Oscars 2020: Nigeria’s ‘Lion Heart’ competes with 92 countries

Nkem Owoh and Genevieve Nnaji in a scene in ’Lion Heart’
Nkem Owoh and Genevieve Nnaji in a scene in ’Lion Heart’

Nigeria is competing with 92 other countries for the 2020 Oscars Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film, the organisers said on their official website, Oscars.org.

Screen diva Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut, ‘Lion Heart’, is the Nigerian selection for the 2020 Oscars in that category.

The movie was premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and was acquired on Sept. 7, 2018, as first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.

Since the inauguration of Nigeria Oscars Selection Committee in 2014, this is the first time Nigeria is advancing a film to the Oscars as previous entries did not meet basic criteria.

‘Lion Heart’ is a 2018 Nigerian drama film that featured some Nigerian movie icons like Pete Edochie, Nnaji, Nkem Owoh, and music icon, Onyeka Onwenu.

The Oscars Academy announced the full list of eligible films and countries on Monday, with Ghana, Nigeria and Uzbekistan competing for the first time in the category, which was previously known as the best foreign-language film category.

High-profile entries include South Korea’s ‘Parasite,’ Bong Joon Ho’s black comedy which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival; Spain’s ‘Pain and Glory’ from Pedro Almodovar.

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Japan’s ‘Weathering With You,’ the country’s first animated entry since ‘Princess Mononoke’, and Senegal’s ‘Atlantics’ from director Mati Diop, winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes made the list.

Also, France’s ‘Les Miserables’; the UK’s ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,’ from Chiwetel Ejiofor; and Norway’s ‘Out Stealing Horses,’ starring Stellan Skarsgard are in the category.

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The previous high for submissions was 92 in 2017 and a total of 87 films were submitted in 2018.

The shortlist of 10 films will be announced on December 16, while the nominations for the 92nd Oscars will be announced on January 13, 2020.

(NAN)

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