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The Academy Disqualifies Nigeria’s Oscar Entry ‘Lionheart’



Nigeria’s first ever entry for the international feature film Oscar category, “Lionheart” has been disqualified by the Academy.

The disqualification was announced on Monday, and it is based on the Academy rules stating that “An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.” “Lionheart” was thereby disqualified, as it predominantly features English dialogue.

The disqualification has led to criticism from Hollywood director Ava DuVernay.

Ava appeared displeased over the development, and took to her Twitter page to register this.

“To The Academy, You disqualified Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Best International Feature because its in English. But English is the official language of Nigeria. Are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official language?”

Genevieve Nnaji in response to Ava Duvernay, also expressed her reservations over the disqualification of ‘Lionheart’ in a series of tweets.

She said:

“1/1 1/2 Thank you so much @ava❤️.

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. @TheAcademy”

“2/2 It’s no different to how French connects communities in former French colonies. We did not choose who colonized us. As ever, this film and many like it, is proudly Nigerian. @TheAcademy”


  1. Toscar Roberts

    November 5, 2019 at 8:16 am

    This is so wrong on all grounds. English happens to be our lingua franca. In which language do they want us to present our movies. Anyways it’s their loss. We shall rise above all negativity and stand stronger. Freaking hypocrites.

  2. Franklin

    November 5, 2019 at 10:53 am

    As if the movie was any good.

    This movie was not on any influencial critics radar.

    Nigerians and sentiment.

    For u to qualify, ur movie must not be in English.

    U guys try so damn hard to make something out of nothing.

    Nigerians movies are not ready to compete on the international stage.

    The way benny is acting as if she had a shot. Lol

  3. KEVIN Boyles

    November 5, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Rules are rules. They can give it an award in their own country.

  4. cangel

    November 5, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    I saw the lionheart, the fine quality of the image, a very appreciated Genevieve’s work, my favourite actress, but the film is not at the level of being nominated for an Oscar, for the Oscar, I will prefer the road of yesterday or another Nigerian movie. however, I congratulate Genevieve already, that the film has also been examined, the next time it will also be nominated and perhaps will win

  5. Tiwa

    November 5, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    I tried to watch the movie but I found it really boring and not engaging at all. I prefer her other movie on Netflix, I forgot the name. I like Genevieve so much so I mean no harm; it’s just how I felt about the movie. I’ll actually be surprised if the movie made Oscar.

  6. Ronkizziee

    November 5, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Well to me, that film was overhyped. Very boring and lacking humour


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