Nigeria’s 2020 Oscar entry, ‘LionHeart‘ has been disqualified.
The movie was disqualified on Monday, November 4, for having too much English dialogue.
Lionheart, which is Nigeria’s first-ever submission to the Academy Awards, was submitted for the international feature film Oscar category.
According to the Academy, an international feature film “is a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
Reacting to the disqualification, Genevieve Nnaji wrote;
“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.” She added, “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.”
American filmmaker Ava DuVernay also reacted to the disqualification. She tweeted;
“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?”