It is a dream that has been nursed for many years. Then it came very close to reality. But as things stand right now, it is still looking like a mirage.
Earlier this year, when the Nigeria Oscars Selection Committee, NOSC, was inaugurated many had high hopes that finally, Nollywood would get a chance to compete at the level of the highly esteemed Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Hollywood next year.
As the year draws to a close, it is now clear that Nigeria may have to wait a little longer before that aspiration can ever see the light of the day.
According to the NOSC, none of the entries submitted by Nigerian filmmakers meets the basic requirement for the Oscars.
And the reason for this is not far-fetched. Entries from Africa and other countries outside the United States are categorized under foreign language films, requiring that eligible movies, which must be feature-length, are predominantly non-English dialogue productions with accurate English subtitles.
Now, that is proving to be a hard nut for Nigerian movies and their producers to crack. Chineze Anyaene, Chairman of NOSC, revealed that most of the entries received in Nigeria were “either in English, while some of those that were not in English were not properly subtitled and quite a number of them were lacking in some technical details.”
He added that what matters to the Committee is the selection and submission of a work that best represents the country and not just to be counted among the countries with entries at the Oscars.
“We don’t have to submit a film if we don’t have one worthy of an entry. That explains why we are not among the 83 countries.
“But it is not a bad situation. We are only a few months old as a committee of the Academy and it means that we need to prepare against next year and subsequently. We are working on hosting a series of workshops in collaboration with the regulatory agencies and relevant Guilds and Associations as well as stakeholders so we can enlighten them on the expectation as far as this category is concerned. But I am optimistic we will have an entry next year,” Anyaene said.
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