Good People, I think it is time to move on from this Lionheart disqualification thing; we need to be thinking of way forward. If you plan to become a movie producer in Nigeria, please do not make decisions on what will qualify you to be considered for the Oscars, rather, focus on what people would like to watch, and pay. Lionheart has won the most important Oscars out there – the Netflix deal with the $millions that came with it.
I will encourage future producers to focus on that. Yes, do not begin your production by looking at potential Oscars categories you can submit nominations – that is irrelevant. This Oscars thing has been won in Africa, even though it is yet to arrive Nigeria.
Algeria and Ivory Coast have won Oscars before, in the same category Lionheart participated through films (Z and “Black and White in Color” respectively) produced in French. Yes, French.
Yet, South Africa’s Tsotsi won it in indigenous African languages. But Tsotsi did something different: it combined many African languages with little English to execute the deal. It has Sesotho, Zulu, Setswana, Afrikaans and English, making sure the English was below the acceptable level.
So, Lionheart 2 should include Igbo, Hausa, Pidgin, and Yoruba with English. Caution – Pidgin may be English oh! I am sure the queen of the big board, Genevieve Nnaji, and her team, executing that strategy, will improve the odds. By doing that, she can win the local markets while going for the smiles on the Academy night.
With this multiple language strategy, she will have something for everyone in Nigeria, guaranteeing the bank alerts. But there is risk: Academy could update its rule, requiring “Foreign Language”, not “Foreign Languages” in one film. The implication being that films with more than one non-English language will not qualify. That returns me back to the original point – do not make films just to win Oscars!