Genevieve’s Lionheart to Compete for 2020 Oscars
By Dipo Omoware
Genevieve’s ‘Lionheart’ will vie for international honours at the 2020 Oscars. The movie will compete in the International Feature Film category of the prestigious awards presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
The Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) announced that it picked Genevieve Nnaji's 'Lionheart' as the country's submission following a statutory vetting and subsequent voting of entries received from Nigerian filmmakers at home and in the Diaspora.
This is the first time Nigeria will be submitting a film for an award consideration since 2014 when the NOSC was inaugurated.
The committee chaired by Producer and Director of Ije, Chineze Anyaene boasts of other reputable Nollywood professionals as Mahmood Ali-Balogun, filmmaker and Chairman of the Audio-Visual Rights Society (AVRS) of Nigeria, Bruce Ayonote, CEO of Legend Box Office; filmmaker and talent manager, Mildred Okwo; Journalist/Film Critic, Shaibu Husseini; filmmaker/author, Charles Novia; award-winning filmmaker, CJ Obasi; top actor Ramsey Nouah; versatile director and cinematographer, Adetokunbo 'DJ Tee' Odubawo; movie producer, Ngozi Okafor; AFRIFF Founder, Chioma Ude and director of Green-White-Green, Abba Makama.
Chineze Anyaene in making the announcement remarked that Nigeria has a lot to offer the world.
"While we cannot say that what we have are the best that Nigeria is capable of producing, it is heart-lifting to know that, from the strength of the entries received this year, we are truly ready for the Oscars. Filmmakers are gradually considering the Oscar rules, and I have no doubt that it is going to be more competitive, going forward," she said.
Lionheart follows the story of a young woman, Adaeze Obiagu played by Genevieve who has to run her sick father’s (Pete Edochie) business under the supervision of her uncle played by Nkem Owoh.
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film festival (TIFF) in 2018 and was the first Netflix original film to be produced in Nigeria. It was released worldwide on January 4, 2019.
Last year’s award for Best Foreign Language Film went to Roma by acclaimed director Alfonso Cuarón who has been nominated for ten (10) Academy Awards and has won five (5).