Nigerian filmmakers are being called to submit their films for the 94th Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, by the Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences. The NOSC will conduct the selection process and present one film as Nigeria’s entry in the International Feature Film (IFF) Award category. According to the committee, the window for film submissions is now open and will close on October 4, 2021.
The Academy annually bestows the IFF Award for a feature-length motion picture produced outside of the United States with 50 per cent or more non-English dialogue. Pidgin English was approved as a qualification for this category by the Academy in 2020. Other requirements for the 94th Academy Awards include proper English subtitles, exhibition formats, and theatrical releases in Nigeria for at least seven consecutive days between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, films that were slated for a theatrical release but made available through a streaming service are also eligible. The NOSC also revealed that award-winning filmmaker Izu Ojukwu and star Nollywood actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde would serve on the selection committee. Izu Ojukwu, scriptwriter, cinematographer, and director of ‘Sitanda,’ ’76,’ and ‘White Waters,’ and a voting member of the Academy since 2018, Omotola, are expected to bring their pedigree and experiences to bear in the selection process for a Nigerian entry.
The NOSC is led by filmmaker and entrepreneur Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi. Including committee members, chairman of the Audio-Visual Rights Society of Nigeria, Mahmood Ali-Balogun; Filmmaker/Talent Manager, Mildred Okwo; legendary actress and filmmaker, Ego Boyo; Director and Cinematographer, Adetokunbo’ DJ Tee’ Odubawo; and Theatre Practitioner, Yibo Koko.
Others include Moses Babatope, Managing Director of FilmOne Entertainment; Bruce Ayonote, CEO of Legend Box Office; Victor Okhai, Filmmaker and Founder of In-Short Film Festival; Omoli Oboli, renowned actress and producer; and Shaibu Husseini, Journalist/Film Critic.