Oscars selection committee explains why Kunle Afolayan’s “Anikulapo” was rejected

The Nigeria Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) has reacted to the criticism that came with its decision not to submit Kunle Afolayan’s Anikulapo movie for the 2023 Oscars.

The NOSC for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), which is led by Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi and responsible for submitting a Nigerian film in the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars, didn’t approve the nomination of the film for 2023 Academy Awards.

The NOSC has now disclosed why Anikulapo wasn’t accepted.

A source close to the committee revealed that the decision by the committee to add “No Film is Eligible” as a voting category cost Nigeria the opportunity of having a film submitted for consideration for the Oscar.

“While Elesin 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 made it to the Oscars,” the source told Qed.ng.

Some members of NOSC are said to have confessed that 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.

Expressing his disappointment in 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 thinks it’s not worth submitting for the Oscars. Will keep doing my own thing”

Members of the committee are; Chineze Anyaene–Abonyi (Chairperson), 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.

Shaibu Husseini has since resigned from the committee, making his announcement via his Twitter handle after the NOSC’s decision not to select a film.

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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