Mixed reactions have trailed the disqualification of Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
‘Lionheart’ was recently selected by the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) and submitted to represent the country at the award event scheduled for February 9, 2020, in Los Angeles, United States.
The movie, which is partially in English and Igbo languages, was however, disqualified for violating an Academy rule that states that entries in the category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
Following the disqualification, a number of Nigerians have taken to Twitter to air their various opinions.
Nnaji, the movie’s director, had previously registered her “grave” reservations over the disqualification.
“Nigerians will want to change or rewrite rules of the game when it doesn’t favour us and cry foul. It’s a mindset thing. This isn’t excess luggage at the airport. It’s not a few kilograms here and there. Lionheart was cast and scripted in English. Can we accept and move on?,” Daddy Mo asked.
“Having read the rules for the Oscars, they shouldn’t have nominated #Lionheart for the @TheAcademy awards for Best International Film. The rule is what it is and I don’t think we should be sentimental about it. It’s a great movie, we love it but the rules says are the rules,” a Twitter user said.
“Something about this doesn’t seem fair. The film was disqualified because it’s mostly in English. Meanwhile, the official language of Nigeria is English,” another user said.
Here is what some Nigerians had to say:
Nigerians will want to change or rewrite rules of the game when it doesn’t favour us and cry foul.
It’s a mindset thing.
This isn’t excess luggage at the airport. It’s not a few kilograms here and there.
Lionheart was cast and scripted in English.
Can we accept and move on?
— 👑 DaddyMo 👑 (@therealdaddymo1) November 5, 2019
The rule is what it is and I don’t think we should be sentimental about it.
It’s a great movie, we love it but the rules says are the rules.
— Mr. Bazz (@basilokpara) November 5, 2019
Something about this doesn't seem fair. The film was disqualified because it's mostly in English. Meanwhile, the official language of Nigeria is….English. https://t.co/oKOIQpBRRV
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) November 4, 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
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
Although the debate about language criteria for Oscars is long overdue, LionHeart never stood any of being selected at all. It’s a laudable effort, and personally I love its humanizing of northerners, but this attempt to project it as an Oscar-worthy production is overstretching.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) November 5, 2019
The disqualification of the film lionheart was valid.
Always educate yourself on subjects before being in your feelings and getting all sentimental .
That category is majorly non-English dislogue films!
Has nothing to do with witch-hunt.
— Andy (@andeeblayz) November 5, 2019
“Lionheart” has been disqualified from the Oscars because it’s mostly in English which violates their Best International Feature Film rule. Fine, we move but if you come and say the movie is wack & doesn't stand a chance at the Oscars, make I clear you now, your brain don pafuka.
— Incomplete Astronaut Ⓜ 👨🏽🚀 ✈ 🛩️ (@AimThaMachine_) November 5, 2019
Is it that those who submitted Lionheart as an entry to the Oscar didn't read d rules or, or they just tried to beat the system by being fraudulent?
The rule is the rule. This is not a Nigerian base award where we could bend d rules.
Take a grid. pic.twitter.com/SS6OUC3MUW
— KADUNA KING🇳🇬 (@TBoywonder) November 5, 2019
It’s okay if you say you disqualified a movie because the story line isn’t good enough. Or the picture quality. Or the sound.
But why penalize because the movie is in English, the country’s official language?
— Tunde Omotoye 🇳🇬 (@TundeTASH) November 5, 2019
Lionheart was today disqualified from the Oscar’s Best Intl Film.. because.. it is mostly in English.
Nigeria was colonised by the Brits.
English is an official language in the Country.
You really can’t win with this lot.
Quite literally cannot win. https://t.co/Ie052bUXF4
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) November 5, 2019
.@GenevieveNnaji1 do not let the opinions/perception of these Jokers[Oscars] in disqualifying your Movie get to you..
You produced and crafted something extraordinary in the "LionHeart" Movie, Nigerians are proud of you and Africa at large celebrate you..👍
— 🇳🇬 D.U.C.E🗣 (@mazi_duce) 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
In Nigeria we have been producing dope ass movies over the years … Barring of Lionheart won't stop us
Who needs it anyway … We move 💯💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾
— JIGAWA KOPA™ MUFC 🇳🇬😈 (@Emmylexxz) November 5, 2019
Do not let the judgement of these clowns[Oscars] in disqualifying your Movie deter you .
— Buhari's Prodigal Daughter (@johnnysleek) November 5, 2019
They disqualified Lionheart Because they spoke English all through the film, that’s a great news cos they’ll increase the movies reach and net worth by 76% there by giving Genevieve More fame in the international film community.
— OBONG SCOTT 🤴 (@obongscott) November 5, 2019
Some hot takes on this Lionheart issue no actually make sense.
The people who submitted the movie could've submitted another that meets the criteria.
How hard can it be to follow a rule?
It isn't rocket science.
— 'jibolayemi (@Chexfactor) November 5, 2019
Checking my trends this morning and Lionheart is trending and why it was disqualified from the Oscars my take considering the category the movie should not have English predominantly as its dialogue and that is the rule of the academy
— O_kevin.A (@Kentaloguess) November 5, 2019
Other movies in the same category as Lionheart are South Korea’s “Parasite,” Spain’s “Pain and Glory” & France’s “Les Miserables.”
South Korea, Spain & France don't speak English as their official language, & Lionheart was not predominantly non-english dialogue.
Why una dey vex? pic.twitter.com/urXigvBbQE
— If¥™ (@nnekei) November 5, 2019
We as Nigerians haven't accepted English as our official language when we still sit for English language tests before getting into Universities abroad and migrating. That is why it has haunted #Lionheart Oscar nomination. More is coming, let's continue writing English tests.
— Pamela UG (@eagleeye_Pam) November 5, 2019
This Kiki Mordi is the bitterest feminist after Chimamanda Adichie
She never did that exposé video on lecturers for the sake of sanity in higher institutions rather she just wanted to prove and justify her stupid imaginations that all men are Trash https://t.co/ZKfIOflapu
— ᴜɴᴋʟᴇ ʀᴜᴄᴋᴜs™ (@305inmyYeYo) November 4, 2019
These niggas dumb as rocks being mad at @kikimordi for saying men are trash. Do you know how trash you have to KNOW men are to put yourself at risk to do a whole undercover documentary to expose the trashness. You thought she would pander cos of BBC or what?
— Ozzy Etomi (@ozzyetomi) November 5, 2019
For a journalist, objectivity is key. Kiki Mordi's response to a skit done by some men was 'men are trash as fuck'. And someone is in my mentions saying for her documentary she deserves respect. Doesn't give her the right to say stupid things without being called out.
— Usifo (@Usifo_Isesele) November 5, 2019
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