Oscar disqualifies Genevieve Nnaji's Lion Heart movie, Actress reacts
Nigeria’s first film to ever be sent for consideration at the Academy Awards has been kicked out of the race. On Monday, November 4, 2019, Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut movie, Lionheart, was disqualified from the Oscars race for being in English.
Lionheart had been sent for Oscars consideration under the International Feature Film category. However, it seems the move did not make the cut and was dropped even before voters in the Best International Feature Film category even got a chance to see it. According to The Wrap, the Academy revealed that Lionheart did not meet the necessary language requirement because it was mostly in English. Lionheart is a Nigerian movie mainly done in English and Igbo language. It however appears that is not enough because the Academy requires a film to have "a predominantly non-English dialogue track" to be included in the Best International Feature Film category. The disqualification of Lionheart from the Oscars race makes the movies competing in the category to be numbered 92 and also drops the number of female directors to 28. In different posts shared on her Twitter page, Genevieve reacted to the disqualification. According to her, Lionheart is very much a Nigerian movie even though it was predominantly done in English. She added that English is the lingua in Nigeria as it brings together people in a country of over 500 languages.
See her tweets
1/1 1/2 Thank you so much @ava❤️.— Genevieve Nnaji MFR (@GenevieveNnaji1) November 4, 2019
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. @TheAcademy https://t.co/LMfWDDNV3e
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. @TheAcademy https://t.co/LMfWDDNV3e— Genevieve Nnaji MFR (@GenevieveNnaji1) November 4, 2019