This year’s field is now tied with 2017’s as the largest in the category’s history. Since “Lionheart” was made by actress-turned-director Genevieve Nnaji. Its disqualification drops the number of female directors in this year’s race to 28, which is still a category record.
The movie, ”Lionheart” is the first ever Oscar award entry by Nigeria.
Lionheart disqualified from oscar: Genevieve Nnaji Reactions
However, reacting to the disqualification on Twitter, Genevieve Nnaji tweeted;
“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.”
Ava DuVernay , the American Film maker also, reacted to the disqualification on Twitter to @TheAcademy, “You disqualified Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Best International Feature because its in English. But English is the official language of Nigeria. Are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official language?” Ava DuVernay was the lady who directed the Netflix drama miniseries When They See Us
To this effect, many Nigerians has reacted bitterly. And questions arises as to whether Nigeria ever have a chance to participate in the Oscar award because of the unintended language barrier placed on the country.
Meanwhile, one other film, Afghanistan’s “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha,” had been deemed ineligible before the list of qualifying films was announced. It was denied a spot on the roster of contenders over questions about the legitimacy of the Afghan committee that submitted it.
The Academy announced the disqualification of “Lionheart” to voters in the category in an email on Monday 4th November, 2019. The film was scheduled to screen for Academy voters in the international category on Wednesday in a double bill with the Honduran entry, “Blood, Passion, and Coffee.” That film will now screen by itself at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.
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