Academy disqualifies Nigerian film over use of English
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has disqualified Nigeria’s first submission for best international feature film because the film, “Lionheart,” is predominantly in English, the country’s official language, according to The New York Times.


While the Academy changed the name of the category from foreign language film to international feature film this year, it retained rules requiring a submission to have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

The disqualification was met with some criticism, including from star and director Genevieve Nnaji, who noted the country’s use of English is largely the result of British colonialism.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, meanwhile, tweeted to the Academy “Are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official language?”

The Academy has disqualified other submissions, including the 2007 Israeli film “The Band’s Visit” and the 2015 Afghan entry “Utopia,” under the same rule, although neither was produced in a country where English is the official language.