The executive committee for the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars has confirmed the eligibility of ‘The Milkmaid’, Nigeria’s submission for the 93rd Academy Awards.

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The Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) submitted ‘The Milkmaid’ to the Academy last December in its second attempt to participate in the Oscars following the disqualification of ‘Lionheart‘ — its first entry in 2019 for not meeting the non-English dialogue criteria.

On Thursday, the Academy listed ‘The Milkmaid’ among other eligible films from 93 countries in the IFF category.

The first shortlist of 15 films in the IFF will be announced on February 9, while another shortlist is expected to be released in March, ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony to hold on April 25, 2021.

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Shot in Taraba state, ‘The Milkmaid’ addresses the issues faced by women caught in the upheaval of insurgency in rural sub-Saharan Africa using the story of Zainab and her sister who were separated by militants.

The movie examines the trauma of internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as girls forced into early marriage. It featured Ibrahim Jammal, Maryam Booth as Zainab, Gambo Usman Kona, as well as Anthonieta Kalunta as Aisha.

In an interview with TheCable Lifestyle, Desmond Ovbiagele, the film’s director, said ‘The Milkmaid’ was shot to give a clearer picture of the psychological ordeals of victims of insurgency in northern Nigeria.

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“It could easily have been an action film based on the physical confrontation between soldiers and the insurgents but I was more interested in exploring the mindset of both the victims and the extremists,” he had explained.



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