Oscars disqualify Nigerian film ‘Lion Heart’ over English dialogue

The movie “Lion Heart” has officially been disqualified from the award race over its predominant use of English language for its dialogue.
The movie which was been nominated for the best international feature film category in its scenes had made use of its African language derived from its setting which was the Igbo language, but had mainly spoken in English which violates the criterion for that category.

The Academy’s criteria for best international feature film category states that it awards film’s made outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue.
This drop by the Oscars had reduced the number of films in this category competing for the award for 93 to 92 presently.

A lot of people have spoken up about the disqualification, deeming it as uncalled for, as English is Nigeria`s official language.

Several film enthusiasts went on social media to share their thoughts, including award-winning director, Ava DuVernay.
DuVernay had empathised with Nigeria saying “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?”

Genevive Nnaji who was the director of the movie had replied to her comment thanking her, and maintaining that the movie “Lion Heart” represented the way we live as Nigerians, and that includes the English language which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our country.
Other people had also expressed their disappointment considering the movie was Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Best International Feature.

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