The Nigeria Oscar Selection Committee has today responded to the recent disqualification of Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart‘ submission to the 92nd Academy Awards.
According to the Academy, nominees in the Best International Feature Film Category must have a predominantly non-English dialogue track, and ‘Lionheart,’ despite being an unmistakably Nigerian film, fails to tick this box.
Responding to this recent development, the NOSC Chairperson Chineze Anyaene said:
“The budding Nigerian film industry is often faced with producing films with wide reach which often makes the recording dialogue predominantly English with non-English infusions in some cases.
Going forward, the committee intends to submit films which are predominantly foreign language – non-English recording dialogue. We are therefore urging filmmakers to shoot with intention of non-English recording dialogue as a key qualifying parameter to represent the country in the most prestigious award.
The committee is working tirelessly in organizing workshops, seminars and using other available media to create robust awareness on the guidelines and requirements for an International Feature Film Entry.
Lionheart passed on other technical requirements from story, to sound and picture except for language as adjudged by the Academy screening matrix, which was a challenge for the committee at a time. This is an eye opener and step forward into growing a better industry.”
The Best International Feature Film category is stated to carry certain requirements, which must be fulfilled before a film can be submitted.”
Some of them are:
1. The film must have been first released in the country submitting it, after which it must have been exhibited for a minimum of 7 consecutive days in a movie theatre.
2. The movie must be predominantly non-English which means that movies with predominant English dialogue will not qualify for the award.
3. The film must not be transmitted electronically or otherwise, before its official release in the theatre.
Some of our celebrities have reacted to the news:
Kai so English language may effect #LIVINGINBONDAGETHESEQUEL oscar chances next year 🤦🏾♀️ yes its THAT good…. go watch it on Friday so we can all talk about it here….
tweet no spoilers!!
— Uche Jombo Rodriguez (@uchejombo) November 5, 2019
An interesting take… https://t.co/zqMoVCondI
— Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (@Ebuka) November 5, 2019
The fact that “Lionheart” is even a conversation, on that level. Mehn, I am proud of @GenevieveNnaji1
This is the beginning of something big. Now, they will pay more attention to us here
Nigerian creatives matter on all levels
— Do2dtun Energy gAD (@iamDo2dtun) November 5, 2019