Nigerian actress and director Genevieve Nnaji has been invited to be a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation which hands out the Oscars. As a new member, she now has an automatic right to vote for the Oscar winners for 10 years.
At the announcement of her membership to the Academy on Wednesday, she said she was honoured to be a part of the organisation.
— Genevieve Nnaji MFR (@GenevieveNnaji1) July 1, 2020
A few months ago, Genevieve starred and directed in Lionheart, which was Nigeria’s first-ever Oscar submission for a best international feature film in 2019. The film was unfortunately disqualified as a submission.
The film, which is about a woman running her father’s ailing bus company, was disqualified because it was mostly in English. Films in this category must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”
However, the dialogue in the 95-minute film was in English except for an 11-minute section in the Igbo language. At the time Njaji hit out saying that Nigeria “did not choose who colonised” the country.
Nnaji has starred in more than 80 films over the last two decades and her rise to prominence coincided with the exponential growth of Nollywood, Nigeria’s own Hollywood in Africa.