Twitter reacts as Oscar disqualifies Genevieve Nnaji's movie 'Lionheart'

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The film must have been first released in the country submitting it, after which it must have been exhibited for a minimum of seven consecutive days in a movie theatre.

Genevieve responded to the film's disqualification on Twitter saying: "I am the director of Lionheart".

The Academy announced the disqualification of "Lionheart" to voters in the category in an email on Monday.

She told PREMIUM TIMES that the reason stated above often makes the recording dialogue predominantly English with non-English infusions in some cases.

Despite Lionheart having some Igbo parts, that was not enough because the Academy rule requires a predominantly non-English dialogue track in order to be considered for the category.

Interestingly, the scrapping of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is also being discussed, as English is supposed to be our official language.

"The committee is working tirelessly in organising workshops, seminars and using other available media to create robust awareness on the guidelines and requirements for an International Feature Film Entry".

The film, which has earned strong reviews and is now streaming on Netflix, had been scheduled to screen for Academy voters in the global category on Wednesday.

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"For a film to qualify for the category it has to be a non-American production and also has to be in a language other than English".

She added that English is the lingua in Nigeria as it brings together people in a country of over 500 languages.

"It's no different to how French connects communities in former French colonies..."

For her part, Nnaji tweeted in response to the academy's decision that her movie "represents the way we speak as Nigerians".

This drop by the Oscars has reduced the number of films competing for the award to 92 from what had been a record 93 entries. Nominations for the 92nd Oscars will be announced on January 13, 2020. "This is an eye-opener and a step forward into growing a better industry".

"You disqualified Nigeria's first-ever submission for Best International Feature because its in English".

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who has worked on such projects as Selma and Netflix's When They See Us, has also voiced her disapproval with the Academy's stand. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, 9 February.

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