TOO MUCH ENGLISH

Oscars disqualifies Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’

Director leaps to its defence, says it represents the way Nigerians speak

In Summary

• The academy has disqualified the Igbo-language film for mostly being in English

Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve Nnaji
Image: Courtesy

Nigerian film 'Lionheart' was submitted to the Oscars for the Best International Feature Film category, but the academy has disqualified the Igbo-language film for mostly being in English.

One of the special rules for the international feature film award states, "The recording of the original dialogues track, as well as the completed picture, must be predominantly in a language or languages other than English. Accurate, legible English-language subtitles are required."

Responding to the Academy's decision, Nnaji, the lead actor and director of the film, tweeted, "I am the director of Lionheart. This movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians. This includes English, which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our country; thereby making us #OneNigeria."

Lionheart was Nigeria's first Oscar's film submission.