Nigeria’s first-ever, submission for the Oscar academy awards, was not accepted for not meeting the rules for an International Feature Film.
The Academy made it clear that Genevieve Nnaji’s movie, LIONHEART had too many English dialogues, causing its rejection.
However, the multiple-award-winning actress, Genevieve Nnaji and her colleague Ava DuVernay could not take it lightly as they literally slam the move.
Meanwhile, contrary to the academy’s laid down rules for the international feature film category, 94-minutes of the Lionheart movie was made in English. Whilst, barely 12 minutes of its dialogues were in their Southeastern native language, Igbo. Whilst, barely 12 minutes of its dialogues were in their Southeastern native language, Igbo.
However, the rule states that: “an international film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
Though all of Nigeria’s hopes seem dashed now, the film, however, would still be considered for other categories for the 2020 Oscars. Lionheart was written and produced by Genevieve Nnaji and Chinny Onwugbenu.
Genevieve took like her Twitter handle to register her displeasure, stating that:
“This movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians. This includes English which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our country; thereby making us #OneNigeria.” “It’s no different to how French connects commnities in former French colonies. We did not choose who colonized us. As ever, this film and many like it, is proudly Nigerian.” She exclaimed.
To @TheAcademy, You disqualified Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Best International Feature because its in English. But English is the official language of Nigeria. Are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official language? https://t.co/X3EGb01tPF
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 4, 2019