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Oscars 2020: Genevieve Nnaji reacts after her movie 'Lionheart' was disqualified

By Mutala Yakubu

One of Africa's best actresses Genevieve Nnaji has reacted after her hit movie Lionheart was disqualified from the International feature Oscars category.

The movie according to the organizers was disqualified because it contained too much English dialogue.

Lionheart is Nigeria’s first-ever submission to the Academy Awards.

The movie was star-packed as the likes of Peter Edochie and Nkem Owoh featured in.

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Nnaji co-wrote with her producing partner Chinny Onwugbenu and the movie was premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and was acquired by Netflix for worldwide distribution.

According to the Academy’s rules for the international feature film category, “an international film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.” Lionheart has just under 12 minutes of dialogue that is in the Igbo language native to Southeastern Nigeria, while the rest of the 94-minutes picture is in English. The film is not excluded from entering other Oscar categories, including consideration for the best picture.

Ms Nnaji has not welcomed the decision of the organizers as she has criticised them on Twitter, she wrote: “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.” She added, “It’s no different to how French connects communities in former French colonies. We did not choose who colonized us. As ever, this film and many like it, is proudly Nigerian.”

The awards ceremony will be held on February 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.