollywood industry, the actress vowed to contribute her quota to its development.

She said,

“I can’t compare both because I haven’t worked in the Nigerian movie industry, but from what I have seen, I think I would prefer to work in my country home’s industry more just because I think it will be easier for me mostly because of the language.

“I don’t understand Hindu, which will make it a little bit hard for me, but all the same, I think both industries are good to work in. I have a better plan for both industries. I will do my best to contribute my quota to the industries. I am committed to impacting greatly to foster the industry especially that of my country by extending qualities that will improve the standard of the industry.”

Adding,

“I think there are a lot of opportunities. I have an example of someone who has made appearances here which shows that it is possible. I don’t know if it is up to me to foster synergy.

“Hopefully, the authorities or agents or whoever influences both sides can see. I hope it is possible. I think it should be. I will do my best in my way.”

On her challenges as a Nigerian in Bollywood, she said,

“As I said earlier, it should be a language barrier. Although in Bollywood movies, they speak the English language, Hindi is their main language. So, as a Nigerian in their midst, it has not been easy and if you watch ‘Little Things’ season three on Netflix, you would see that I spoke little Hindi and luckily for me, my siblings taught me some Hindi words when I came to India, so, when I see them on the script I know what they mean.”

The Nation

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Mercy Aigbe speaks on crushing on 2Baba, first encounter with Sola Sobowale

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Mercy Aigbe

Nigerian actress, director and businesswoman, Mercy Aigbe, has revealed her first encounter with Nollywood veteran, Sola Sobowale.

According to the 42-year-old, before she got into the industry, she admired Liz Benson and Sola Sobowale; the former for her beauty and the later for the way she interpreted her roles.

However, her first encounter with the Sobowale a.k.a Toyin Tomato ended in tears.

Recounting the first encounter she had with Sobowale, Aigbe said,

“Before I got into the industry, I admired Sola Sobowale because she knows her onions. One day, I got a call to come on set for a movie titled, ‘Ohun Oko So Mi Da’.

“The movie was produced by Aunty Sola and I was shivering when I got to the set. I asked myself, ‘Would I be able to act in the presence of my role model?’ I went to a corner and prayed to God and told myself, ‘This is my opportunity. I shouldn’t allow Aunty Sola overshadow me. I should let my star shine.’

“Unfortunately for me, in that particular scene, I wasn’t meant to talk at all. I acted the role of her husband’s secretary and was dating her husband. She came to my character’s house to warn her. I was not supposed to say anything but I thought that as an up-and-coming actress, she would just kill my ‘star’ if I didn’t say anything. Guess what I did. I gave myself lines. As she was ranting, I was reacting to her rants. When she held me, I put my hands inside her brassiere. She just told the director to end the scene at that point, asking where they found ‘this kind of girl’.”

The ‘77 Bullets’ actress also maintained that she learnt consistency and doggedness from her mother. She added,

“I learnt being dogged from my mum. She is a very strong woman, who never gives up. She is very consistent and hardworking. I believe that whatever one wants to do, one has to keep at it until one succeeds.”

Actress, Mercy Aigbe, has revealed that for a long time, she had a crush on ‘African Queen’ singer, 2baba (formerly 2face Idibia).

Aigbe stated this during the week as a guest on Gbenga Adeyinka’s Instagram Live chat. After Adeyinka played ‘African Queen’ while on the video call, Aigbe said with a broad smile,

“Don’t tell anybody o. For a very long time, I had a crush on 2baba.”

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Bollywood actor Ranjit Chowdhry, who appeared in ‘The Office’ and ‘Prison Break’, dies at 65

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Famous Bollywood actor, Ranjit Chowdhry, who appeared in two episodes of “The Office and Prison Break has died at the age of 65.

According to local reports, the actor died on Wednesday at a Mumbai hospital after he travelled to his home country from the US several months ago.

Local theatre personality Dolly Thakore told the Orissa Post that Chowdhry suffered a ruptured ulcer on April 14 and was taken to a local hospital, where he died during surgery.

‘He got a ruptured ulcer in the intestine which happened April 14. A physician was called who said he needs to go to the hospital and he was taken to Breach Candy hospital. They operated on him but he died at the hospital yesterday at 4 in the morning,’ Dolly said.

Chowdhry first starred in Indian comedies of the late ’70s and early ’80s before moving to the US. He appeared in two episodes of The Office in season 5 of the NBC sitcom.

In the United States Ranjit is best known for his appearance in Prison Break, Girls, and Law & Order as well as the Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah and the 1990 film Lonely in America among others.

Chowdhry, who has acted in films including ‘Khoobsurat’ and ‘Khatta Meetha’, died in the US on April 15. He was 65.

His half-sister Raell Padamsee made the announcement on social media.

Chowdhry, who was the stepson of theatre personality Alyque Padamsee,  acted in films including ‘Khatta Meetha’ and ‘Baton Baton Mein’. He also worked with Deepa Mehta for her 2002 film ‘Bollywood/Hollywood’.

Rahul Khanna, who acted with him in ‘Bollywood/Hollywood’, tweeted:

“Despite his diminutive frame, he was a towering icon of Indian diaspora cinema and a master of his craft. By far, one of the most endearingly quirky and acerbically witty people i have had the pleasure of knowing.”

He was born in Mumbai and grew up with a theatre background. He was an outstanding character actor who could do justice to any role, no matter how quirky or brief.

Acclaimed directors Deepa Mehta and Mira Nair have expressed their condolences and grief at the actor’s death. The remember him as a blazing, maverick talent.

According to a report in English daily, Nair intends to hold a tribute meeting for Chowdhry over Zoom as they are all amidst a coronavirus lockdown.

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