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“Genevieve was on her own” – Segun Arinze reacts to Lionheart’s disqualification

On Monday, November 4, 2019, LIONHEART, Nigeria’s first-ever submission to the Academy Awards was disqualified from the international feature film Oscar category.

LIONHEART was disqualified because it contained too much English dialogue.

According to the Academy’s rules for the international feature film category, “an international film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.

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” Lionheart has just under 12 minutes of dialogue that is in the Igbo language native to Southeastern Nigeria, while the rest of the 94-minute pic is in English.

In reaction to the unfortunate news, veteran Nollywood actor Segun Arinze explained that every game has its rules and regulations.

According to him, the decision of the Academy could have been challenged “if we had influencers to help push Nigeria’s entry into the Oscars.”

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In an interview with Plus TV, Arinze explained that Lionheart met all other requirements as the picture and sound was of good quality. However, the film fell short in terms of spoken language.

He said: “If it’s going to be a foreign language film, it has to be at least 60% of Igbo or Yoruba and the rest 40% could be in English. But they fell short and were about 20% Igbo, so that was a minus”.

Segun Arinze also spoke on how Genevieve stood alone to push the film and how things would have been different if Nigeria had influencers to push their matter at the Oscars.

He said: “The international politics of film was also involved because their government pushed. It takes a lot of money to push. Influence! We didn’t have influencers to help push that matter. So if we had influencers to help push Nigeria’s entry into the Oscars…”

“But unfortunately, Genevieve was just on her own.”

Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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