Following up on last week’s announcement that Biyi Bandele’s “Half Of A Yellow Sun” – a film adaptation of celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Orange Prize-winning novel of the same name – has finally been cleared by the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board, for local release, after almost 3 months in Limbo.
The announcement didn’t include a date that the film will eventually be released now that it’s been approved for release; but we’ve learned today that its theatrical debut in Nigeria is now set for August 1.
The film’s producers and Nigerian distributor FilmOne Distribution, released a statement on the film’s Censors Board clearance, which included a mention of a release date:
Shareman Media and FilmOne Distribution are happy to announce that the highly anticipated movie, Half of a Yellow Sun has been certified for theatrical release in Nigeria. The movie, starring BAFTA award-winning and Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, BAFTA award-winning actress Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, AMAA winners Genevieve Nnaji and Onyeka Onwenu, Zack Orji, and O.C. Ukeje has been opened to audiences in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and USA. Following the certification by the National Film and Video Censors Board, the movie will be available in cinemas across Nigeria from the 1st of August 2014. With world-wide rave reviews and critical acclaim, this silky love tale has thrilled movie audiences everywhere. Half of a Yellow Sun is now set to strike a special chord with every Nigerian. The producers and distributors of this landmark movie would like to particularly thank all Nigerians for their patience and support
According to the Board’s Corporate Affairs representative, Caesar Kagho, the film has been approved with an “18” rating, which, based on my research, is the equivalent of an “R” rating here in the USA, which matches what the MPAA rated it for USA release.
This news comes over 2 months after the film was initially set to open in Nigerian theaters (it’s already been released in the USA and the UK, and is already available on home video in both regions).
It was to open in Nigeria, where the film is set, on Friday, April 25, but that didn’t happen, as its release date was postponed, and has since been delayed, due to “delays in getting certification from Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board.”
Government censors said that they delayed the release of the film because “it might incite violence in the country” given its subject matter – specifically, a scene that details a massacre at a northern Nigerian airport – in light of current political turmoil within the country.
What led to the film’s eventual Census Board approval isn’t yet public information. It was previously reported that the bureau wanted certain scenes cut from the film in order for approval to be granted. So maybe we are to assume that the producers of the film accepted the compromise.