The accolades keep rolling in for the Genevieve Nnaji film, Lionheart. The iconic Nollywood actor made a move to directing in 2018, both appearing in front of the camera and calling the shots behind-the-scenes.
Lionheart – which follows the story of Adaeze, as she steps up to the challenge of running her ill father’s flourishing business when he is forced to take a step back – was such a success, it was acquired by Netflix on 7 September 2018, making it the first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.
Now, Oscar season is upon us, the drama has been selected by the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee as the nation’s submission to the International Feature Film category of the 2020 Oscars. In an official statement, chairperson of the 12-person committee, Chineze Anyaene (producer and director Nollywood hit, Ije) said, “While we cannot say that what we have are the best that Nigeria is capable of producing, it is heart-lifting to know that, from the strength of the entries received this year, we are truly ready for the Oscars.”
Further, she said, “Filmmakers are gradually taking the Oscar rules into consideration, and I have no doubt that it is going to be more competitive, going forward.”
View this post on Instagram
The Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee has chosen @lionheartthemovie to represent Nigeria for the 2020 Academy Award for Best International Film! This is the first entry ever for Nigeria. It’s an honor to be a part of such a pivotal moment in the history of Nigerian cinema. A moment we know will be replicated as our stories continue to resonate with audiences around the world. On behalf of the entire LIONHEART team and TEN Productions, we are grateful for this recognition and proud to carry the torch. Thank you all for the love and support thus far. ❤️🇳🇬
Via Instagram, actor-director, Nnaji said, “It’s an honour to be a part of such a pivotal moment in the history of Nigerian cinema. A moment we know will be replicated as our stories continue to resonate with audiences around the world.”
Every year, each country outside the United States is expected to submit one non-English speaking film. Films in Pidgin English, which must be subtitled like any other language film are also considered under this category.