Reactions trail Oscars disqualification of LionHeart


Diverse reactions have continued to trail the disqualification of Nigeria’s

Oscars entry ‘LionHeart’ by the award’s Academy.

Reports say that on Tuesday, the film was dropped for having too many

English dialogues, against the category’s criterion for predominantly

non-English dialogue.


Following the announcement, several film enthusiasts went on social

media to share their thoughts, including award-winning director, Ava DuVernay.

DuVernay, who empathised with Nigeria wrote, “To @TheAcademy,

You disqualified Nigeria’s first ever submission for Best International Feature because it’s in English.

“But English is the official language of Nigeria. Are you barring

this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official


Responding to DuVernay, Genevieve Nnaji, who directed ‘Lion Heart’

said, “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.”

@Comemare said, “This category is for films that are predominantly in other languages, not English.

“Since your film is mostly in English, it can compete in all the

other major categories along with other English language films

from Australia, Canada, Ireland, UK, etc. No one excluded your


@Samirasawlani said, “Lionheart was today disqualified from the

Oscar’s Best International Film because it is mostly in


“Nigeria was colonized by the British. English is an official

language in the Country. You really can’t win with this lot. Quite

literally cannot win.”

@Royalmusings said, “The category is for non-English language

movies. Canada has had French language films nominated. Had

the movie been in Hausa or Yoruba. It would have been


According to reports, ‘Lionheart’, in which Nnaji plays a woman who tries

to keep her father’s struggling company afloat in a male-dominated

environment, is currently available on Netflix.


Olajumoke Adeleke