Lionheart Represents The Way We Speak As Nigerians – Genevieve

Photo: Genevieve Nnaji/Twitter

 

Veteran Nollywood Actress, Genevieve Nnaji has reacted to the disqualification of Lionheart by the 2020 Oscars for the Best International Feature film category.

Lionheart which is Nnaji’s first directorial attempt, after over three decades of acting, was selected as Nigeria’s entry by the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC), only to be disqualified for having too much English language dialogue.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Oscar Entry ‘Lionheart’ Disqualified

Nnaji who took to Twitter to express her position on the recent development said the movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians.

She also took out time to respond to a reaction by Ava Marie DuVernay, an American filmmaker and distributor, who had expressed concern over the reason given by The Oscars for disqualifying Lionheart.

“Thank you so much @ava I am the director of Lionheart. This movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians. This includes English which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our country; thereby making us #OneNigeria. @TheAcademy.”

Nigeria’s Oscar Entry ‘Lionheart’ Disqualified

 

‘Lionheart,’ Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut has been disqualified by the Oscars for having too much English dialogue for the Best International Feature category.

The Nollywood movie produced by Chinny Onwugbenu in 2018, was Nigeria’s first-ever submission for the 2020 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

After critical review, the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) picked ‘Lionheart’, which was acquired by Netflix in September 2018, making it the first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.

RELATED: Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ Is Nigeria’s Submission For 2020 Oscars

The group announced the selection in October, following a statutory vetting and subsequent voting of entries received from Nigerian filmmakers at home and in the diaspora.

Released worldwide on January 4, 2019, after a December 2018 theatrical release in Nigeria, is Nnaji’s directorial debut.

According to a report by The Wrap, the fact that Lionheart is mostly in English and partly Igbo language breached an Academy rule that entries in the freshly renamed international feature film category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

The disqualification has dropped the number of films in contention for the award from 93 to 92.

Mixed Reactions Trail Lionheart’s Disqualification By Oscars

 

The disqualification of Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut ‘Lionheart’ by the 2020 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) has been generating reactions from social media users across the globe.

The movie, which is Nigeria’s first-ever submission for the Oscars in the Best International Feature film category, was disqualified prior to screening for Academy voters in the international category on Wednesday.

The majority of fans and celebrities have taken different standpoints on the recent development, while some were critical, some made a joke out of the issue which is the most discussed on twitter.

READ ALSO: Lionheart Represents The Way We Speak As Nigerians – Genevieve

Disqualification, An Eye Opener

While some social media users are not taking the disqualification with a pinch of salt, others are calling on Nigerian producers to pay attention to details and do greater works that will eventually go beyond the screening stage.

David Lammy and a few others questioned the chances of Nigerian films from ever making a name at the Oscars owing to English being regarded as the official language of Nigeria.

Celebrities like Victoria Kimani, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Victor Asemota were quick to show solidarity and support to Genevieve Nnaji and the entire cast and crew of Lionheart.

The Rule Remains

Some social media users, while lauding the feat Lionheart pulled since its submission and eventual disqualification, explained that the rules are clearly spelled out for the International Feature film category.

A Twitter user, Obed Jefferson posed a question, asking if the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) who picked ‘Lionheart’, failed to read the criteria before nominating the movie.

Nigerians were asked to stop being ignorant about the disqualification and understand the reasons why.

Kerry Washington Flaunts Igbo Skills, Congratulates Genevieve Nnaji On Oscars Selection

Hollywood actress Kerry Washington has proven that she can write the Igbo language flawlessly.

Washington took to her Twitter handle on Thursday to congratulate Genevieve Nnaji over the submission of her movie “Lionheart” as Nigeria’s selection for Oscars 2020.

“This is glorious!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also… Anyi nwere ike i ga rie nri ehihie n’oge n’adighi anya?” (We can have lunch sometime soon?) she wrote.

Nnaji replied: “Nwunye anyi daalu. Ka eme ya ngwa ngwa maka anyị nwere okwu. Love you sis” (We should have lunch soonest because we need to have a discussion).

Kerry Washington is married to Nnamdi Asomugha, a Nigerian-American actor from the Igbo tribe.

 

Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ Is Nigeria’s Submission For 2020 Oscars

 

The Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) has picked Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ as the country’s submission to the International Feature Film category of the 2020 Oscars.

The group announced the selection on Wednesday, following a statutory vetting and subsequent voting of entries received from Nigerian filmmakers at home and in the diaspora.

Produced by Chinny Onwugbenu, Chichi Nwoko, Genevieve Nnaji, and directed by Genevieve Nnaji, ‘Lionheart’ premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and was acquired on September 7, 2018, as first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.

