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
.@GenevieveNnaji1 do not let the opinions/perception of these Jokers[Oscars] in disqualifying your Movie get to you..
You produced and crafted something extraordinary in the "LionHeart" Movie, Nigerians are proud of you and Africa at large celebrate you..👍
— 🇳🇬 D.U.C.E🗣 (@mazi_duce) November 5, 2019
2. History repeated itself
Since a decade ago, Oscar stopped movies in that category made predominantly in English language just like LionHeart.
An Israeli movie "The Band" was disqualified in 2007 for the same reason.
Y'all slow down on the "African discrimination" talk on this issue.
Rules are rules.
— UG (@UgwunnaEjikem) November 5, 2019
3. It’s okay but it’s not okay
It’s okay if you say you disqualified a movie because the story line isn’t good enough. Or the picture quality. Or the sound.
But why penalize because the movie is in English, the country’s official language?
— Tunde Omotoye 🇳🇬 (@TundeTASH) November 5, 2019
4. Kenyans in Nigeria too
It’s so unfortunate that the academy disqualified Lionheart from an Oscar nom… it sucks to be unfairly disqualified, wrongfully placed and generally just discarded by the world that was not created by us to begin with. A very familiar feeling …
— VICTORIA KIMANI (@VICTORIA_KIMANI) November 5, 2019
5. Zero chills
don't be sad ma'am.just imagine if lionheart was in igbo language and was chosen over yoruba hausa or any other language film the tension will be extreme.we submitted a film in the language that unites us all it turned red flag.fuck colonialism!.lionheart was a great movie.
— kes myx (@kes_myx) November 5, 2019
6. We are not boarding
You are free to support @TheAcademy 's decision on #LionHeart .
But the moment you add any phrase like "It's not like it stood any chance of winning", that's a bitter leaf part of your life manifesting to the fore.
In the preffered language of the academy – e wù animanu!
— Mo! (@mobiuwakwe) November 5, 2019
Disqualified or not, I stan that Lionheart movie, because it’s everything Nigerian, it portrays the Nigeria culture quite well, not limited to that, it promotes the Nigerian brand of vehicles (Innoson), that’s a chief move if you ask me 🔥
— DADDY THE BAÁLẸ̀ (@Kingtanda) November 5, 2019