The movie, Lionheart is Nollywood’s first-ever submission for Best International Feature at the Academy Awards, Oscar consideration.
The movie however, has been disqualified by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for having too much dialogue in English and lacking a predominantly non-English dialogue.
“Lionheart,” in which Genevieve Nnaji directed and also stars, is partially in the Igbo language of Nigeria, but mostly filmed in English, which violates an Academy rule that entries in the Best International Feature category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
The film had not been vetted by the Academy’s International Feature Film Award Executive Committee since after the October 7 announcement of qualifying the film but was recently reviewed and determined not to qualify in the category that until this year was known as Best Foreign Language Film.
In a social media reactions, Genevieve Nnaji and some other users wrote;
“1/1 1/2 Thank you so much @ava. I am the director of Lionheart. 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. @TheAcademy”
“2/2 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. @TheAcademy”