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Nigerian Pidgin English now Regarded a Foreign Language at The Oscars



In 2019, Nigeria’s first-ever entry for the international feature film Oscar category, “Lionheart, the directorial debut movie of Genevieve Nnaji was struck out of the Oscars as it predominantly features English dialogue, (95-minute comedy mostly in English, with a short section in the Igbo language).

The disqualification was 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.”

The disqualification led to criticism from everyone: with some wondering “why the disqualification” since Nigeria’s official language is English, some saying it is a wakeup call for Nollywood to focus more on our indigenous languages, and others saying maybe it’s high time the Academy changed its rules, allowing “foreign films,” and not just “foreign language films.”

Well, here’s great news you’ll love to see: According to Premium Times, the Nigeria Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Academy awards submissions announced the approval of Nigerian Pidgin English as a non-English (Foreign language) recording dialogue in films by the Oscars.

The confirmation was made known by Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi, NOSC chairperson, via a press release containing details of the timeline of the committee’s progress.

According to Premium Times, “the request for approval began in December 2019, after which Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi visited the Academy’s office in Los Angeles in February 2020 where she met with representatives of the International Feature Film (IFF) Executives”.

She added that the outcome of the meeting was wider consultation with the IFF executives; ensuring approval is benchmarked and consistent with their screening matrix.

In addition, this is in line with the Academy’s rule and definition of an international film as “a feature film with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track”.

This approval as secured by the NOSC is a new feat for the industry and It is untrue if any other individual or entity claims such achievement as this is beyond mere writing to the Academy without knowing the approval intricacies.


  1. Anon

    October 18, 2020 at 5:53 am

    Don’t mind those white people. They are the biggest hypocrites ever. Always changing rules to suit them. If you’re applying for immigration or studies, that’s when they will quickly point out that your English is foreign. But when it’s time to enter for Oscar nomination, they suddenly remember that your English is very English and not foreign.
    When you’re working with them and doing a great job, they have no problem with your accent. But the moment it’s time for a promotion or recognition, they begin to find fault in your accent and deny you opportunities because ‘you don’t speak good English’. Awon alabosi oshi!

  2. Igwe

    October 19, 2020 at 4:48 am

    Please how does this milestone development help Genevieve’s #Lion Heart at the Academy now or in the future? A pidgin version of it perhaps?


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