The Oscar Academy has disqualified Nigeria’s “Lionheart” from the race in the Best International Feature Film category.
Lionheart is Nigeria’s first-ever film submitted to the Oscars by Nigeria.
“Lionheart” which was directed by actress-turned-director Genevieve Nnaji, was disqualified because it violates an Academy rule that entries in the category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
However “Lionheart,” in which Nnaji also stars, is partially in the Igbo language of Nigeria but it is mostly in English. The Academy announced the disqualification of “Lionheart” to voters in the category in an email on Monday.
Genevieve confirmed the development in a series of tweets on her official Twitter page.
“Thank you so much. I am the director of Lionheart. This movie represents the way we speak like 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.”