By Juliet Ebirim
The Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) has announced a call for feature film entries by Nollywood filmmakers into the 93rd Academy Awards® (Oscars). The Academy Awards recently opened entries to honour the best new films released globally, with the event set to hold on 25 April 2021.
According to the committee’s chairperson, Chineze Anyaene, the country’s first submission in 2019 represented a pivotal moment for the industry, as the committee has witnessed a rapid rise in the quality of Nigerian films, especially in storytelling. With many filmmakers and industry practitioners aspiring for better creative and business opportunities, the submission has opened a new dimension for the industry, which would also attract more investors
“We were able to make our first-ever entry submission to the Oscars for the International Feature Film Awards category as a country, and the awareness this has brought to the industry as a whole has been amazing. It has opened the industry to other markets, and we hope to see partnerships with other industries soon,” she explained.
The global COVID-19 pandemic mandated the closure of commercial motion picture theatres worldwide. Until further notice – and for the 93rd Academy Awards year only, the country selected films that had a previously planned theatrical release but are initially made available through a reputable commercial streaming distribution service or video on demand may qualify for awards consideration in the International Feature category for the 93rd Academy Awards.
Revealing the new rules for award participation, Chineze stated that “due to guidelines and government-mandated rules to manage Coronavirus spread, filmmakers have to provide to the Academy documentation (original document(s) and an English translation) of government-mandated theatre/cinema closure dates, previously planned theatrical release and steaming distribution or video on demand agreements”.
Eligible films have to be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member site within 60 days of the film official selection. Films that, in any version, receive a nontheatrical public exhibition or distribution before their first qualifying release will not be eligible for consideration.
According to the Selection Committee, submission is set to close on 2 October 2020. Filmmakers can submit their entries by visiting the NOSC website. The Selection Committee is officially recognised by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciencesto make submissions on behalf of the Nigerian film industry. The 93rdNigerian Oscar Selection Committee members include Chineze Anyaene (Chairperson), Mahmood Ali-Balogun (Vice-Chairperson), Adetokunbo Odubawo, Bruce Ayonote, Charles Novia, Ego Boyo, Mildred Okwo, Moses Babatope, Omoni Oboli, Shuaibu Husseini, Victor Okhai and Yibo Koko.