Nigeria’s Oscar Selection Committee Breaks Silence Over Lionheart Ban

Nigeria’s Oscar Selection committee has finally spoken up after the Academy banned Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ from this year’s award event on the grounds that the dialogue in the movie was mostly spoken in English.

Recall that Nnaji and Ava DuVernay reacted to the ban and called out the Academy for unfair treatment. However, the NOSC seemingly are in agreement with the agreement.

check out their statement shared by their Chairperson Chineze Anyaene, per Bellanaija:

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.

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