related Ava DuVernay, Genevieve Nnaji, Nigerians react as Oscar disqualifies ‘Lionheart’ because its 'mostly in English'

Ava DuVernay, Genevieve Nnaji, Nigerians react as Oscar disqualifies ‘Lionheart’ because its 'mostly in English'

Lots of movie lovers have been taken to social to react to the disqualification of Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

‘Lionheart’ became the first Nollywood film to be selected by the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) and submitted to represent the country at the award event scheduled for February 9, 2020, in Los Angeles, United States.

Chairman of the NOSC, Chineze Anyaene, had said that ‘Lionheart’ emerged Nigeria’s only submission to Oscar 2020 because it was the country’s “only international export.”

The movie, which is partially in English and Igbo languages, was however, disqualified for violating an Academy rule that states that entries in the category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

However, the reason given by Oscar Awards to disqualify the movie did not go down well with many including American filmmaker, Ava DuVernay, who questioned the decision.
“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?," Ava wrote on Twitter.

Genevieve Nnaji, the movie’s director, also registered her “grave” reservations over the disqualification while responding to Ava.

Replying Ava tweet, Genevieve wrote;
"Thank you so much @ava. I am the director of Lionheart. 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.
"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”

A number of Nigerians have also taken to Twitter to air their various opinions.

“Something about this doesn’t seem fair. The film was disqualified because it’s mostly in English. Meanwhile, the official language of Nigeria is English,” another user said.

“Having read the rules for the Oscars, they shouldn’t have nominated #Lionheart for the @TheAcademy awards for Best International Film. The rule is what it is and I don’t think we should be sentimental about it. It’s a great movie, we love it but the rules says are the rules,” a Twitter user said.

Below is what some Nigerians are saying.

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