The NVFCB Executive Director, Adedayo Thomas, has revealed during an interview that Banky W’s latest movie Sugar Rush was suspended because it did not have full approval before hitting the cinemas contrary to earlier reports that it was because of pressure from the EFCC. The NFVCB boss said the movie was given a temporary approval pending the classification and final approval of the movie, adding that period within which the temporary approval could be used had lapsed.
The film, which has 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 Board, however, assured Nigerians that the movie will be back in cinemas soon.
In a statement on its official Facebook page, NFVCB wrote:
1. 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.
2. This is however not the case as the President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR led administration Aso Rock Villa is rather in support of the creative industry and has been promoting it as one of the avenues to diversify the nation’s economic base.
3. The movie has not just significantly increased box office #revenues within a short period, but has improved our cinematic culture which are sine qua non for attracting the #investment we so much desire as a nation.
4. 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 backlog of movies requiring approval as a result of the December rush.
5. I am currently working with the distributor, producer, director and key actors to grant final approval for the resumed exhibition at the cinemas.
6. All hands are on deck and we are committed to serving your entertainment needs within the ambits of the law. “
“The matter has nothing to do with the EFCC as is being reported on social media.”
Banky W Confirmed the suspension of the movie saying he was optimistic that it would return to theatres.
He tweeted, “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.