Producers of the first Nigerian movie about lesbian relationships are in a face-off with Nollywood regulators and risk imprisonment should they go ahead to release the movie against warnings from authorities.
The Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) have warned Pamela Adie and Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim, Producer and Director of the movie titled ‘IFE’ (Love in Yoruba language) that it will not approve the movie for release as it violates the country’s strict laws on homosexuality.
The filmmakers are said to be planning a surprise online release of the movie but the NFVCB said it diligently monitor all digital platforms to prevent the movie from getting out.
NFVCB boss Adebayo Thomas warned Adie and Ikpe-Etim against releasing the movie online they could be jailed for promoting homosexuality in a country where same-sex relationships are forbidden and can carry a 14-year sentence.
Adie said the aim of the film was to show an accurate picture of lesbian and bisexual women in Nigerian movies. “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.”
Ife is a story about two women falling in love as they spend three days together. They “then have their love tested by the realities of being in a same-sex relationship in a country like Nigeria”.
If July’s trailer, where sex is hinted at but not actually shown, is anything to go by, then Ife certainly pushes the boundaries of telling the LGBT story by Nigerian movie standards.