The founder of SwiftaCorp, a pioneering African software and technology services group, Victor Asemota says Lionheart was a feelgood movie, but did not play to The Academy Awards rules.
He also said the movie was largely free from typical Nollywood loudness and abrasive acting deemed as dramatic.
Asemota said this in a series of tweets on his official verified twitter handle in reaction to the disqualification of LionHeart by the Academy Awards.
Lionheart is partially in the Igbo language of Nigeria. But it is mostly in English, which violates an Academy rule that entries in the category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
The film had not been vetted by the Academy’s International Feature Film Award Executive Committee in advance of the Oct. 7 announcement of qualifying films but was recently viewed and determined not to qualify in a category that until this year was known as Best Foreign Language Film.
Asemota tweets read, “Lionheart was a “feelgood” movie and I loved it. It was largely free from typical Nollywood “loudness” and abrasive acting deemed as dramatic. The part I loved the most was when Pete Edochie spoke Hausa. That part won me over than all UpNorth (another great one) did for the North.”
“@TheAcademy has its rules and Lionheart wasn’t playing by them. Genevieve Nnaji wanted to make and sell a good movie to an audience and she succeed in doing so. That she didn’t quite hit the mark with the Academy means she and others need to go back to the drawing board.”
“I have been hounded regularly about a book or books on entrepreneurship in Africa and I have struggled with it. I have asked myself what will be the type of book that takes what is innately ours to the world rather than another overlay of outside principles on our experience.”
“One of the ideas I have had and which has been a strong contender is “Warri idioms and proverbs and their everyday business or entrepreneurship applications”. Nigerian English of Pidgin English while derived from English is a different language and I have made a case for it.”
“While Lionheart and others have shown part of the Nigerian experience, we forget something that Chiwetel did for “The boy who harnessed the wind.” He had to learn another language and featured that language prominently in the movie. That is because Chiwetel understood the academy.”
“Chiwetel is also a Nigerian and also African. If Chiwetel could learn another African language to be able to showcase that culture properly, it means we should be looking up to him for guidance. We have truly exceptional Nigerians in many fields globally. Study and emulate them.”
“Sade Adu is a Grammy winning Nigerian musician. The closest to her so far has been Asa. Fela is a legend who took our culture to the stratosphere by making Afrobeats global. I love that we now sing in our own languages and following Fela’s footsteps. Let us be proud of our own.”
“Okeh Enelamah once told me that the hallmark of a true professional is excellence and I believe him. Excellence doesn’t need acceptance, it thrives well above it. It becomes a standard. Let Africa create standards from excellence and not mediocrity.”