The Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has faced heavy criticism over its decision not to submit the three films that it to the final of the selection process for the 2023 Oscars.
Led by Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi, NOSC is responsible for submitting a Nigerian film in the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars.
The committee came under fire following the rejection of the late Biyi Bandele’s Eleshin Oba: The King’s Horseman, Kunle Afolayan’s Anikulapo and Femi Adebayo’s King of Thieves (The three Yoruba Language films that made it to the final of the selection process).
A source close to the committee told our correspondent 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 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.ng.
Kunle Afolayan also tackled the committee for not submitting his movie which he according to him has been described as ‘a masterpiece‘.
Our correspondent also gathered that 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.
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.