Nigeria Oscar Selection Committee say henceforth, the body will improve in its organising workshops, seminars and using other available media to create robust awareness on the guidelines and requirements for an International Feature Film Entry after admitting an honest mistake in the selection of the movie, Lion Heart.
The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences had disqualified Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’, which was Nigeria’s submission to the International Feature Film category of the Oscars, for failing to meet the requirement stating that entries have a “predominantly non-English recording dialogue.”
Genevieve Nnaji photo credit: Genevieve Nnaji
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.
In a statement released by the committee’s chairman, Chineze Anyaene on Tuesday she added that “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 that are predominantly foreign language – non-English recording dialogue. We are therefore urging filmmakers to shoot with the intention of non-English recording dialogue as a key qualifying parameter to represent the country in the most prestigious award.
Chineze Anyaene photo credit: Chineze Anyaene
Reacting to the disqualification, Nnaji took to social media citing her displeasure “I am the director of Lionheart. 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 communities in former French colonies. We did not choose who colonised us. As ever, this film and many like it is proudly Nigerian.”