NOLLYWOOD: Genevive Nnaji Did Not Follow Due Process - Cinema Owners
What started out as good news has slowly turned into accusations and counter-accusations.
Genevieve’s 'Lionheart' had been announced to premiere in cinemas on December 21. Barely two days to the screening date, Genevieve accused FilmOne distribution of allegedly trying to sabotage the movie screening in Nigeria ahead of its Netflix release, January 4, 2019.
In a statement credited to Genevieve Nnaji's team and released by Ugoma Adegoke, the CEO of Life House, "FilmOne, one of the major film cinema distributors, has categorically refused to distribute Lionheart, primarily because they have no stake in it.
"They are currently invested in a couple of movies showing in the cinemas and want to protect their assets at all cost. Monopolising the market this season is their strategy to recouping their investment.
"Silverbird agreed to exclusively exhibit Lionheart across their cinemas and that was good enough for me. Like I said, having you watch this movie was my primary objective, not making more money. I’m an artist who wants to display her work to the people the art was created for.
"But, as soon as the announcement was made on Friday about the release, the “powers that be” of distribution and marketing were not having it. They proceeded to arm-twist Silverbird cinemas to backing out of our agreement by threatening to boycott them in the future.
"It’s like 2004 all over again. When we were all banned from the industry. Except this is not 2004. This is 2018,” her statement.
The Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria then responded to Genevieve Nnaji's alleged sabotage on the screening of her movie, 'Lionheart.'
In a statement by the Chairman of the association, Patrick Lee, the Cinema Exhibitors stressed that Genevieve and her team did not follow due process.
"It is clear from the approach taken by the Lionheart team that these processes were not adhered to and most of our members rightly refused to take the movie.
"It's worth pointing out that other movies such as Chief Daddy, KOB and Merry Men had all been slated from early March this year.
Mo Abudu, AY and Kemi Adetiba who are industry compatriots of Genevieve's followed the right approach by scheduling early for cinema release, it's not fair that they may now possibly have their screen times reduced because of the rushed inclusion of Lionheart in the cinemas," Lee said.
He also made it clear that they planned to seek clarification from Genevieve Nnaji over her claims.
"We at the cinema association are also not pleased about the attacks in the statement on some of our members and the sweeping generalisations the statement makes and expect to seek further clarification from its author before determining if further action needs to be taken.”
Are we expecting a lawsuit?
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