Many Nigerians home and abroad were thrilled when news that Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut film, “Lionheart” had been acquired by international streaming platform, Netflix.
The acquisition made the film, the first Nollywood film to achieve such a feat and everyone could not wait to watch the film that had gained such international buzz and acclaim as it even went on to premiere at the 2018 TIFF festival in Toronto.
In what can be described as the best way to kickstart the New Year, it was announced that “Lionheart” is coming home to make its cinematic debut in Nigeria come January 4.
As soon as this debut date was announced, many Nigerians eagerly anticipated the film despite the allegation by Nnaji that there is a ploy to prevent it from showing in cinemas by major distribution companies.
In what appears to buttress Nnaji’s allegation of a ploy, it is noteworthy that some major online platforms released the pirated copies of “Lionheart” prior to its cinematic debut. Research shows that some of these sites already had pirated copies of the film days before its official release. A quick check showed a particular site had released a pirated copy of the film on December 30, 2018.
Not only that, the film is currently being distributed on various online media platforms for streaming and download. A representative of Guardian Life reached out to Nnaji for comment but as at the time of publishing this report, we are yet to get a response from her.
It is noteworthy that the issue of piracy is one that many artisans have constantly complained about with many entertainers complaining about the adverse effect of piracy on their trade.
It would be recalled that just recently, the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan released a book titled, “My Transition Hours” and shortly after the book’s release, he lamented about the issue of piracy forty-eight hours after its launch. Taking to Twitter, he wrote,
“We have just been informed that a fake document contrived by mischief makers is being passed on as the e-version and hard copy of the just launched ‘#MyTransitionHours.
“Also, note that the e-copy of #MyTransitionHours is not being marketed, as such, the fake online version could only have been created by those out to deceive the unsuspecting public.
“We advise the general public to ignore such publication as the chapters and contents are not the same as the book publicly presented two days ago in Abuja. #MyTransitionHours.”