Nigeria’s first-ever Oscar submission for best international feature film has been disqualified by award organisers for not using enough Igbo language.
According to the body organizing this it’s said that Films in this category, formerly best foreign language film, must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track”.
However, the 95-minute film Lionheart is largely in English, with an 11-minute section in the Igbo language.
Director Genevieve Nnaji said the film represented how Nigerians communicate.
But some in Nigeria questioned why it had been submitted in the first place, given the clear rules around what films are eligible for the category.
The disqualification of the film by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was announced to voters in an email on Monday, according to The Wrap.
Meanwhile, Ava DuVernay, director of Selma and A Wrinkle in Time has questioned the decision on Twitter, pointing out that English is Nigeria’s official language.
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