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Gangs of Lagos: Lagos Govt lacks Power to regulate Film, Video Censorship under 1999 Constitution – Amazon tells Court

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Amazon Web Services Nigeria has challenged the power of the Lagos State Government to regulate and censor films and videos produced within its territory as stipulated in the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004.

Amazon is a subsidiary of Amazon Inc and founder of Prime Video Nigeria.

The body argued that the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004 “is not applicable to video and films censorship in the state.”

This was revealed in a preliminary objection by the global entertainment giant in a suit filed by the Isale-Eko Descendants Union (IDU), among others.

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The union had instituted a suit seeking N10 billion damages against Amazon and other producers of the Gangs of Lagos for alleged depiction of Isale Eko as a den of criminals and Eyo Masquerade as a gang of murderers.

Other claimants in the suit are Chief Ayodele Bajulaiye, who sued on behalf the Bajulaiye Chieftaincy Family and Eyo Iga Bajulaiye, and Chief Abdul-Waheed Ayeni who sued on behalf of the Sasore Chieftaincy Family and Eyo Iga Sasore.

The defendants are Mrs. Jadesola Osiberu, Ms. Kemi Lala Akindoju, Mr. Adesegun Adetoro, Demi Olubanwo, Mr. Olumide Soyombo, Mr. Bankole Wellington, Mrs. Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Mr. Kola Aina, Greoh Limited and Amazon Web Services Nigeria for alleged sacrilegious and scandalous depiction of Eyo Masquerade in a movie production titled Gangs of Lagos

In its preliminary objection filed on June 30, Amazon challenged the power of the state government to regulate videos and films.

Consequently, it asked the court to dismiss the substantive suit on the ground that the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004 was enacted outside the legislative competence of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

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Amazon thus sought “an order pursuant to section 25(1)(q) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, striking out this suit as this honourable court does not have jurisdiction to entertain it.”

It argued that the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004 under which the claimants brought their claims “is not applicable to video and film censorship in Lagos State.

“The appropriate law is the National Film and Video Censor Board Act, 1993, an Act of the National, which has already covered the field,” Amazon argued.

On these grounds, Amazon claimed that the High Court of Lagos State “has no jurisdiction to compel the Lagos State Government to censor the firm Gang of Lagos under the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004, which falls within the provisions of the National Film and Video Censor Board Act.”

The global giant further claimed that section 25(1)(q) of the Constitution “precludes this honourable court from exercising jurisdiction over interpretation of the Constitution as it relates to the federal government and its agencies.”

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And take further notice that at the hearing of this application, the 12th defendant/applicant will rely on all the process filed by the claimants/respondents as well as the affidavit of Omoniyi Francis Moses attached to this application.

The claims of the global giant, however, contravene Item 16 of the Concurrent Legislative List of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

The item categorically stipulates that the National Assembly “may make laws for the establishment of an authority with power to carry out censorship of cinematograph films and to prohibit or restrict the exhibition of such films.

It further clarifies states that nothing “herein shall (a) preclude a House of Assembly from making provision for a similar authority for that State; or
(b) authorise the exhibition of a cinematograph film in a State without the sanction of the authority established by the Law of that State for the censorship of such films.”

The court, presided over by Justice Idowu Alakija, has fixed October 9, to determine Amazon’s preliminary objection to the suit filed the descendants of Isale Eko against the production of Gang of Lagos.

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In a ruling recently, Alakija recently granted the leave for judicial review in an ex parte application brought against the film producers pursuant to section 3 of the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State.

Alakija had granted the leave after hearing arguments of counsels of Isale Eko descendants, Mr. Olasupo Shasore (SAN), Mr. Adeniji Kazeem (SAN), Mr. Aderemi Bashua (SAN), Mrs. Oyinkansola Badejo-Okusanya, Akinwale Irokosu and Adesamola Alebiosu, among others.

Alakija had granted the applicants leave to apply for an order of mandamus against the Lagos State Video and Film Censors Board to ban the film, Gangs of Lagos airing on Amazon Prime, for its false and defamatory depiction of the Eyo masquerade.

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Malaika took me almost two months to produce, Toyin Abraham reveals (Video)

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A Nigerian actress and movie producer, Toyin Abraham Adeyemi, has revealed that it took her just two months to produce her alleged N500 million budget movie, Malaika.

Also read: Tinubu hails Funke Akindele, creative industry

She made this revelation during a chat with the media while addressing the disturbing thread of piracy in the Nollywood industry.

A victim of piracy herself, Toyin, as she simply called, lamented how her N500 million budget movie was leaked on Telegram and how she was able to salvage it with the help of her team.

“If you look at me, I’m actually not okay. I’ve to come from the hospital; I’ve been having panic attacks. It’s not easy shooting a movie for close to N500 million and just seeing it out there.

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“I saw my movie and another movie, and I thought I was dreaming, and they said, ‘No, you’re not dreaming,’” she said.

She went on to disclose that the hackers announced on Telegram that they were going to upload the movie by 12, which they eventually did.

When asked how long it took her to produce the movie, Toyin responded that it took her almost two months.

“I shot Malaika for two months, almost two months,” she replied.

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By a comparative analysis, on average, Hollywood studio movies are shot within 30 to 120 days, with outliers falling below or above this range. The length of principal photography depends greatly on the scale, genre, and length of a film.

“Lift,” the new Kevin Hart-led heist thriller now streaming on Netflix, took approximately five months; between March and July 2022 to be precise, for filming with a $100 million budget.

Toyin further disclosed that her advocacy against movie piracy isn’t about her interests alone but for the general good of the industry.

