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Kajola sparks trouble at Silverbird, Ozone

Source: Samuel Olatunji - Nigeriafilms.com

Yaba-based cinema, Ozone and Silverbird Cinema, have yanked off the science-fiction movie, Kajola from its schedule due to complaints of some people that the movie is not “interesting”. Kajola is the first sci-fi movie to come out of Nigeria and has been touted as one of the most expensive films made in Nigeria .

But the move has brought the cinema under intense criticism as many describe the action as “unprofessional and insensitive”.

“Why should they yank it off ” a customer complained last Monday. “I came to watch the movie all the way from Abule Egba only to get here and hear stories that the movie has been yanked off. Those who complained have watched it , give those of us that have not seen the movie the opportunity to see it and complain if we like”, he said.

Another stakeholder in the cinema business took a swipe at the cinema house for what he described as “breach of contract and public trust”. 'The cinema must have signed a contract with the producer and the onus lies on them to live up to the expectation of the contract. I also want to believe that the cinema advertised the movie, informing people that it will be available some time. So the cinema is duty-bound to leave the movie till Friday after which they can decide not to return it the following week. They wasted people's money and time, misled the public and spoiled some business for the owner of the film”.

Producer of the movie, Adonai is however not grudging owners of the cinema as he believes that the act was a clear sabotage. “I think it's not right. I think it's sabotage. Who are the people that complained? As we speak, it's selling in Abuja and Port Harcourt . All over the world there is no movie that is not criticized. Even Avatar, that remains the highest selling movie of all time was criticized.

I have kept quiet, because I think there is a big sabotage. A lot of people are not happy about the fact that we are the first to delve into Sci-fi movies in the whole of Africa. I believe it is sabotage. We have to ask questions such as who are the people that complained? The reports I heard said some people came out and became violent, shouting and demanding their money. It is a strange thing.”

Ask them at Ozone whether the movie was a success or not on Friday and Saturday. It sold out on Friday and Saturday. But I won't blame the cinema at all. When people get violent they have to make a decision.

Speaking on the story, Adonai said it is myopic and clear stupidity to say the first 10 to 20 minutes of the movie are meaningless. “I read a tweet from a guy that he didn't understand the first 10 to 20 minutes of the movie. He didn't say the story or picture is bad. But how can you understand over an hour movie within just 10 minutes? Kajola is a movie you won't understand if you do not watch it to the end”.

Refusing to name people he believes are behind the sabotage, he said “we are still investigating the reason why and who are the people behind those that came out to demand for their money in a violent manner? We are investigating”.

Adonai is sure of recouping his investment. “I'm very sure our product will stand the test of time, I have no fear about recouping our investment. I'm not scared, because what we have is quality” he said.

Meanwhile¸ the movie which featured lots of bombing scenes in it and a part where the third mainland bridge was bombed during the week sparked-off story that a crack appeared on the third mainland. The story went “viral” and lots of people avoided the route. The movie has led to people calling on government to take a look at the bridge again and determine whether it's safe for motorists.