Update: More Reactions Trail Lionheart's Oscars Disqualification
By Dipo Omoware
More reactions trail Lionheart's disquaification from the 92nd Oscar Awards.
American filmmaker, Ava DuVernay has criticised the Oscars for disqualifying Genevieve's Lionheart because the film is in English.
The acclaimed director of Selma and Netflix 'When They See Us' called out the organisers of the award on Twitter and asked "are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official language?"
To @TheAcademy, You disqualified Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Best International Feature because its in English. But English is the official language of Nigeria. Are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official language? https://t.co/X3EGb01tPF— Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 4, 2019
Genevieve replied her tweet saying that the film represents "the way we speak as Nigerians."
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
Ghanaian film director, Leila Djansi in a Facebook post fired shots at Genevieve saying no none should "play the victim."
Nigerian actor Emeka Ike has said film makers should not “shy away” from being Nigerian and “try to be the white man.”
The actor said this while he was reacting to the disqualification of Nigeria’s first film for the Oscars’ Best International Feature Film category.
Lionheart was disqualified for not meeting the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science criterion that films submitted for this category must have a “predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
The actor noted that since Lionheart did well in meeting all the technical requirements for submission, it was still a win as it signifies a level of maturity for Nollywood.
“We have gotten the technical benefits, like technically they didn’t disqualify us that we don’t have format and technical maturity; if we have the technical maturity that means our programs can go for the next Oscars.”
Award-winning director, Lancelot Imasuen criticised the Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) and their handling of the process.
“They should be more transparent when doing some certain things, when people get opportunity to preside over certain things, they should have been more transparent, this is clear.”
He pinned that no submission would have saved Nigeria the embarrassment of the press conference to announce the disqualification.
“It is better if we had not put in any entry; for the whole world there was a press conference to say the entry from Nigeria has been disqualified.”
“All the years that we have not had a film in the Oscars, did we die? In Nigeria we like to overdo things.”
On her part, movie producer Blessing Egbe on her part said that the Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) should have known better and done better.
“They had to be a percentage of language in the movie so perhaps it didn’t meet that criteria but I would have thought the committee who sat down to watch these movies and choose the one to represent us would have seen that and not take it in in the first place”
She however concluded that the NOSC may have been under pressure to submit Lionheart because no other film was suitable
“Then again, maybe there’s no other movie they could have put forward.”