‘Ife‘ a Nigerian LGBTQ movie currently in post-production is being eyed by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) as it’s queer love theme may contravene the board’s Censor which is in line with the Federal Government’s stand on LGBTQ.
‘Ife’ is an LGBTQ movie produced by Pamela Adie, written and directed by Uyai Ikpe-Etim and set for release later this year.
While the film’s trailer is scheduled to come out on July 15. Ife, the LGBTQ story follows the story of two women (MTVShuga star Uzoamaka Aniunoh and Cynthia Amadi) who fall in love over a 3-day date but have to deal with the trials of same-sex couples in a country that frowns at it. Ironically, exactly what NFVCB is doing.
In a recent interview with the Board’s chair, Adedayo Thomas has hinted that the film and its makers and actors are very likely to be sanctioned if the film makes it into public viewing space. He says;
“As long as it is Nigerian, it will be tracked down. Even those who are involved in it too. Before you get yourself involved in certain things, there must be a contract. What is the contract? Ignorance of the law is not an excuse” and “If you say you’re shooting a movie on the conception of lesbianism, fine, that is the work. It has not gotten to our table, when it gets to our table, we will know that this is what we are going to do.”
According to Uyai Ikpe-Etim, the LGBTQ trend is an idea that Nigeria is still struggling to come to terms with and she seeks to change this Narrative, thus this film is written and directed by her.
In her words;
“I wanted to create something that would restore the dignity of LGBT+ people in Nigeria. Something they could be proud of. I wanted them to see themselves represented as regular humans who fall in love, who have their hearts broken, who break hearts, who love their families etc. Just regular people, who exist, who matter and who deserve to have their stories told. We are pretty much saying with this film, “we are queer, we are here and we are proud”.
Ife, by LGBTQ movie and documentary producer, Pamela Adie, is another attempt to speak on the issue of discrimination against the LGBTQ people. The first was her award-winning documentary ‘Under the Rainbow’. After she came out publically as lesbian, she has continued to speak out for herself and others like her.
“We chose to make this film because of the dearth (if any at all) of stories centred on the realities of lesbian, bisexual and queer women in Nigeria. LBQ women are mostly portrayed as people to be assaulted, or the object of the male gaze and gratification, and even ridiculed.
Speaking with Pulse.ng, Pamela says;
“We have been portrayed as people to be feared “cured”, “treated”,etc., and it is time for this to change. We are taking our power back and telling our stories by ourselves. We wanted to show Nigerians a little part of our lived realities and what it means to be lesbian in Nigeria”.
While the NFVCB might be gyming up to censor Ife the movie on its release, the filmmakers have intentions to keep it private. According to Pamela Adie, Ife, the LGBTQ movie “is not going to be on YouTube (or in Cinemas), we are building our platform where people can pay to watch movies like an on-demand streaming platform. Maybe if Netflix decides to show it after a year of release, why not? For now, we don’t plan to release it on any other site”.
Let us hear what you think.