Oscars selection committee speaks on rejecting Kunle Afolayan’s movie ‘Anikulapo’

The Nigerian Oscars Committee (NOSC) has responded to the widespread criticism that accompanied its decision not to nominate Kunle Afolayan’s Anikulapo for the 2023 Academy Awards.

Despite the positive reviews Anikulapo has received in countries around the world since its debut, the Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) did not approve of it being nominated for the 2023 Academy Awards.

Expressing his disappointment on his movie rejection, Kunle Afolayan via Instagram wrote “I am so pleased and delighted that the whole world has decided to tag ANIKULAPO film a masterpiece even though the Nigeria Oscar selection committee think its not worth submitting for the Oscars. Will keep doing my own thing”

The Nigeria Oscars committee which is led by Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi and responsible for submitting a Nigerian film in the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars, has now disclosed why Anikulapo wasn’t accepted.

A source close to the committee revealed 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.

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.

Members of the committee are; CHINEZE ANYAENE – ABONYI (Chair person), Ego Boyo, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, John Njamah, MAHMOOD ALI-BALOGUN, Stephanie Linus, Shaibu Husseini, BRUCE AYONOTE, Izu Ojukwu, ODUBAWO ADETOKUNBO, Moses Babatope, Yibo Koko, Meg Otanwa and Kenneth Gyang.

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.



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