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Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi steps down as NOSC chairperson

Under her leadership, NOSC submitted Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart and got the Academy to recognise Pidgin.

Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi steps down as NOSC chairperson [NOSC]

The former chairperson, who doubles as the founder of the committee, is set to pass the baton of leadership, as she moves on to other opportunities in life.

Chineze’s decision comes days after she secured Oscars’ re-approval of the NOSC, just as Nigeria and the rest of the world prepare for the 96th edition of the Academy Awards holding next year.

Under her two-term steadfast leadership, the committee has transformed into a beacon of hope and standard befitting of Nigerian filmmakers aspiring to compete in the IFF category of the Oscars.

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The outgoing Chairperson recalls the pivotal moment when, as a young filmmaker, she attempted to submit her film for Oscars’ consideration in 2012, only to discover that Nigeria had no constituted committee for film submissions.

She said, “This discovery fueled my determination to create and personally finance a committee for Nigerian films to compete at this prestigious level of international cinema.”

Since then, the NOSC has transitioned from simply submitting films to focusing on what's best for the domestic industry.

“In recent years, NOSC's mission evolved from merely submitting films to promoting and fostering the creation of high-quality Nigerian film entries. The focus shifted towards encouraging a collaborative effort within the industry, where personal interests were set aside for the greater good of the Nigerian Film Industry,” Chineze stated.

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Under her leadership, the NOSC submitted Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart in 2019, the comittee got the Academy to recognise Pidgin as a non-English language fit for the IFF category the following year.

In 2021, Desmond Ovbiagele’s The Milkmaid made history as the first Nigerian film to be approved by the Academy to compete in the IFF category of the 93rd Academy Awards, but did not make the final shortlist.

As she takes this bold exit step, the filmmaker-cum-entrepreneur has expressed her confidence in the next team's ability to carry on the legacy and ensure that quality and excellence of Nigerian films are prioritised.

Chineze extends her heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported and contributed to this remarkable journey, acknowledging that her tenure couldn’t have achieved the successes attained without the support of individuals and organizations within the Nigerian film industry.

The new leadership of the NOSC will be announced in due course.

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