Lionheart disqualification: Oscar Committee responds

Genevieves-LionHeart-poster

Genevieve’s LionHeart poster

Genevieve’s LionHeart poster

Nigeria’s Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) in response to the recent disqualification of Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart‘ submission to the 92nd Academy Awards reveals that 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 qualify.

Chineze Anyaene, the NOSC Chairperson says:

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.

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 the 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 steps forward into growing a better industry.”

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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 include:

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.

One is left to wonder why the predominantly non-English dialogue track requirement wasn’t considered by NOSC when Lionheart was submitted for the awards.