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Oscar Academy disqualifies Nigeria’s Lionheart over English dialogue3 minutes read

With Lionheart’s disqualification, the numbers of movies nominated for the award has been reduced to 92

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Oscar Academy disqualifies Nigeria’s Lionheart over English dialogue

Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut, “Lionheart” has been disqualified from the list of the movies nominated for the Best International Feature Film category in the Oscar Awards. The reason the movie was dropped was that it has too many dialogues in English.

This is because the Academy’s criterion for Best International Feature Film category is that the award is for movies made outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue.

With Lionheart’s disqualification, the numbers of movies nominated for the award has been reduced to 92. Also, the disqualification reduced the number of female directors in the category to 28. The movie which was scheduled to screen for the Academy voters in the international category on Wednesday was announced to voters to have been disqualified via an email on Monday.

The decision by Oscar caused an uproar from different quarters, with many condemning the decision. Among those who vented their displeasure on the matter online was the award-winning American filmmaker, Ava DuVernay.

In her tweet, she said:

“To @the Academy, you disqualified Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Best International feature because it is 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?”

Genevieve Nnaji replied DuVernay’s tweet with “Thank you so much @Ava. 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. @TheAcademy.”

Interestingly, Nigeria’s Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) has on Tuesday, responded to the Disqualification of the movie from the 92nd Academy Awards saying that nominees in the Best International Feature must have a predominantly non-English dialogue track and Lionheart, though a wonderful movie falls below that criterion. The chairperson of NOSC Chineze Anyaene says:

“The budding Nigerian film industry is often faced with producing films with wide reach which often makes the recording dialogue predominantly English with non-English infusions in some cases.”

“Going forward, the committee intends to submit films that are predominantly foreign language – non-English recording dialogue. We are, therefore, urging filmmakers to shoot with the intention of non-English recording dialogue as a key qualifying parameter to represent the country in the most prestigious award.”

Oscar Academy disqualifies Nigeria’s Lionheart over English dialogue

“The committee is working tirelessly in organizing workshops, seminars and using other available media to create robust awareness on the guidelines and requirements for an International Feature Film Entry.”

“Lionheart passed on other technical requirements from the story, to sound and picture except for language as adjudged by the Academy screening matrix, which was a challenge for the committee at a time. This is an eye-opener and steps forward into growing a better industry.”

Lionheart was produced in 2018 by Chinny Onwugbenu and was directed by Genevieve Nnaji. Netflix acquired the film on 7 September 2018.

With the acquisition, Lionheart became the first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria. Lionheart premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada.

The movie featured Musicians Phyno and Peter Okoye (Psquare) who made their first acting debut. Some of the best brains in Nollywood were cast in the movie. They include Pete Edochie, Genevieve Nnaji, Ngozie Ezeonu, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Jemima Osunde, Onyeka Onwenu and many others.

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Veteran South African Musician Steve Fataar Is Dead

The guitarist of famed group, The Flames died at the age of 76.

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Legendary South African guitarist, Steve Fataar who was a member of the 60s group, The Flames has been reported dead.

The news was confirmed by Joey Fourie, a close friend of Steve’s and the owner of The Daily Music Show in Cape Town on Channel24 on Saturday, January 18.

“He passed on in the early hours of this morning after his gig at Zach’s. He came home and died in his sleep of lung complications,” he said.

According to reports, Fataar suffered from lung complications, although the exact cause of death has not yet been confirmed. The singer is however believed to have died in his sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning just a few hours after playing a gig at popular Durban venue, Zacks.

Steve Fataar playing the guitar (The Citizen)

Fataar was well-known for playing with his band, The Flames, best known for their 1967 hit record, ‘For Your Precious Love’.

The guitarist had been suffering from a breathing illness since 2014. In the same year, his music friends held a benefit concert on his behalf because of his health issues. The concert featured acts The Reals, The Hairy-Legged Lentil Eaters and Graham Boyle and Spider Murch.

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Burna Boy Makes Michelle Obama’s 2020 Workout Playlist

The former first lady and physical activity advocate hopes to inspire lots of exercising this year.

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Burna Boy’s ‘My Money, My Baby’ has made former U.S first lady, Michelle Obama’s workout playlist for the year. This comes just a few weeks after the African Giant made Barack Obama’s favourite music of 2019 list alongside Rema and Angelique Kidjo.

Michelle Obama disclosed this on Instagram on Sunday, January 19, in a bid to inspire people to stick to their new year goals and resolutions.

“It’s about that time when New Year’s goals and resolutions get just a bit harder to stick to. To offer a little inspiration, I want to share my go-to 2020 #WorkoutPlaylist with all of you. These songs always seem to give me that extra boost to get through my toughest workouts. What’s on your playlist? #IAmBecoming #SelfcareSunday,” she shared alongside the playlist.

‘My Money, My Baby’, the Burna Boy record that made it to the list is off the original motion picture score of Queen & Slim which was released in November 2019.

The other Nigerian on the list is Tobe Nigwe, a rapper based in Houston making strides with his message-laden music and distinct rhyming style. His song featured on the list is his 2018 release, ‘I’m Dope’ featuring David Michael Wyatt.

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Sugar Rush Is Back In Nigerian Cinemas

The movie has returned to Nigerian cinemas just about a week after its suspension.

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Nigerian action-comedy film, Sugar Rush is finally back at the cinemas after being suspended from screening by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) over the weekend.

Yesterday, January 16, Jade Osiberu, the producer of the movie announced its return on her Instagram page. She further thanked fans, well-wishers and the NFVCB.

“We got such an outpouring of love in the last week, I couldn’t respond to all the calls and messages but your kind words and prayers were very encouraging ❤️❤️❤️Thank you soo much everyone. Thanks in particular to @alhadedayothomas and the @nfvcb for helping to get us back on the big screen and for the unwavering support of the industry.

“This film is really special, you guys made it special. This weekend is our official opening weekend now 😂😂😝 Take everyone you know to go see Sugar Rush for yourself!!! #SugarRush #SugarRushMovie,” she shared.

The movie which reportedly generated over N150 million in two weeks was suspended in what was initially perceived as an attempt to stifle creativity. Reports had it that the movie was banned because of the poor portrayal of the EFCC as incompetent.

However, the censors board quickly issued a statement to put the rumours to rest.

According to the Executive Director of NFVCB, Adedayo Thomas, the movie was pulled out of the cinemas because the temporary approval it was given by the board had expired.

The film at the time had not gotten the needed final approval from the board although the Director personally took the blame for that.

“I, however, take responsibility for the gap in communication and the delay in granting final approval as the temporary approval given for the movie exhibition expired before we could release an official statement due to my preoccupation with extant responsibilities and a backlog of movies requiring approval as a result of the December rush.

I am currently working with the distributor, producer, director and key actors to grant final approval for the resumed exhibition at cinemas,” he said.

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