The film stars Pete Edochie, Genevieve Nnaji, Nkem Owoh, Onyeka Onwenu, Kanayo .O. Kanayo, Chika Okpala, Kalu Ikeagwu, Sanni Mu’azu, Yakubu Mohammed, Ngozi Ezeonu, Peter Okoye (P-Square) and Chibuzor Azubuike (Phyno).


RELATED

Netflix Acquires Worldwide Rights To Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’

#Oscars 2020: Nigeria Announces New Selection Committee


Released worldwide on January 4, 2019 after a December 2018 theatrical release in Nigeria, ‘Lionheart’, which is Nnaji’s directorial debut, tells the story of a young woman, Adaeze Obiagu (Genevieve Nnaji), who becomes saddled with the responsibility of running her sick father’s business under the suffocating supervision of an uncle, played by Nkem Owoh.

Adaeze’s competing business instincts and family obligations become a catalyst for drastic change not everyone is ready to embrace.

Since the inauguration of the NOSC in 2014, this is the first time Nigeria is advancing a film to the Oscar, as previous entries received by the committee did not meet basic criteria.
Among the films received this year, the NOSC said it picked ‘Lionheart’ for its considerable shots at the rules.

The 12-man team boasts of notable Nigeria’s film industry stakeholders of international standing.

The team is Chaired by Chineze Anyaene, Producer and Director of ‘Ije’; Nollywood’s remarkable box office earner and foremost filmmaker and Chairman of Audio-Visual Rights Society (AVRS) of Nigeria, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun as Vice Chairman.

Others include Bruce Ayonote, CEO of Legend Box Office; filmmaker and talent manager, Mildred Okwo; Journalist/Film Critic, Shaibu Husseini; filmmaker/author, Charles Novia; award-winning filmmaker, CJ Obasi; top actor Ramsey Nouah; versatile director and cinematographer, Adetokunbo ‘DJ Tee’ Odubawo; movie producer, Ngozi Okafor; AFRIFF Founder, Chioma Ude and director of Green-White-Green, Abba Makama.

According to Anyaene, entries received this year show significant improvements from the previous years.

“While we cannot say that what we have are the best that Nigeria is capable of producing, it is heart-lifting to know that, from the strength of the entries received this year, we are truly ready for the Oscars. Filmmakers are gradually taking the Oscar rules into consideration, and I have no doubt that it is going to be more competitive, going forward,” she said.

Every year, each country outside the United States is expected to submit one film as long as it’s not primarily in English. Films in pidgin, which must be subtitled like any other language film are also considered under this category.

Formerly called ‘Best Foreign Language Film’, 87 countries vied for the shortlisted slots last year, and from a final five Oscar nominations, ‘Roma’, a Mexican film directed by Alfonso Cuarón picked the honour.

Netflix Acquires Worldwide Rights To Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’

 

Online movie streaming platform, Netflix, has announced that it has acquired the worldwide rights for Nigerian actress, Genevieve Nnaji’s movie, ‘Lionheart’.

Netflix made the announcement in a statement on Friday, saying “Lionheart marks the first Netflix original film from Nigeria”.

Genevieve also confirmed the news via her social media handle.

 

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🤗🥂🎉🇳🇬 #lionheartthemovie #netflixoriginal 🎭 #tiff18

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While she has remained a prominent player in Nigeria’s film industry (Nollywood) with her career spanning over 20 years, in recent years, she has ventured into film production, among other things.

Under her production company, The Entertainment Network (T.E.N.) in collaboration with other partners, she produced her first feature film in 2015, “Road To Yesterday” directed by Ishaya Bako – which has now ushered in her directorial debut, Lionheart.

The movie will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

Starring herself, (Genevieve) alongside Pete Edochie, Onyeka Onwenu, Nkem Owoh, amongst others, the film is an inspiring drama which addresses issues around family values, succession, and female empowerment.

“It highlights the various challenges faced by women, particularly in male-dominated industries,” Nnaji told Women and Hollywood.

Nollywood’s Genevieve May Sing Again!

Genevieve NnajiMusic and movie lovers are in for a double deal as Nollywood star actor, Genevieve Nnaji, may hit the studio to wax new songs, if “the right song comes”.

Geneveive told Channels Television’s entertainment correspondent, Mayowa Ogundele, that much at the VIP showing of her re-launched fashion line, St Genevieve, in Lagos, on Sunday.

Celebrities including Funke Akindele, Zainab Balogun, Betty Irabor, Mo Abudu, Stephanie Linus, Olisa Adibua, Oluchi Orlandi, Chigurl, Anika Okoye, Lola Maja, Mai Atafo, Lanre Da Silva, Yvonne Vixen and many others turned up at the event, which held at the Social Place, Victoria Island.

