Genevieve Nnaji Reacts To Disqualification Of ‘Lion Heart’ From Oscars

Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve Nnaji on Feminism

There was a lot of excitement when it was announced that Lion Heart which stars Genevieve Nnaji would be submitted to the Oscars as a consideration for best foreign film.

However, it has now been revealed that the movie has been disqualified on the basis that it contains too much English dialogue.

The movie, which was Nigeria’s first ever submission to the Oscars was being considered along with 92 other foreign films. Lion Heart contains dialogue in Igbo, but this took up just under 12 minutes of the movie while the rest was in English which then made it unacceptable to the academy whose rules state that for a movie to be considered a ‘foreign film’, it must be “a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

Genevieve Nnaji was displeased with the qualification and she took to Twitter to say: “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.”

She wasn’t the only one left less than happy with the decision with American filmmaker of ‘When they see us’ fame,  Ava DuVernay, also reacting on Twitter saying: “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?”

Genevieve Nnaji was grateful for the backup and thanks Ava for her concern.



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