The Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee has called for feature film entries by Nollywood filmmakers into the 93rd Academy Awards (Oscars).
Chineze Anyaene, the committee’s chairperson, said in a statement on Thursday that the Academy Awards recently opened entries to honor the best new films released globally, with the event set to hold on April 25, 2021.
Anyaene said the country’s first submission in 2019 represented a pivotal moment for the industry.
According to her, the committee had witnessed a rapid rise in the quality of Nigerian films, especially in storytelling, with many filmmakers and industry practitioners aspiring for better creative and business opportunities.
She said: “The submission has opened a new dimension for the industry which would also attract more investors.
“We were able to make our first-ever entry submission to the Oscars for the International Feature Film Awards category as a country, and the awareness this has brought to the industry as a whole has been amazing.
“It has opened the industry to other markets, and we hope to see partnerships with other industries soon.”
On the new rules for award participation, Anyaene said: “Due to guidelines and government-mandated rules to manage Coronavirus spread, filmmakers had to provide to the Academy documentation, original documents and an English translation of government-mandated theater/cinema closure dates.
“Also, previously planned theatrical release and steaming distribution or video on demand agreements.”
Speaking further, Anyaene said eligible films had to be made available on the secure Academy Screening Room member site within 60 days of the film official selection.
She noted that films that in any version received a non-theatrical public exhibition or distribution before their first qualifying release would not be eligible for consideration.
Anyaene said: “More information on special rules for the award can be found on thenosc.org.special-rules-for-iff-awards.
The selection committee said the COVID-19 pandemic mandated the closure of commercial motion picture theaters worldwide until further notice.
Anyaene added that for the 93rd Academy Awards year only, the country selected films that had a previously planned theatrical release, but was initially made available through a reputable commercial streaming distribution service or video on demand.
According to her, this may qualify for awards consideration in the international feature category for the 93rd Academy Awards.
She said the selection committee was officially recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to make submissions on behalf of the Nigerian film industry.
She said: “The 93rd Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee members include Chineze Anyaene (Chairperson), Mahmood Ali-Balogun (Vice-Chairperson), Adetokunbo Odubawo, Bruce Ayonote, Charles Novia, Ego Boyo, Mildred Okwo, Moses Babatope, Omoni Oboli, Shuaibu Husseini, Victor Okhai and Yibo Koko.”
Reports say that the Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee was registered under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as “The Oscar Selection Association of Nigeria”.
It is a cultural organization whose mission is to recognize and celebrate the art of cinema by showcasing Nigerian films and filmmakers to the Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars for the category of Best Foreign Film.
The committee is expected to submit and represent Nigerian feature films at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards, popularly known as the OSCARS