The Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) has called for feature film entries by Nollywood filmmakers into the 93rd Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars.
The Academy Awards recently opened entries to honour the best new films released globally, with the event set to hold on April 25, 2021.
According to the NOSC, submissions will close on October 2, 2020.
The committee’s chairperson, Chineze Anyaene, said Thursday, that Nigeria’s first submission in 2019 represented a pivotal moment for the industry.
According to her, the committee has witnessed a rapid rise in the quality of Nigerian films, especially in storytelling. While noting that Nigerian filmmakers are aspiring for better creative and business opportunities, she added that the Oscar submission has opened a new dimension for the industry.
“We were able to make our first-ever entry submission to the Oscars for the International Feature Film Awards category as a country, and the awareness this has brought to the industry as a whole has been amazing. It has opened the industry to other markets, and we hope to see partnerships with other industries soon,” she explained.
The global COVID-19 pandemic mandated the closure of commercial motion picture theatres worldwide until further notice.
She said for the 93rd Academy Awards only, a country’s selected films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available through a reputable commercial streaming distribution service or video on demand may qualify for awards consideration in the International Feature category.
Revealing the new rules for award participation, Ms Anyaene stated that due to guidelines and government-mandated rules to manage coronavirus spread, filmmakers have to provide to the Academy documentation (original document(s) and an English translation) of government-mandated theatre/cinema closure dates. Previously planned theatrical releases and streaming distribution or video on demand agreements”.
‘‘Eligible films have to be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member site within 60 days of the film official selection. Films that, in any version, receive a non-theatrical public exhibition or distribution before their first qualifying release will not be eligible for consideration,’’ she said.
Filmmakers can submit their entries on the NOSC website.
NOSC is a cultural organisation whose mission is to recognise and celebrate the art of cinema by showcasing Nigerian films and filmmakers to the Oscars for the category of Best Foreign Film.
The selection committee is officially recognised by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to make submissions on behalf of the Nigerian film industry.
The 93rd Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee members include 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.
The NOSC selected Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart as the country’s entry to the International Feature Film category of the 2020 Oscars.
But it was disqualified because according to the Academy’s rules, nominees in its Best International Feature Film category must have a predominantly non-English dialogue track.
Lionheart despite being an unmistakably Nigerian film, did not satisfy that particular criterium.