Nigeria Oscar Selection Committee on Tuesday responded to the recent disqualification of the country’s submission to the 92nd Academy Awards® – Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart.
The disqualification was announced on Monday, November 4.
According to the Academy, nominees in its Best International Feature Film Category must have a predominantly non-English dialogue track, and “Lionheart’’ in spite of being an unmistakably Nigerian film, did not tick this particular box.
The announcement has attracted concerns from movie producers across the globe, with major voices like Ava DuVernay, American filmmaker and distributor, speaking up about the disqualification on social media, shortly after the announcement.
Responding to this recent development, the NOSC Chairperson, Chineze Anyaene said: “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 organising 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.
NOSC added that this was an eye opener and a step forward into growing a better industry.
“The Best International Feature Film category has certain requirements which must be fulfilled before a film can be submitted.
“The film must have been first released in the country submitting it, after which it must have been exhibited for a minimum of seven consecutive days in a movie theatre.
“The movie must be predominantly non-English which means that movies with predominant English dialogue will not qualify for the award.
“The film must not be transmitted electronically or otherwise, before its official release in the theatre,’’ it said in a statement, adding that the shortlist of 10 films will be announced on December 16, 2019.”
Nominations for the 92nd Oscars will be announced on January 13, 2020.
The 92nd Oscars will be held on February 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network.
The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.