Following the disqualification of the critically acclaimed Nollywood family drama, Lionheart directed by Genevieve Nnaji on Language basis, The Academy committee member has responded.
Lionheart won several hearts on the continent and was acquired by Netflix ahead of its debut at Toronto Film Festival 2018, however, the film failed to make the cut for nomination for Best International Feature Film category in the forthcoming Oscars.
This generated a lot of responses on twitter from filmmakers and celebrities such as Ava DuVernay, who questioned the basis for which the movie was disqualified. She stated that English is the official language spoken across Nigeria, so why disqualify a movie shot in the language accepted by all Nigerians.
Oscar Committee Member Larry Karaszewski cleared the air on the development stating, the situation is more of misconception and less of controversy, according to Deadline. He added that even though the board changed the name of the category from Best Foreign Language Film to Best International Feature Film, the rules for submission still remains the same.
“If you’re submitting for something as important as an Academy Award, I would think you should look at the rules, there are no bad intentions on either side. We would love a film from this country and for it to be part of the process,” says Larry Karaszewski.
“We are not looking to make things ineligible,” adds Karaszewski. “I don’t think this film was disqualified as much as it was ineligible…it’s not a dismissal. It’s not like we didn’t like the movie, but it would be unfair to other films to not (adhere to) the rules.”
Lionheart shares a story of a young woman who fought so hard to save his father’s transport company from collapsing, it marked the directorial debut for Genevieve Nnaji.
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