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Pidgin English now considered foreign language at the Oscars

Film executive, Mo Abudu reportedly wrote a letter of justification to the Academy which was recently approved.

Nigerian movies in pidgin English may now have a fighting chance at the International feature film category of the OSCARS.

EbonyFilms CEO, Mo Abudu  [Instagram/MoAbudu]
EbonyFilms CEO, Mo Abudu [Instagram/MoAbudu]

According to ‘Oloture’ film director, Kenneth Gyang, top film executive, Mo Abudu helped Nollywood reach this feat after extended conversations with the Academy.

“Pidgin English is now considered a foreign language at the Oscars!”, Gyang tweeted. “Ms Mo Abudu has been in communication with the International Features section of the Academy about the possibility of entering our film (made in pidgin) through the Nigerian Oscar Committee”.

In the final stage of the extensive conversation, Abudu was requested to write a letter of justification which was approved by the Academy. The latest development has since been communicated to the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC).

The latest win might see Abudu’s latest film, ‘Oloture’ eligible for the 93rd Oscars as it records the now eligible language robustly used.

Recall Nigeria’s 2019 submission ‘Lionheart’, Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut, was disqualified by the Academy for violating the foreign language requirement. The history-making film was well over 60 percent in English.

NOSC confirms Oscars’ approval of Pidgin English as foreign language

NOSC chairperson, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi revealed that the latest feat was solely achieved by the committee.

, NOSC Chairperson, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi  [NOSC]
, NOSC Chairperson, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi [NOSC]

Nigeria Official Selection Committee (For the Academy Awards® IFF Submissions) NOSC has confirmed that the Academy will now consider movies with dialogue in pidgin English.

The latest feat, according to Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi, NOSC chairperson, was achieved after several months of being in communication with the Academy as well as visits to Los Angeles.

Anyaene made the confirmation via a press release containing details of the timeline of the committee’s progress.

“The request for approval started in December 2019, after which she [Anyaene] visited the Academy’s office in Los Angeles in February 2020 following a meeting scheduled between herself and representatives of the International Feature Film (IFF) Executives. She added that the outcome of that meeting was wider consultation with the IFF executives; ensuring approval is benchmarked and consistent with their screening matrix”, the press statement reads.

The press statement further reveals that the committee is solely responsible for achieving this new feat for Nollywood contrary to reports circulating the media.

 NOSC Chairperson , Chineze Anyaene [NOSC] NOSC Chairperson , Chineze Anyaene [NOSC]

“Anyaene has then been having a series of conversations with the Academy to secure quicker approval as the 93rd Oscars an award was already knocking. This was a major concern for her recall of the NOSC 2019 submission of ‘LionHeart’, which was disqualified primarily for not satisfying the language requirement”.

“This approval as secured by the NOSC is a new feat for the industry and 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”.

Recall ‘Oloture’ director, Kenneth Gyang tweeted on Friday, October 16, that EbonyFilms CEO, Mo Abudu achieved the applaudable feat after several weeks of communicating with members of the Academy.

In the light of the development, NOSC will now consider extending the submission deadline which ended at 11:59pm on October 2, 2020. This, according to the press statement, will allow over five filmmakers with Pidgin English films to submit their films.

The 93rd Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee members include Chineze Anyaene (Chairperson), Mahmood Ali-Balogun (Vice-Chairperson), Adetokunbo Odubawo, Bruce Ayonote, Charles Novia, Ego Boyo, Mildred Okwo, Moses Babatope, Omoni Oboli, Shuaibu Husseini, Victor Okhai and Yibo Koko.

For more submission enquires, filmmakers are to visit https://thenosc.org/ .

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