The Movie “Lionheart” the first-ever Nigerian Movie to be submitted for the best international feature category in the Oscar Academy Awards has been disqualified for having too much English dialogue by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.
According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science the movie goes against the rule of the criteria for best international feature film category which states that it awards film’s made outside the United States with a prodominantly non English dialogue.
Oscar has reduced the number of films competing for the award to 92 from the initial record of 93 entries by dropping LionHeart.
Apart from reduction in film entries it has also reduced the number of female director in the year’s race to 28, According to Genevieve Nnaji “Lionheart has earned strong reviews.
The film, which is about a lady trying to keep her father’s company afloat in a world dominated by men is currently streaming on Netflix is mostly in English which is considered a foul to the Academy rule for the best international film Awards.
“Lionheart” is among the 10 African films officially put forward for Oscar consideration this year, a record for the continent. With the disqualification, the number of films in contention for the award has dropped from 93 to 92. The film is still eligible to be considered in other Oscar categories.
The Wrap, on Monday first reported this decision by the Academy which was communicated via an email to Oscar voters.
This isn’t the first time the academy has disqualified a foreign film from consideration for having too much English dialogue; in recent years, the 2015 Afghan film “Utopia” and the 2007 Israeli movie “The Band’s Visit” were disqualified for the same reason.
Still, the disqualification of “Lionheart” — which, ironically, follows the academy’s decision earlier this year to change the name of the category from best foreign-language film to best international feature film — struck a sour note with at least one high-powered Hollywood figure.
Director Ava DuVernay tweeted her dismay, noting that English is the official language of Nigeria.
he Academy’s criteria for best international feature film category states that it awards film’s made outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue.