The Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) On Wednesday, October 2, has selected Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart as Nigeria’s submission to the International Feature Film category of the 2020 Oscars.
The 12-man Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC), chaired by Chineze Anyaene with Mahmood Ali-Balogun as vice chairman and whose team which includes some notable Nollywood stakeholders of international standing as its members, picked ‘Lionheart’ for its considerable shots at the rules prior to a statutory vetting and subsequent voting of entries received from Nigerian filmmakers at home and abroad.
According to Anyaene, entries received this year show significant improvements from the previous years.
“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. Filmmakers are gradually considering the Oscar rules, and I have no doubt that it is going to be more competitive, going forward,” she said.
Every year, each country outside the United States is expected to submit one film as long as it’s not primarily in English. Films in pidgin, which must be subtitled like any other language film are also considered under this category.
Lionheart was produced by Chinny Onwugbenu, Chichi Nwoko, and directed by Genevieve Nnaji, premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and got featured on September 7, 2018, as the first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.
The movie stars Pete Edochie, Genevieve Nnaji, Nkem Owoh, Onyeka Onwenu, Kanayo .O. Kanayo, Chika Okpala, Kalu Ikeagwu, Sanni Mu’azu, Yakubu Mohammed, Ngozi Ezeonu, Peter Okoye (P-Square) and Chibuzor Azubuike (Phyno).
While trying to run her sick father’s business under the supervision of her uncle Nkem Owoh, Adaeze Obiagu (Genevieve Nnaji), becomes saddled with the responsibility of clearing the debt the business was faced with. Lionheart which is Nnaji’s directorial debut, tells the story of a young woman, Adaeze Obiagu, competing for business instincts and family obligations become a catalyst for drastic change not everyone is ready to embrace.