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Nigeria’s first ever Oscar nominated movie ‘Lionheart’ disqualified

Nigeria’s first ever Oscar nominated movie 'Lionheart' disqualifiedNigerian actor Genevieve Nnaji is unhappy with the decision by The Academy to disqualify her film, Lionheart, from Oscar’s Best International Feature Film category.

The film director is peeved and has protested against the boards action on social media.

The Academy dropped the Nigerian comedy “for having too much dialogue in English”. “Too much English” violates its rule that requires entries in the international category to have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

Lionheart, which is Nigeria’s first ever submission to the Oscar, is largely in English, with an 11-minute section in the Igbo language.

According to the producer, Genevieve, “the 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.”

The film has earned strong reviews and is currently streaming on Netflix. It had been scheduled to screen for Academy voters in the international category on Wednesday.

Its disqualification was announced to voters in an email on Monday, according to The Wrap website.

It was one of the unprecedented 29 films out of 93 originally submitted this year that were directed by women. English is the official language of most African countries that were colonised by Britain and that may foster future disqualification if the issue is not addressed.

Genevieve Nnaji, who is still unhappy with the situation continued her protest against the disqualification on Twitter adding that; “We did not choose who colonised us. As ever, this film and many like it, is proudly Nigerian.”

Hollywood director Ava DuVernay who is in support also tweeted about the disqualification of Lionheart quizzing the Academy about the future of Nigeria movies ever competing for an Oscar following the Lionheart incident:


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