On Monday, November 4, 2019, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences disqualified Nigeria's entry for the ‘Best International Feature Film’ and many Nigerians and fans have had their hearts broken.
However, there are some wins which not many are looking at since the disqualification. If 'Lionheart' had scaled the pre-nomination process but fail to win the category, these quick wins might not have been possible.
Out of the 94 films that were selected for the category, the eventual winner of the category and 'Lionheart' will go down in history book as well as enjoy the attention.
Here are three wins from the disqualification, which 'Lionheart' might have missed if it had scaled through to the final nomination.
1. Oscars history
‘Lionheart’ might have been disqualified from the 2020 Oscars by the Academy at the pre-nomination level, the Nigerian film has made its way into the book of history. The story of 92nd Oscars can’t be told without the conversation created by Nigeria’s entry, ‘Lionheart’ under the ‘Best International Feature Film’ category. ‘Lionheart’ joins a list of films that are referred to when discussion of the category, which was formerly known as ‘Best Foreign Language’ is discussed. Depending on how this is viewed, this is a win for Lionheart, Nigeria and the director, Genevieve Nnaji.
2. Increase in streams on Netflix
The disqualification of ‘Lionheart’ by the Academy was one of the raging conversations on the entertainment scene since Monday, November 4, 2019. The conversation has also given more publicity for the film as Nigerians, people of colour and film lovers across the world, who before now have no clue about the film, will be eager to see the film and confirm the reason for its disqualification. Interestingly, the film can only be seen on the global streaming platform, Netflix after it acquired the film in September 2018 before its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. This will lead to an increase in the views for the film on the streaming platform until at least the end of November 2019. This is another win for ‘Lionheart’ and Genevieve Nnaji.
3. Genevieve Nnaji gets global attention
Genevieve Nnaji has been trending on social media - locally and internationally - since the disqualification of her directorial debut, ‘Lionheart’ from the 2020 Oscars. It’s no doubt that the conversations around the disqualification have seen Genevieve’s name popping up since Monday, November 4, 2019. From Ava Duvernay taking up the duty to create awareness to the disqualification to The Hollywood Reporter's awards columnist, Scott Feinberg, and senior film editor Piya Sinha-Roy, some film enthusiasts and practitioners are talking about it. Again, this is coming after the premiere of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agabje’s release of ‘Farming’ which features Genevieve. It should also be noted that the actress and director struck a deal with United Talent Agency, (UTA) for representation in film, TV, and production. Again, it’s a win for Genevieve Nnaji.