About her singing, she said: “I think everything comes at its own time, fashion is here at its own time. I don’t fight anything.

“I don’t believe I must do everything but if the right song comes and the right situation arises for me to lend my voice, I would definitely. So no, it’s not ruled out (don’t worry)”.

Genevieve, one of the most successful actors in Nollywood, re-launched her fashion line, after two years of it being off-radar. However, it appears she’s back full force, with a ready-to-wear collection named ‘Philomena’ after her grandmother.

Although she has played few roles in recent times, she certainly has been busy, endorsing brands and working on her new collection.

However, fans should not worry as she has said that her side projects will not deter her acting.

“Nothing affects my acting,” she said.

“Acting for me is something I do with soul, so it embodies a lot of things

“For me (I don’t know about anyone else) acting is spiritual , so if I do not embody a character, or a story, or a script, it’s going to be extremely difficult for me to be convincing and I don’t like that because I’m somewhat of a perfectionist.”

 

Being Married Has Helped Me In So Many Ways – Omoni Oboli

Omoni OboliNigerian actress, Omoni Oboli, says that contrary to usual beliefs that ladies are asked for sex for roles in Nollywood, she had never been approached with such demands.

She said this on Rubbin Minds on Channels Television, in response to a question on whether being married has limited her roles in the industry.

I’m not sure if it has. I think it has probably helped in so many ways because I hear a lot of girls say ‘some guy is asking me to sleep with them for a role or whatever’; I don’t get that.

“I don’t know if its because I’m married or the fact that they just respect me, but I really don’t get that. I am thinking perhaps in a good way that has helped me. They know not to bring it up.”

She would not deny the existence of the issue in the industry but noted that she had never reall y seen people own up to it.

She, however, noted that sexual harassment is not peculiar to the movie industry as “doctors want to sleep with nurses everyday”, an indication that almost every industry has the same challenge.

The media has been seen to be responsible for blowing up controversies around the issue of sexual harassment in Nollywood and she noted that this was because people involved are in the limelight.

On how her husband handles all of these, she said; “He’s fine. He is what I call a modern day man. He understands that this is my job, this is what I do and you’ve got to take the good and the bad.”

Omoni also spoke about the challenges in the Nigerian movie industry, admitting that indeed the standards could be better especially in scripts and production quality.

Citing the usual complaints about the sound quality of their movies, she highlighted the situation whereby they have had to shoot with power generators for most productions as one of the major factors responsible for this.

Omoni Oboli also denied rumours that she had “beef” with fellow actress, Genevieve Nnaji. She explained how the controversy started off an interview granted by a movie director she had worked with and who decided to proclaim her as the best in Nigeria based on their working relationship.Omoni Oboli

She put the blame for the rumours on the tabloids, as she had no idea how the media created an assumption that there was competition and started the comparison of the two actresses.

Omoni once had her close shave with a scandal when she was spotted at an event – a presidential screening of a movie – with a dress considered to have shown a lot of skin.

This generated massive media backlash as many considered the appearance to have contradicted her usual homely image.

She noted that she bought the dress in company of her husband while on holiday abroad and they both did not find anything wrong about it but the outfit was exaggerated by the angle from which the photograph which circulated in the media was taken.

She admitted that if she knew how much controversies her innocent decision to look good for a red carpet event would have caused she might not have worn the dress. Although she also registered her suspicion that the “so much talk” was fanned by certain people who had sinister motives against her.

Her current movie, Being Mrs Eliot, has been in the cinema and she wants all Nigerians to go to the cinemas to see the movie and help develop the industry with their comments and patronage.

Omoni Oboli, who studied Foreign Languages and speaks fluent French, also revealed that she has an ongoing project with the French Embassy in Nigeria to produce a bilingual movie.

Rubbin’ Minds: Toolz Evicts Ebuka From Live TV In Birthday Surprise

Ebuka HotseatThe Sunday July 13 edition of Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television fell on the eve of the show host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu’s birthday and it turned out the way he never planned.

Celebrated radio girl, Toolz, stormed the Channels Television studio midway into the live programme on the covert invitation of the producer when Ebuka had just announced that he was about to have his second guest.

As the show host, Ebuka had been accused of being mean to guests with his consistent probing, and it was time for him to have a feel of what he had put several celebrities through with Toolz bombarding him with daring questions about his career and private life and of course relationships with women.

Although his explanations would not save him from Toolz’ well planned payback, he explained why he took the daring path as he was tired of the regular interviews that celebrities grant where they answer the same set of questions. He believed it made more impact asking celebrities what people are really asking on the streets and on social media.

The good looking presenter who clocks 32 on July 14 confessed to being nervous as he was bewildered by the pleasant coup by his colleagues and the demand for honest answers to questions thrown at him.

