The academy disqualified the submission of the movie ” Lionheart” for best international feature because of having too much English dialogue.
The film ” Lionheart” which is currently streaming on Netflix, is mostly in English ,and it is against the academy rule that entries into the freshly renamed international feature film category must have a “predominantly non- English dialogue track”.
“Lionheart” was among the African films submitted for Oscars consideration this year. But on disqualification, the number of films in contention for the award has drop from 93-92. “Lionheart” a movie which is directed by Genivive Nnaji in which she also stars is partially in Igbo language, but mostly in English and this seems to Violate the category criterion.
The academy announce the disqualification of the movie “Lionheart” to voters in an email on Monday.
Reacting to the development, Chineze Anyaene who headed the committee that made the submission said it should be an eye-opener for filmmakers in the Nollywood industry.
Though she admitted that the industry is “often faced with producing films with a wide reach”, she also disclosed that they are working to create workshops and other training sessions to instill robust awareness on the guidelines for an ‘International Feature Film’ entry.
She said “The budding Nigerian film industry is often faced with producing films with wide reach which often makes the recording dialogue predominantly English with non-English infusions in some cases. Going forward, the committee intends to submit films which are predominantly foreign language – non-English recording dialogue,” Anyaene said.
“We are therefore urging filmmakers to shoot with the intention of non-English recording dialogue as a key qualifying parameter to represent the country in the most prestigious award.
“The committee is working tirelessly in organizing workshops, seminars and using other available media to create robust awareness on the guidelines and requirements for an International Feature Film Entry.
“Lionheart passed on other technical requirements from the story, to sound and picture except for language as adjudged by the Academy screening matrix, which was a challenge for the committee at a time. This is an eye-opener and a step forward into growing a better industry.”