Following its order that ‘Sugar Rush’ be suspended from showing in cinemas, the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has explained the reason for stopping the screening of the movie.
The Board offered the explanation following the social media outrage that greeted its decision.
The suspension of the movie, which hit cinemas on December 25, 2019, has since become a trending topic on Twitter, as Nigerians clamoured for the return of the movie in cinemas with #BringSugarRushback.
Reacting to the outrage, NFVCB in a statement on its Facebook page said, 'Sugar Rush' was suspended in cinemas because the temporary approval given for the movie exhibition has expired.
The statement read in part, “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.
“The movie has not just significantly increased box office revenues within a short period but has improved our cinematic culture which is sine qua non for attracting the investment we so much desire as a nation.”
The Executive Director of the Board, Adedayo Thomas, took responsibility for the final approval of the movie, saying he was preoccupied with extant responsibilities.
He said, “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.”
Movie producers react
Meanwhile, film producers such as Editi Effiong and Omoni Oboli have reacted to the suspension of the movie.
While Oboli called on the Federal Government to #BringSugarRushback, Effiong resolved to ‘making art that will show up the ineffectual leadership of our Nigerian society.’
He added that no amount of censoring will change history or make Nigerians think the government is perfect.