Nigerian veteran actress, Genevieve Nnaji directed #LionHeart as her debut movie directorial

Nigerian veteran actress, Genevieve Nnaji directed #LionHeart as her debut movie directorial

Why #TheLionHeart Academy Nomination is Big for Nigeria Film Industry

The Oscar Awards otherwise called the Academy Awards is the oldest and at the same, currently the most prestigious merit award in the global film industry. About 8000 voters in the global award have maintained a superior standard, upped every year since May 26th 1929 when the first Academy Award was presented in at a private dinner hosted by Douglas Fairbanks in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The 2020 edition is going to be the 92nd edition of the award and it is the first time a Nigerian movie is going to the international scene on the Academy platform. So, it is a big deal. Nigerian movie industry has produced uncountable number of movie from the Yoruba to Hausa to Igbo movies and to movies produced in other Nigerian languages. But Nigerian movie industry has had its own criticisms based on shoddy jobs. Producers want to avoid cost, so, they cut corners to produced distasteful movies.

But recently, some Nigerian movies like October 1, produced by Kunle Afolayan have proven that Nigerian movies could have content when properly done.

Now, #LionHeart, directed by Genevieve Nnaji and produced by Chinny Onwugbenu is blazing a trail. Since its premiering at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, #LionHeart has won the heart of many movie enthusiasts. It has been acquired on September 7, 2018, as first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria. It is the first film that the beloved actress was directing, featuring herself and some Nigerian movie icons like Pete Edochie, Nkem Owoh, and musician Onyeka Onwenu,

If by January or February 2020 the Lion Heart wins the award on the best International Film Category, it is going to join classic movies like the Jurassic Park of 1993 and the all-time Titanic. And even if it did not, a strong message has been sent to the world that there is an interesting content in Nigeria’s history.

It is no wonder Ms Nnaji took to the Instagram handle on Thursday to celebrate her handiwork. She is a proud veteran actress and movie entrepreneur who deserve to celebrate herself and also be celebrated by everyone who understands the depth she came from.

She also appreciated her team and fan base for their wonderful support.

“The Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee has chosen @lionheartthemovie to represent Nigeria for the 2020 Academy Award for Best International Film!

“This is the first entry ever for Nigeria. It’s an honour to be a part of such a pivotal moment in the history of Nigerian cinema.

“A moment we know will be replicated as our stories continue to resonate with audiences around the world.

 “On behalf of the entire LIONHEART team and TEN Productions, we are grateful for this recognition and proud to carry the torch. Thank you all for the love and support thus far,” she wrote.

Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee had on Wednesday picked Genevieve’s ‘Lionheart’ as the country’s submission to the International Feature Film category of the 2020 Oscars.

The group also announced the selection following a statutory vetting and subsequent voting of entries received from Nigerian filmmakers at home and in the diaspora.

 The Academy Awards ceremony was first broadcast on radio in 1930 and televised for the first time in 1953. It is the oldest worldwide entertainment awards ceremony and is now seen live worldwide. It is the oldest of the four major annual American entertainment awards; its other three equivalents – the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater, and the Grammy Awards for music – are modeled after the Academy Awards.

Editorial Chief, Nigerian Bureau

Kings UBA is a Nigerian journalist and writer. I have reported for major local and international news organisations. I write satire. In 2017, I started contributing stories primarily to Discover Africa News Network. I can be reached on I currently manage Discover Africa News social media handles