The National Film and Video Censors Board has ordered cinemas nationwide to stop showing a recently released movie, titled, Sugar Rush.
The NVFCB, Executive Director, Addedayo Thomas, however, told The PUNCH that the movie was not suspended because of some scenes found to portray the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as an incompetent organisation.
The film, which has reportedly grossed about N160m since its release on December 25, 2019, was directed by Kayode Kasum, and largely publicised by singer Bankole Wellington aka Banky W and wife, Adesua.
The movie was, however, removed from cinemas by the NFVCB, the Federal Government agency responsible for classifying movies and giving approval for release.
The film centres on three sisters who accidentally discover $800,000 (N288m) in the house of a corrupt man.
According to some online critics, the comedy-drama also shows failed attempts by the EFCC to recover the money, depicting the EFCC operatives as incompetent and clumsy.
Several online reports suggest that the poor portrayal of the EFCC in the comedy was one of the reasons it was pulled out of cinemas.
Confirming the suspension of the movie, Banky W said he was optimistic that it would return to the theatres.
He wrote on Twitter, “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.
“We’re hoping the issues will be resolved quickly, so we can resume screening as soon as possible.”
In a subsequent tweet, the musician said the NFVCB was already looking to resolve it.
The Executive Director of the NFVCB, however, told The PUNCH during an interview that the movie was not suspended because of pressure from the EFCC.
He added, “The movie was given temporary approval in December. They had told us that they wanted to release it on Christmas Day and they were thus given a temporary approval pending the approval of a permanent one.
“The temporary one lapsed before they could complete the process of getting the permanent one.
“The matter has nothing to do with the EFCC as is being reported on social media.”
Thomas said the movie had not just significantly increased box office revenues within a short period but had improved our cinematic culture which is sine qua non for attracting the investment Nigeria desires.
“I am currently working with the distributor, producer, director and key actors to grant final approval for the resumed exhibition at cinemas,” he said.