“This is not about Malaika or any movie in the cinema; it is not about tribe. It’s about the creative industry; it’s about the entertainment industry. Because this is the only thing we do,” she stated.

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“Behind The Veil” Hits Amazon Prime: A Roller Coaster of Emotions, Life Lessons Unveiled

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The much-anticipated movie, “Behind The Veil,” has officially made its debut on Amazon Prime, promising viewers a captivating experience filled with twists, wit, drama, and a spectrum of emotions.

The film, directed and written by Toyin Moore, offers a unique blend of storytelling, featuring an eclectic cast of talents from various nationalities.

Starring Rotimi Salami, Khadijah, Taiwo Olutayo, Toyin Moore, Dapo Opayinka and Juanita Imeh.

Others are Alex Mike, Nora Brown, Mabel Marquez, Rasheed Ijaiya, Lydia Tett Olet, and more, “Behind The Veil” showcases a diverse ensemble that brings the narrative to life.

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The executive producers, Comdnt Alistair Soyode and Toyin Moore, have played pivotal roles in bringing this cinematic masterpiece to the Amazon Prime platform. The movie’s director, Toyin Moore, has lent her creative vision to the project, ensuring a compelling and immersive experience for the audience.

Dwayne Josephs, the Director of Photography, and the post-production team at DDFILMWORKS have contributed to the movie’s visual brilliance, promising viewers a visual feast.

“Behind The Veil” is not just a movie; it’s an emotional roller coaster that explores the complexities of life. With valuable lessons embedded in its narrative, the film is set to resonate with audiences seeking more than just entertainment.

Viewers can follow the link https://www.amazon.co.uk/placeholder_title/dp/B0CH8DZWFT on Amazon Prime.

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Director Mo Receives 7 Nominations and Ongoing Acclaim for “OBSESSION”

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In an era where storytelling transcends boundaries and cultures, the luminary film director, Emmanuel Chidiebere Nwosu, known affectionately as Director Mo, continues to rewrite the narrative of African cinema. His magnum opus, “OBSESSION,” has garnered widespread recognition, affirming his status as a trailblazing filmmaker.

At the recent Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival in Canada, “OBSESSION” amassed an astounding 7 nominations, signifying its remarkable impact on the global cinematic stage.
Director Mo’s virtuosity was further celebrated as he secured the prestigious title of Best Director Africa.
This eloquent achievement solidified his reputation as the visionary behind the movie “Obsession.”

The accolades continue to pour in as Director Mo clinches an additional 7 nominations, including Best Director, at the inaugural African Cultural Film USA Awards. “OBSESSION” has earned its place as an official selection for this distinguished ceremony, underscoring the film’s indelible mark on storytelling excellence.

The resounding nominations “OBSESSION” has received span several key categories:

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Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Sound
Best Editor
Best Film
Director Mo’s humility and dedication shine through as he reflects on this remarkable journey. To him, these numerous accolades represent a validation of his unwavering commitment to crafting unique African narratives. He ardently believes that the essence of a great film lies not only in its end result but in the stories it tells.

Speaking about “OBSESSION,” Director Mo revealed that he approached the project with a deeply personal connection, leaving no stone unturned. The cast, known for their exceptional professionalism, collaborated tirelessly to immerse themselves in their roles, ensuring a portrayal that resonated with audiences on a profound level.
The continued success, marked by consistent nominations since the film’s cinematic release, stands as a testament to the captivating storytelling that “OBSESSION” delivers. Director Mo’s craft reflects a remarkable fusion of passion, talent, and an unyielding commitment to cinematic excellence.

Emmanuel Chidiebere Nwosu, Director Mo, is a visionary in the world of cinema, and his work continues to captivate audiences, sparking curiosity and conversation. As he treads new frontiers in filmmaking, his journey is one to watch, and his name is etched in the annals of cinematic greatness. Expect to hear more from this director as he continues to mesmerize the world with his storytelling prowess.
Director Mo Clinches Best Movie Director Africa at TINFF 2023

In a triumph that underscores his dedication to the craft, Director Emmanuel Chidiebere Nwosu, popularly known as Director Mo, has been bestowed with the coveted title of “Best Movie Director Africa” at the prestigious Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival (TINFF) 2023 in Canada.

Director Mo’s cinematic prowess came to the forefront at TINFF, where his exceptional talent was acknowledged and celebrated on the global stage. This remarkable achievement is a testament to his unique storytelling skills and his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of African cinema.
The Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival has consistently been a platform that recognizes and honors excellence in filmmaking, making Director Mo’s victory in the category of “Best Movie Director Africa” all the more remarkable.

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As an award-winning director, Director Mo continues to make an indelible mark in the world of cinema. His work reflects a passion for storytelling, a commitment to cinematic excellence, and a dedication to showcasing African narratives that resonate with audiences far and wide.
This accolade serves as a testament to Director Mo’s outstanding contributions to the art of filmmaking. His creative vision and dedication to his craft are being celebrated not only by industry peers but also by a global audience that values compelling storytelling.

With this latest accomplishment, Director Mo’s star continues to rise, and his name shines brightly in the constellation of esteemed filmmakers. He remains a pivotal figure in shaping the future of African cinema.

As Director Mo basks in the glory of this well-deserved recognition, the world eagerly anticipates the next chapter in his extraordinary cinematic journey. His unique storytelling gifts promise to captivate audiences and contribute to the ever-evolving landscape of African cinema.
Congratulations to Director Mo on this incredible achievement at TINFF 2023! His Best Movie Director Africa award is not just a personal triumph but a celebration of African storytelling and filmmaking as a whole. We look forward to the stories he will continue to weave on the silver screen, captivating and inspiring audiences across the globe.

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