Nollywood actress and producer Genevieve Nnaji has finally reacted after her movie titled “Lionheart” was disqualified from the Oscar entry after it was selected.
The reason given for the disqualification was that it had too much English dialogue.
The movie which is Nigeria’s first-ever submission to the Academy Awards, was submitted for the international feature film Oscar category.
The Academy’s description of an international feature film “is a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.
However reacting to the disqualification on Twitter, Genevieve Nnaji wrote;
“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. 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.”
Genevieve was clearly unhappy with the disqualification especially since it’s the first time Nigeria had the opportunity to be nominated in the Academy Awards.
Another person who thought Nigerians were treat unfairly is American filmmaker who directed the Netflix drama series “When They See Us”, Ava DuVernay also reacted to the disqualification. She tweeted; “To @TheAcademy, 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?”
“LionHeart” which is not excluded from entering other Oscar categories including consideration for best picture, has just under 12 minutes of dialogue that is in the Igbo language native to Southeastern Nigeria, while the remaining 94-minutes is in English. With the disqualification, the number of films in contention for the award has dropped from 93 to 92.
Checkout her Tweet below;