The Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) has expressed its joy over the acceptance of Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut, “Lionheart”, as Nigeria’s entry for the 2020 Academy Awards in the United States. “Lionheart” will first compete for nomination in the International Feature Film category of the prestigious and global film recognition award. More than 120 countries submitted entries out of which only seven or eight will be nominated before only one winner emerges as winner at the Oscar Awards ceremony in February next year.
The NFC, in a statement, by Brian Etuk, its head of public and intergovernmental affairs, said that stakeholders un the motion picture industry and indeed most Nigerians are happy with the film’s selection as Nigeria’s entry. He described the selection, the first ever from Nigeria, as an indication of the progress Nigerian films are recording in the international motion picture circles, as well as the recognition of the ingenuity, and determination of Nigerian filmmakers to compete with their counterparts from other countries.
The statement quotes Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, NFC’s Managing Director, as saying that the selection of “Lionheart” will definitely spur other Nigerian film makers to soar in the international film production space. Dr. Maduekwe commended Ms Nnaji for making Nigeria proud through her several years of acting career, and lately as a producer/director. He assures that NFC will continue to create the enabling environment for the film sector to thrive.
“The NFC will sustain its domestic and foreign engagements, partnerships and collaborations intended to adequately situate the nation’s film sector on the path of sustainable growth, especially in the light of global competitiveness, through the signing of co-production treaties and the provision of support structures for film production in Nigeria”, the statement further quoted Dr. Maduekwe.
“Lionheart,” which premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, was in September of same year acquired as one of the first Netflix original films to be produced in Nigeria.