Big Win! Oscars 2021 Approves Nigerian Pidgin English As A Foriegn Language
Good news for the Nigerian filmmaking industry and Nigerians entirely. Pidgin English will now be recognised as a foreign language in the Oscars.
Recall Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut Lion Heart did not make the cut at the Oscars in 2019. The film which was also Nigeria’s first submission at the academy was disqualified.
According to the Oscars, “An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
Criticisms, however, trailed the disqualification as many faulted the academy ruling. English is the indigenous language of Nigerians, a relic of our colonial days. Many asked that the Oscars change its rules. Meanwhile, others argued Nigerian filmmakers needed to make more movies in local dialects.
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Now, the Nigeria Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Academy awards submissions has announced the approval of Nigerian Pidgin English as a Foreign language recording dialogue in films by the movie academy.
Chairman NOSC Chinese Ayaene-Abonyi annouced the confirmation in a press release. She also detailed the timeline of the progress made by the body.
According to Premium Times, “the request for approval began in December 2019. After which, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi visited the Academy’s office in Los Angeles in February 2020 where she met with representatives of the International Feature Film (IFF) Executives”.
“This approval as secured by the NOSC is a new feat for the industry. It is untrue if any other individual or entity claims such achievement as this is beyond mere writing to the Academy without knowing the approval intricacies” the report also added.
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