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Nigerians and the world at large have been reacting to the disqualification of Genevieve’s Nnaji LionHeart movie.
According to the Academy Awards, officially and popularly known as the Oscars, LionHeart violates an important requirement — entries in this category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
The Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) has responded by admitting that they made a mistake in submitting “Lionheart” for Oscar consideration.
In a statement released today, November 5, 2019, the committee’s chairman, Chineze Anyaenesaid: “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.
“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 a step forward into growing a better industry.”
The reasons given for the #Oscars disqualification of LION HEART only exposes the degree of their ignorance of the World outside of theirs,and their discriminatory and contemptuous views about African history and our ways.
— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani) November 5, 2019
Emotional sentiments apart, the argument of English being our official language doesn’t hold any water. That Oscar category is majorly for non-english dialogue movies which Lionheart didn’t meet the criteria. The Academy shouldn’t have accepted the submission in the first place.
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) November 5, 2019
The Disqualification of a beautiful movie like “LionHeart “ by the #Oscars team is quite saddening but an eye opener..
Ndi Igbo its time we embrace our language & start speaking & writing it even using it in movies; instead we subtitle the IGBO language movies in English . pic.twitter.com/OYuP2FWwI2
— 🤴EZE_IMO©️👑 (@AkiMarlin) November 5, 2019
If the English Language is the Main reason Lionheart was disqualified from the Oscar, then Nigeria’s chances of winning an Oscar is zero.
— DANNY WALTER 👑 (@Cutewalterr) November 5, 2019
So Oscar disqualified Genevieve’s LionHeart because it was filmed in English Language ?
Oya now let us submit ‘Alani Pamolekun’ that one has too much Yoruba language spoken in it.
— Biyi The Plug 🔌 (@BiyiThePlug) November 5, 2019
The fact that “Lionheart” is even a conversation, on that level. Mehn, I am proud of @GenevieveNnaji1
This is the beginning of something big. Now, they will pay more attention to us here
Nigerian creatives matter on all levels
— Do2dtun Energy gAD (@iamDo2dtun) November 5, 2019
The Academy has disqualified “Lionheart” from the Oscars for Best International Feature Film because it’s mostly in English, which violates the rules that entries in the category must have predominantly non-English dialogue.
Still a very good movie but “the rules are the rules”.
— 👑 DaddyMo 👑 (@therealdaddymo1) November 5, 2019
Would you have watched ‘Lionheart’ if it was only in Igbo?
How realistic and relatable would the movie have been if a young, educated, rich woman only spoke in igbo when English is the official language of the country she lived and was educated in?
— Mocha👸🏾 (@raychellered) November 5, 2019
Lionheart has been disqualified from the Oscar.
Reason: A Nigerian movie should not have so much English.
Mind you, we were colonized by this same English people, English is our official language.
This right here is BS! And it’s discriminatory.
— Mazi Efam™ #SantaInIbadan (@iefamharris) November 5, 2019