Nigeria’s first film ever submitted to the Oscars has been disqualified from the Best International Feature Film category. The Academy said the movie violates a rule and entries in the category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
The Academy’s description of 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.”
LionHeart which is not excluded from entering other Oscar categories including consideration for best picture has just under 12 minutes of dialogue that is in the Igbo language native to Southeastern Nigeria, while the remaining 94-minutes is in English. With the disqualification, the number of films in contention for the award has dropped from 93 to 92.
The decision to disqualify it has however sparked outrage, with many saying English is the official language of Nigeria and hence it shouldn’t have been disqualified. Eva DuVernay also voiced her opinion, disagreeing with Oscar.
Was Genevieve Nneji’s directorial debut submitted in the wrong category?