Police Stop ‘Boko Haram’ Film

Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan — IGPSecurity agencies have halted the introduction of a film titled, “Boko Haram” into the country. The police, in collaboration with the Cinematography Exhibition Control Board, arrested the producer and granted him a police inquiry bail to allow him to edit portions of the film, which is already on the market.

The Ghanaian Times learnt that, the film was premiered and exhibited commercially in Nigeria under a different titled, however, the name was changed to “Boko Haram” to the chagrin of Ghanaian authorities when it entered the country.

According to a source, the name of the film infuriated Nigerian authorities since the pro-Moslem extreme group was causing havoc in Nigeria. The source said, Ghanaian authorities, ostensibly mindful of the backlash such an exposure could create when exhibited on the market, requested for a copy of the film as required by law.

The Cinematography Exhibition Board of Control, established under the Cinematography Act 1961 (Act 76), mandates the board to audit any film and classify it before its public exhibition.

Confirming the issue, Mr. Kodua Edjekumhene, a member of the board, said, they (the Board) received an application from Double D Production to preview and classify “Boko Haram” when it entered the country early this year.

He said before the Board could take any decision and communicate to the applicant, its attention was drawn to the fact that copies of the film and its posters had already been displayed and were on sale.

Mr. Edjekumhene said the Board then requested for the assistance of the police and arrested the producer to stop the sale and the exhibition of the posters.

He said the producer was granted bail based on his promise to stop the sale and also edit the film to suit Ghanaian standard and taste.
Mr. Edjekumhene said “the Board, in recent times, has been inundated with calls over the quality of audio-visual works (films) being churned out for public viewing  by film producers”.

He said checks by the Board revealed that most of the films the public complained about had either been rejected by the Board or were never presented for classification, contrary to section 6 and 7 of the Cinematography Act.

Mr. Edjekumhene said to curb the situation, the Board would present the list of such films which were either rejected or not classified but had found their way to the market to the police for action.

He said, “henceforth, the board would display the films which have been passed by us on the website of Ministry of Information and Media Relations for the public to take note”. - Lawrence Markwei     

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