Nigerian Oscar Entry LionHeart Disqualified over Language Choice and Nigerians Aren’t Having it

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Popular Nigerian movie ‘Lionheart’ has been disqualified from contesting in the best international film feature category, in its first-ever submission for the Oscar Academy. The movie’s storyline, starring actress-cum-director Genevieve Nnnaji is about a woman who tries to keep her father’s transport company afloat in a male-dominated industry after he is taken ill.

According to an online international publication, the film did not meet the qualification for a predominantly non-English dialogue track. The Academy rule is that entries in the category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.” While the rest of the movie features in English, a small percentage features in the Igbo language.

This disqualification reduces the number of films competing for the award to 92 from what had been a record 93 entries and drops the number of female directors in this year’s race to 28, which is still a category record. The Academy announced the disqualification of “Lionheart” to voters in the category in an email on Monday. The film was scheduled to screen for Academy voters in the international category on Wednesday.

Nigerian took to twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the Academy’s decision to disqualify the movie over language choice.

1. Go Girl

2. History repeated itself

3. It’s okay but it’s not okay

4. Kenyans in Nigeria too

5. Zero chills

6. We are not boarding

7. Loyalty

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