Oscars: Ava DuVernay, Genevieve, Others React To ‘Lion Heart Disqualification

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By Anita Eboigbe

Abuja – Diverse reactions have continued to trail the disqualification of Nigeria’ Oscars entry ‘Lion Heart’ by the Academy.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports on , the film was dropped for having too many English dialogues, against the category’ criterion for predominantly non-English dialogue.

Following the announcement, several film ethusaists went on social media to share their thoughts, including -winning , Ava DuVernay.

DuVernay, empathised with Nigeria wrote, “To @TheAcademy, You disqualified Nigeria’ first-ever submission for Best International Feature because its English.

“But English is the official language of Nigeria. Are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar its official language?”

Responding to DuVernay, Genevieve Nnaji, directed ‘Lion Heart’ said, “Thank you so much @ava. am the of Lionheart. This movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians.

“This includes English which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken our country; thereby making us #OneNigeria. @TheAcademy.”

@Comemare said, “This category is for films are in predominantly other languages, not English. Since your film is mostly in English.

“It can compete in all the other major categories, along with other english language films from Australia, Canada, Ireland, , etc. No one excluded your film.”

@Samirasawlani said, “Lionheart was today disqualified from the Oscar’s Best Intl Film.. because.. it is mostly in English.

“Nigeria was colonised by the Brits. English is an official language in the Country. You really cant win with this lot. Quite literally cannot win.”

@TravRicardson wrote, “ definitely feel you, this category was just changed from Best Language Film to the very vague Best International Feature Film. Seems like they are going to the language requirement.

guess they don’t take into account countries speak English. It’s dumb!”

@Royalmusings said, “The category is for non English language movies.Canada has had French language films nominated. Had the movie been in Hausa or Yoruba. It would have been accepted.”

NAN reports that ‘Lionheart’, in which Nnaji plays a woman tries to keep her father’s struggling afloat in a male-dominated environment, is currently available on Netflix.