The Nigeria Oscars committee which is led by Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi and responsible for submitting a Nigerian film in the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars, has now disclosed why Anikulapo wasn’t accepted.
A source close to the committee revealed that the decision by NOSC to add “No Film is Eligible” as a voting category cost Nigeria the opportunity of having a film submitted for consideration for the Oscar.
“While Eleshin Oba got five votes, Anikulapo and King of Thieves got one vote each.
“Eight members of the 15-member committee however voted for “No Film is Eligible”, a strange category that ensured none of the films makes it to the Oscars,” the source told Qed.
Some members of NOSC have confessed they cannot defend the decision not to submit a film, especially with Nigerian films doing well on various distribution platforms.
“The committee’s job is not to determine the film that will win an Oscar but to submit one that meets the criteria.
“Getting a title mention alongside other countries that have films submitted for the Oscars even if we do not win would have been good for the Nigerian film industry,” the source continued.
Members of the committee are; CHINEZE ANYAENE – ABONYI (Chair person), Ego Boyo, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, John Njamah, MAHMOOD ALI-BALOGUN, Stephanie Linus, Shaibu Husseini, BRUCE AYONOTE, Izu Ojukwu, ODUBAWO ADETOKUNBO, Moses Babatope, Yibo Koko, Meg Otanwa and Kenneth Gyang.
NOSC had a deadline of October 3 to submit a film for the 2023 Oscars but the committee announced on September 19 that it will not be submitting any.
Speaking on the decision, Anyaene-Abonyi said “Nigerian films had, no doubt, improved significantly as the awareness of the requirements has since grown among filmmakers, and potentially soon, we just might be bringing this award home in succession.”
It is the second year in a row that Nigeria would not submit a film for the IFF category of the Oscars.
The last submission by the committee was The Milkmaid in 2020.