Nigerian Pidgin English Finally Accepted As A Foreign Language At The Oscars

Nigeria Pidgin The Oscars OnoBello

According to Premium Times, the Oscars has approved Nigerian Pidgin English as a non-English (Foreign language) recording dialogue in films.

The Nigeria Official Selection Committee For the Academy Awards submissions through its chairperson, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi, announced this in a press release on Saturday, revealing details of the timeline of the committee’s progress.

Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Oscar contention was Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut ‘Lionheart’ However, the film fell short in terms of spoken language and was struck out of the Oscar race.

The disqualification was based on the Academy rules stating that “An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

Anyaene explained that with every submission in the International Feature Category this year, the minutes and percentage of all individual languages in the country-selected film will be required by the Academy.

She continued that, “the request for approval began in December 2019, after which Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi visited the Academy’s office in Los Angeles in February 2020 where she met with representatives of the International Feature Film (IFF) Executives.”

The NOSC chairperson added that the outcome of the meeting was wider consultation with the IFF executives; ensuring approval is benchmarked and consistent with their screening matrix. In addition, this is in line with the Academy’s rule and definition of an international film as “a feature film with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue track.”

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