He revealed his untold opinions about some of the celebrities he had interviewed; the best, the worst, the ones he underrated but wowed him and the ones who disappointed. From Tonto Dike, to Davido, Reminisce, Toke Makinwa, Omawunmi, and May-D, he had a thing to say about them all.

He also revealed that the one person he was dying to interview was the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan. He stated that he felt the President had not been asked the kind of questions he should be asked and also the ones he would love to be asked.

Getting personal, Ebuka could not count the number of tattoos on his body but he disclosed where some of them are placed, what they mean and what next he would be putting up on his body, yes he loves tattoos that much.

He tried hard to put up an act he had been faced with from several guests when the issue of women came up but Toolz wouldn’t bend. Eventually, he admitted – probably for the first time in the media – having dated TV presenter, Lamide Akintobi.

Genevieve Nnaji, Rita Dominic, Omawunmi are among female celebrities Ebuka considered special and attractive but his special closeness to Rita Dominic would not be swept under the carpet by the ceremonial host but Ebuka maintained that they were just friends, adding, “If I wanted it to be more, it would have been more since.”

Then came the moment for Toolz’ set of mean questions just the way Ebuka dished them out to celebrities on the show and with his answers he got some of the crew members shaking their heads.

On his several confessions, Ebuka spoke about how he had managed to stay on the minds of Nigerians after breaking through via a reality TV show, considering how many of such persons have gone quiet over the years.

He also gave his own clarification between arrogance, self-confidence and self-worth, the last two being what describes him, contrary to what some people might think.

The few minutes of the exciting interview which forced Ebuka unto the hot seat on his own set might just be one of the most memorable birthday surprises Ebuka would ever experience. He took a deep breath as the show ended.

 

Channels Book Club: Reginald Ofodile Shares Thoughts On ‘HOAYS’ Movie

channels book clubIn January 2007, Chimamanda Adichie released her novel, ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ which went on, that same year, to win the orange prize for fiction. The award is given annually for the best original full-length novel written by a woman in English; Adichie’s prize amounted to £30 000.

In 2013, UK based novelist and playwright, Biyi Bandele directed the adaptation of half of a yellow sun into a drama film. The film is a love story that follows two sisters who are caught up in the outbreak of the Nigerian civil war.

The movie which starred Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Onyeka Onwenu, Genevieve Nnaji and OC Ukeje, first premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. On Saturday, 12th of April, 2014, the movie premiered to the excitement of both the entertainment and literati communities in Lagos.

In this edition of the programme, Reginald Ofodili, who featured in the movie and who is also the author of the novel titled, ‘Thou Shalt Not’, discussed the Half of A Yellow Sun movie, novel, Chimamanda Adichie, Biyi Bandele and related things.

Also, we featured an interview with 15 year old Nigerian writer, author and singer, Precious Udo.

EN: Mercy Johnson, Genevieve Nnaji, Mercy Aigbe, Others Dazzle At AMVCA

African movie stars dazzled on the red carpet of the recently concluded African Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, which held in Lagos and attracted the big names in the movie industry.

Check out popular actors, Beverly Naya, Mercy Aigbe, Majid Michel, Mercy Johnson, Genevieve Nnaji in stunning outfits.

October 1st Will Be A ‘Fantastic Film’- Kunle Afolayan

Also, EN caught up with award winning film maker, Kunle Afolayan, who spoke about the highly anticipated big budget flick, October First.

Afolayan, disclosed that the inspiration for the movie was “from the fact that I was looking for a story set in a small community.” He added that the script which was written by Tunde Babalola was considered because he had never done a “period piece.”

The film director and actor, who recently took to Facebook to express his frustrations with certain set-backs in the country, said his upcoming movie is significant “to the present state of Nigeria as a nation.”

The Celebrity Couple Back? D’banj and Genevieve Step Out Together

Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji stepped out with the Kokomaster D’banj at the Gulder Club Ultimate party, which was held last Saturday.

Looking dapper in a white shirt, straight cut black jeans and a black waist coat, Dbanj drove into the event in a Black Bentley, seconds after Genevieve came in her G-Wagon.

The second season of GCU, which hosted some of the biggest names in the Nigerian entertainment and media industry had the two celebrities partying and enjoying each others company throughout their stay at the event.

Other celebrities who attended the 2-day event include Senior Vice President, Viacom Africa, Alex Okosi, Dr Sid, Tee A, Tee Y Mix, JJC, Kunle Afolayan, Tunde Ednut, Toni Kan, Chuddy K, Weird MC, Zaina, Jay Jay Okocha, Tosin Martins, Black Magic among others.

 

 

Genevieve and D'banj
Dr Sid, Frank Edoho and Dbanj
The Whisper