By Benjamin Njoku
Following the disqualification of Nigeria’s first-ever Oscar entry, Lionheart, last week by The Academy, another country’s entry reportedly has just been disqualified.
The Austrian film, Joy, written and directed by Sudabeh Mortezai, will not compete due to Academy rules. The film chronicles Nigerian sex workers in Vienna, Austria.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy found that two-thirds of the dialogue in Joy is in English. Austria’s selection committee found out about the news on Monday. The country’s official language is German.
As was the case with Lionheart, the Academy says that Joy violated an Academy rule that mandates entries in the Best International Film Category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.” The Oscars recently changed the category name from Best Foreign Language Film to Best International Film.
On Joy’s disqualification, the Academy told The Hollywood Reporter, “As we do every year, the Academy is in the process of reviewing the films submitted for the International Feature Film category to determine whether they meet our eligibility rules.
The film Joy, submitted by Austria, was just reviewed and is ineligible because only 33% of the dialogue is non-English.”
Joy, like Lionheart, bowed on Netflix to U.S. audiences after it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2018.