Pidgin English now foreign language at the Oscars

The Nigeria Official Selection Committee (For the Academy Awards® IFF Submissions) on Saturday announced the approval of Pidgin English by the Academy as a non-English (Foreign language) recording dialogue in films.

As with every submission in the International Feature Category this year, the minutes and percentage of all individual languages in the country-selected film will be required by the Academy.

In addition, this is in line with the Academy’s rule and definition of an international film as “a feature film with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track”.

Ms Anyaene confirmed that the request for approval started in December 2019, after which she 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.

Anyaene, who has then been having a series of conversations with the Academy to secure quicker approval as the 93rd Oscars was fast approaching.

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” she ended.

Anyaene concluded that following this approval, the NOSC might consider re-opening the portal for submission, which was closed at 11:59pm on October 2nd to allow over five other filmmakers with Pidgin English films to submit their films.

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She affirmed that this would only be a one-time opportunity as individual countries have their respective deadlines, which is always earlier to accommodate other processes so as not to miss the Academy’s deadline slated for December 1, 2020.

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