Lion Heart, Nigeria’s first ever submission to Oscar for the best international feature award category has been disqualified from getting a spot in the nominations list.
Apparently the Academy is not impressed with the fact that the movie is mostly in English and hereby does not hit the mark to make the final nomination list.
One of the criteria’s to be nominated for the best international feature film category is for the film to not be predominantly in English and that’s were Lion Heart missed the mark.
American film maker and director, Ava DuVernay tweeted her disgust at Oscars for disqualifying the movie, noting that English is the official language of Nigeria.
“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?”, she wrote.
Lion Heart’s exclusion from the category will also leave one to question why a change in the name of the category from best foreign-language film to best international feature film occurred in the first place.
Movie director, Genevieve Nnaji has also reacted to the news in a tweet.
“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.” she wrote.
she also added;
“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.”
The exclusion of Lion Heart now leaves the total number of movies submitted for best international feature from Africa to 9 and total number of Oscar entries to 92.