Genevieve Nnaji’s film ‘Lionheart’ disqualified from the Oscars

Confusion, heartbreak, and disappointment prevail amongst Nigerians as the first film ever submitted to the Oscars has now been disqualified from its category (Best International Feature Film).

Though, ‘Lionheart’ was not vetted by the Academy’s International Feature Film Award Executive Committee when the NOSC first picked the film.

After a recent viewing, the Academy deemed the film to have too much English dialogue and disqualified it from the Best International Feature Film category which until this year was known as Best Foreign Language Film.

It was disclosed on Monday through an email from the Academy which entails that the movie was disqualified because it violates a rule that entries in the category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

Lionheart though was partially in the Igbo language but mostly in English.

‘Lionheart’ was Genevieve’s directorial debut and she also starred in the film alongside popular Nollywood names like Nkem OwohPete EdochieOnyeka Onwenu, Kanayo O. Kanayo and Nigerian rapper Phyno.


The director of the movie Genevieve Nnaji, has reacted to their disapproval.

She wrote:

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 .


As usual, the lovers and supporters of the movie have taken to the internet to express how they feel about the decision made.


However, I think that the decision made earlier by the Academy was ideal. Reason being that, the award for that category is mainly given to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.

Notwithstanding, I see the reactions of some individuals as uncalled for, as most of them are very good at reacting to situations without first getting the right content and information about the particular issue.