Oscars Grants Nigerian Pidgin English Foreign Language Recognition

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The Nigeria Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Academy awards submissions has announced the approval of Nigerian Pidgin English as a non-English (Foreign language) recording dialogue in films by the Oscars.

The confirmation was made known by Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi, NOSC chairperson, via a press release containing details of the timeline of the committee’s progress.

The Nigeria Official Selection Committee (NOSC).

“The request for approval started in December 2019, after which she [Anyaene] visited the Academy’s office in Los Angeles in February 2020 following a meeting scheduled between herself and representatives of the International Feature Film (IFF) Executives. She added that the outcome of that meeting was wider consultation with the IFF executives; ensuring approval is benchmarked and consistent with their screening matrix,” the press statement reads.

It has been reported that top film executive, Mo Abudu helped Nollywood reach this feat after extended conversations with the Academy.

What this means for Nollywood movies at the Oscars


Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Oscar contention was Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ movie. However, the film was struck out of the International Feature Film category after falling short of Oscar’s non-English dialogue requirement.

Lionheart predominantly features English dialogue, some bit of Igbo Language and Pidgin. The disqualification led to criticism from different people both on and off social media.

Now In light of the recognition, Nigerian movies in pidgin English may now have a fighting chance at the International Feature Film category of the Oscars.

Photo Credit: Oscars

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