Lionheart, Nigeria’s entry for the 2020 Oscars has been disqualified for having too much English dialogue.
The movie which was disqualified yesterday, 4th November 2019 was submitted for the international feature film Oscars category and is Nigeria’s first-ever submission for the Academy Awards.
The Academy’s description of an international feature film “is a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
Lionheart has just under 12 minutes of dialogue that is in the Igbo language, a language native to the people of southeastern Nigeria, while the remaining 94 minutes is in English.
However, it is not excluded from entering other Oscars categories, including consideration for the best picture.
The Lionheart producer, Genevieve Nnaji has reacted to the disqualification on Twitter.
See her tweet below-
“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.”