Nigerian producer, Pamela Adie has revealed that her new lesbian love movie, “Ife” – which means “love” in the Yoruba language widely spoken in southwest Nigeria – would be released online to avoid any possible move by the censorship board to ban it.
In the movie, two young women fill the screen, reclining on a bed romantically, talking about their hope of having children. They two are key protagonists in a new Nigerian lesbian love film.
The topic is controversial in Nigeria, where same-sex relationships are theoretically punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
“I really feel that the censor’s board is playing a big part in stopping these kinds of stories from coming to the big screen… and it is just really stifling creativity,” said Adie, who declined to provide a release date to Reuters for “security” reasons.
The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) in Nigeria did not respond to requests for comment for Reuters.
A trailer released online in July shows the women discussing their love and, as one character phrased it, the fear of being forced to choose between your family and happiness.
“The role of the film is not to say ‘this is right, or not’. I think that the role of film, and a filmmaker, is to portray reality as it is,” said Adie.
Nobody has yet been convicted under the law banning same-sex relationships, which came into effect in 2014. But the case of 47 men charged last year with public displays of affection is being closely watched. Many people in Nigeria are socially conservative and some religious groups brand same-sex relationships as a corrupting Western import.