Nigerian lesbian movie “Ife” produced by Pamela Adie and directed by Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim is set for release despite stern warning from Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) that the film (which means “love” in Yoruba language violates the country’s strict laws on homosexuality.
But according to a report by BBC, the filmmakers are determined to get the film across to the Nigerian audience. To get around, the report says the filmmakers are planning a surprise online release to catch the regulators off-guard. However, according to BBC in its report, the Censors Board is well aware and diligently monitoring all digital platforms to checkmate the release of the movie. According to the Censors Board boss, Adebayo Thomas, both the producer and the director, and indeed all involved in the film could be risking jail terms of 14 years sentence for promoting homosexuality in a country where same-sex relationships are forbidden.
BBC in the report says the filmmakers are planning a private screening in Lagos at the end of the month for which they feel they do not need the nod of the regulators to go ahead. It was also reported that the film is being billed for international premiere in Canada in October of this year. BBC quotes the producer, Adie as saying the film was to show an accurate picture of lesbian and bisexual women in Nigerian movies If a lesbian woman does appear in a standard Nollywood movie they are often portrayed as being possessed, influenced by bad friends or forced into homosexuality and always needing “saving”, she told the BBC. “You rarely see stories about LGBT people, especially about queer women that speak to the realities of our lives. “Ife was made to bridge the gap and to get the conversation going in Nigeria.”