Nkem ‘Osuofia’ Owoh (left) and Genevieve Nnaji in ‘Lionheart’ (2018). The movie, which shows the Nigerian star actress taking full creative control of the kind of empowering story that endeared her to Nollywood audiences all over the world, marked the first Netflix original film from Nigeria / Photo: TIFF

Genevieve Nnaji’s film submitted for Oscars

The Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) has picked Genevieve Nnaji’s ‘Lionheart’ as the country’s submission to the International Feature Film category of the 2020 Oscars.

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

Produced by Chinny Onwugbenu, Chichi Nwoko, Genevieve Nnaji and directed by Genevieve Nnaji, ‘Lionheart’ premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and was acquired on September 7, 2018, as first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.

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The film was released worldwide on 4 January 2019 on Netflix.

It was selected as the Nigerian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. It was the first time that Nigeria had submitted a film for the Best International Feature Film Oscar.

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The film stars 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 tells the story of Adaeze Obiagu (portrayed by Nnaji), who wants to substitute for her father, Chief Ernest Obiagu (Pete Edochie), when he can no longer run his company due to health issues. Her father, however, asks his brother Godswill (Nkem Owoh) to take his place, and Godswill and Adaeze have to work hard together to save the company from debt and to not lose it to the businessman Igwe Pascal (Kanayo O. Kanayo).

Kola Tella

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