Lionheart Oscars Entry Disqualified Over ‘Too Much English’, & The World Is Vexed

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Lionheart, Nigeria’s first ever Oscars entry has now been disqualified. This news was shared by The Academy on Monday to voters via email. The reason given for this sudden move was that Lionheart contained too much dialogue in English.


The film had been submitted for 2020 Academy Awards consideration under the International Feature Film category. It was one of a record ten submissions from Africa, including Kenya’s Subira.

Lionheart Oscars Entry Disqualified Over 'Too Much English', & The World Is Vexed

Courtesy: Pulse Nigeria


Lionheart is the brainchild of the great Genevieve Nnaji, who also directs and stars in it. It tells the story of a lady trying to keep her father’s company afloat amidst a lot of opposition in a male dominated society. Lionheart is also available on Netflix and has received a lot of great reviews so far.


While Lionheart is in English mostly, some parts of the film are in the Igbo language of Nigeria. According to The Academy rules, films submitted for this category must be in “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.” After review by The Academy’s International Feature Film Award Executive Committee, it was found that Lionheart did not satisfy that criteria and was disqualified.


The world did not react well to this news. Genevieve Nnaji herself took to Twitter to defend the films position and explained why Lionheart belonged in that category.


Other big names that opposed this decision include renowned director Ava DuVernay, who noted that English was the official language of Nigeria.


Many people all over the world also made their displeasure known by showing support for Lionheart. Check out some of the tweets:


Featured Image Courtesy : Variety 



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