Nigeria Official Selection Committee (For the Academy Awards® IFF Submissions) has announced the reopening of its portals to allow new submissions.
According to a press statement released by NOSC, the decision to reopen its portals come in the wake of the realization, upon review, that some of the initial submissions did not meet the Academy's eligibility rules.
"This is due to the fact that after several stages of screening of films received for selection, including basic technicality checks by the committee, and the unavailability of the required supporting documents (Streaming distribution or video on demand agreements) by the filmmakers, some of the submissions received by NOSC are yet to meet all eligibility rules.
"For the 93rdAcademy Awards only, due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic; country selected films that had a theatrical release but are initially made available through reputable commercial streaming distribution service or video on demand may qualify for awards consideration in the IFF category.
"However, documentation would need to be provided government mandated theatre closure dates, theatrical previously planned theatrical release and streaming/VOD agreement. NOSC is faced with a shot list in which some of the films are without or pending theatrical censorship, Streaming distribution or video on demand agreements and other supporting documents as required by the Academy".
NOSC further revealed that the decision was made following the Academy's approval of pidgin English as a foreign language. "the approval of Nigerian pidgin by the Academy as a non-English recording dialogue in films, this would further allow entries from more filmmakers and provide creatives the opportunity to showcase their art".
Reacting to the reopening of NOSC portals, Chairperson, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi revealed that while it was a tough call, the decision had to be made. "The year has been a very peculiar one, and no one was prepared for what we are currently witnessing. From the lockdown due to the pandemic to the ‘new normal’ of social distancing, activities and events previously scheduled have either been cancelled, suspended, or slowed down, and Nollywood was not left out.
"The committee had a tough choice to make between the risk of not submitting a film for the 93rdAcademy Awards or to reopen the submission portal, but after critical deliberation, the committee has decided to reopen the portal to provide filmmakers an extended time to submit their work and their supporting documents. The aim is to have a well-rounded and worthy representation at the Oscars.
"We also believe that this is fair to everyone, especially in recognition of the peculiar challenges the world has faced this year”, she added.
An international film is defined as a feature-length motion picture (over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America and its territory with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track. Animated and documentary feature films are permitted.