The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has given reasons why it suspended Jade Osiberu’s comedy film, ‘Sugar Rush’ from screening in Nigerian cinemas.
Findings by newsmen on Monday showed that Nigerian cinemas have removed the film from their movie listings.
The film tells the story of three sisters who accidentally discover $800,000 (N288m) in the house of a corrupt man.
The storyline somewhat portrays failed attempts by an anti-graft agency to recover the money. Critics have said it depicts The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission operatives as incompetent and clumsy.
Several online reports suggest that the poor portrayal of the EFCC in the comedy might be one of the reasons it was pulled out of cinemas.
But, the Executive Director of NFVCB, Adedayo Thomas, has debunked the allegations in a statement published on its official, Instagram account.
Mr Thomas said the temporary approval given for the movie exhibition has expired.
“It has come to our notice that #BringBackSugarRush is currently gaining momentum on Twitter with many speculating a ban on the movie ‘Sugar Rush’ and presuming the supposed action as a sign of government’s intention to stifle creativity,” his statement read.
“The movie has not just significantly increased box office revenues within a short period but has improved our cinematic culture which is the sine qua non for attracting the investment we so much desire as a nation.”
He also took the blame for delaying the final approval of the movie.
“I, however, take responsibility for the gap in communication and the delay in granting final approval as the temporary approval given for the movie exhibition expired before we could release an official statement due to my preoccupation with extant responsibilities and a backlog of movies requiring approval as a result of the December rush. I am currently working with the distributor, producer, director and key actors to grant final approval for the resumed exhibition at cinemas,” he said.
Osiberu, the crew and other Nigerians have taken to social media with the hashtag #BringSugarRushMovieBack to ask that the movie be brought back.
“Thank you all so much for the support that our film Sugar Rush has received. Unfortunately, due to issues that are way beyond our control, Sugar Rush has been suspended from playing in cinemas,” Jadesola Osiberu wrote two days ago on Instagram.
Also reacting to the development on Twitter, Banky W wrote, “If you saw @sugarrushmovie and loved it, or if you planned to, please read our statements. We are very hopeful and optimistic that the film will be back on screens in a few days, so please don’t give up on us, and please stay optimistic with us”.
The film has reportedly grossed about N160m since its release on December 25, 2019.
It was directed by Kayode Kasum and had a massive social media campaign spearheaded by Banky W and wife, Adesua.
The movie tells the story of the Sugar sisters who discover $800,000. The financial crimes commission and the supposed owners of the money come for them but the money was lost.
Now to save themselves, and get back their abducted mother they team up with two crime agents to re-steal the money from an affluent but dangerous man with supernatural powers.
Sugar Rush features Adesua Etomi Wellington, Bankole Wellington (Banky W), Omoni Oboli, Toke Makinwa, Bisola Aiyeola amongst others.