Chineze Anyaene, chairman of the Nigeria Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC), says the country’s disqualification for Oscars 2020 should be an eye-opener for filmmakers in the Nollywood industry.

The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences had disqualified ‘Lionheart’, Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut and Nigeria’s submission to the ‘International Feature Film’ category of the Oscars, because the movie violated the requirement that entries have a “non-English recording dialogue.”

In a statement obtained by TheCable Lifestyle on Tuesday morning, Anyaene explained that Nigerian filmmakers have had concerns with regard to shooting movies based “with non-English recording dialogue” because the industry is “often faced with producing films with a wide reach.”

She, however, urged filmmakers to henceforth put the requirement into consideration while registering their movies.

According to her, NOSC is working to create workshops and other training sessions to instill robust awareness on the guidelines for an ‘International Feature Film’ entry.

“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,” Anyaene said.

“We are therefore urging filmmakers to shoot with the 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 the 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.”

Following the disqualification, Nnaji had registered her displeasure and took a critical shot at Oscars, stating that Nigeria never had a chance of choosing their colonial masters.

‘Lionheart’ was recently selected by the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) and submitted to represent the country at the award event to be held on February 9, 2020, in Los Angeles, United States.

‘Lionheart’, which first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2018, had been up against 92 countries around the globe as Nigeria’s first-ever entry to make to the Academy awards — five years after NOSC was constituted to that effect.



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