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    Saturday, October 17, 2020

    Oscar 'Approves Nigerian Pidgin English as Foreign Language'

    The Nigeria Oscar selection committee (NOSC)  to re-open its submission portal for Nollywood movies following the approval of Pidgin English as a foreign language.

    Nigeria Official Selection Committee (For the Academy Awards® IFF Submissions) NOSC has confirmed that the Academy will now consider movies with dialogue in pidgin English.

    The latest feat, according to Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi, NOSC chairperson, was achieved after several months of being in communication with the Academy as well as visits to Los Angeles.

    Anyaene made the confirmation via a press release containing details of the timeline of the committee's progress.

    "The request for approval started in December 2019, after which she [Anyaene] visited the Academy’s office in Los Angeles in February 2020 following a meeting scheduled between herself and representatives of the International Feature Film (IFF) Executives. She added that the outcome of that meeting was wider consultation with the IFF executives; ensuring approval is benchmarked and consistent with their screening matrix", the press statement reads.

    The press statement further reveals that the committee is solely responsible for achieving this new feat for Nollywood contrary to reports circulating the media.

    "Anyaene has then been having a series of conversations with the Academy to secure quicker approval as the 93rd Oscars an award was already knocking. This was a major concern for her recall of the NOSC 2019 submission of ‘LionHeart’, which was disqualified primarily for not satisfying the language requirement".

    “This approval as secured by the NOSC is a new feat for the industry and It is untrue if any other individual or entity claims such achievement as this is beyond mere writing to the Academy without knowing the approval intricacies”.

    Recall 'Oloture' director, Kenneth Gyang tweeted on Friday, October 16, that EbonyFilms CEO, Mo Abudu achieved the applaudable feat after several weeks of communicating with members of the Academy.

    In the light of the development, NOSC will now consider extending the submission deadline which ended at 11:59pm on October 2, 2020. This, according to the press statement, will allow over five filmmakers with Pidgin English films to submit their films.

    In 2019, Nigeria Official Selection Committee (For the Academy Awards IFF Submissions) (NOSC) nominated ‘Lionheart’, a directorial debut movie of Nigerian actress, Genevieve Nnaji  to represent the country at the 2020 Oscars in Los Angeles.

    The movie, which is both in English and Igbo languages, was disqualified and said to have violated a rule that entries in the category must have a “predominantly non-English dialogue track”.

    Reacting to the development, Nnaji had said: “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 one Nigeria.

    “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 93rd Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee members include Chineze Anyaene (Chairperson), Mahmood Ali-Balogun (Vice-Chairperson), Adetokunbo Odubawo, Bruce Ayonote, Charles Novia, Ego Boyo, Mildred Okwo, Moses Babatope, Omoni Oboli, Shuaibu Husseini, Victor Okhai and Yibo Koko.

    For more submission enquires, filmmakers are to visit https://thenosc.org/ .

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