GENEVIEVE NNAJI’s “LIONHEART” Picked By The “Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee” (NOSC) As Nigeria’s Submission To The International Feature Film Category For Oscars 2020.

Lioness, Genevieve Nnaji.

The announcement of the selection of the film, “LionHeart” as Nigeria’s best movie for the year 2020 for the Oscars was made by the group following a statutory vetting and subsequent voting of entries received from Nigerian filmmakers at home and in the Diaspora.


Featuring Pete Edochie, Genevieve Nnaji, Nkem Owoh, Onyeka Onwenu, Kanayo .O. Kanayo, Chika Okpala, Kalu Ikeagwu, Sanni Mu’azu, Yakubu Mohammed, Ngozi Ezeonu, Peter Okoye (P-Square) and Chibuzor Azubuike (Phyno), “LionHeart”, which was Produced by Chinny Onwugbenu, Chichi Nwoko, Genevieve Nnaji, and directed by Genevieve Nnaji, premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and was acquired on September 7, 2018, as first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.

Released worldwide on January 4, 2019 after a December 2018 theatrical release in Nigeria, ‘Lionheart’, which was Genevieve’s directorial debut, tells the story of a young woman, Adaeze Obiagu (Genevieve Nnaji), who was saddled with the responsibility of running her sick father’s business empire under the suffocating supervision of an uncle, played by Nkem Owoh.

Adaeze’s competing business instincts and family obligations become a catalyst for drastic change not everyone is ready to embrace.

Since the inauguration of the NOSC in 2014, this is the first time Nigeria is advancing a film to the Oscar, as previous entries received by the committee did not meet basic criteria and among the films received this year, the NOSC said it picked ‘Lionheart’ for its considerable shots at the rules.

The 12-man team boasts of notable Nigeria’s film industry stakeholders of international standing, led by Chineze Anyaene who is the Chair and also the Producer and Director Nollywood’s remarkable box office earner, ‘Ije’, Chairman of Audio-Visual Rights Society (AVRS) of Nigeria, Mahmood Ali-Balogun as Vice Chairman, Bruce Ayonote, CEO of Legend Box Office; filmmaker and talent manager, Mildred Okwo; Journalist/Film Critic, Shaibu Husseini; filmmaker/author, Charles Novia; award-winning filmmaker, CJ Obasi; top actor Ramsey Nouah; versatile director and cinematographer, Adetokunbo ‘DJ Tee’ Odubawo; movie producer, Ngozi Okafor; AFRIFF Founder, Chioma Ude and director of Green-White-Green, Abba Makama.

According to Chineze Anayaene, “While we cannot say that what we have are the best that Nigeria is capable of producing, it is heart-lifting to know that, from the strength of the entries received this year, we are truly ready for the Oscars. Filmmakers are gradually taking the Oscar rules into consideration, and I have no doubt that it is going to be more competitive, going forward”.

Every year, each country outside the United States is expected to submit one film as long as it’s not primarily in English. Films in pidgin, which must be subtitled like any other language film are also considered under this category, she said.

Formerly called ‘Best Foreign Language Film’, 87 countries vied for the shortlisted slots last year, and from a final five Oscar nominations, ‘Roma’, a Mexican film directed by Alfonso Cuarón picked the honor.