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Nigeria’s Oscar Selection Committee Responds to the Disqualification of “Lionheart” from the 92nd Academy Awards



The Nigeria Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) has today responded to the recent disqualification of Genevieve Nnaji’sLionheart‘ submission to the 92nd Academy Awards.

According to the Academy, 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 tick this box.

The announcement has attracted concerns from movie producers, with major voices like American filmmaker, Ava DuVernay speaking up against the disqualification on social media.

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 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 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 step forward into growing a better industry.”

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 are:

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.


  1. Millicent

    November 5, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Gist! Gist! Gist! Why wasn’t the “awareness of this criteria publicised to the stakeholders and all involved from the get-go ? Also I personally think the criteria is absurd and geared toward restricting the much needed access and recognition the so called “international category” deserved . The criteria in itself promotes certain bias and limitations in True narrative story-telling through film for stakeholders.

    For instance, for any Nigerian film stakeholder to even think of ever having his work recognised by the oscars , he or she must ensure it’s maybe Igbo or Yoruba or ESAN or any other hundreds of languages in Nigeria. This will already limit the reach of his work and the message therein within his own country Nigeria and the world; EVEN WITH SUBTITLES ?

    That particular criteria should be overhauled or edited to accommodate “the official language” of those that fall into this category.

  2. Hian

    November 6, 2019 at 2:26 am

    What you just stated in your comment is absolutely b.s. Next time follow the rules and guidelines. like every one else

    Must you take your corruption everywhere.

    • Charity Ego Nwokocha

      November 7, 2019 at 7:13 am

      Hian,You are so short sighted that’s unbelievable. If you have no knowledge on the matter simply keep quiet ?


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