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, on Wednesday announced the selection following a statutory vetting and subsequent voting of entries received from Nigerian filmmakers at home and in the diaspora.
Lionheart, produced by Chinny Onwugbenu, Chichi Nwoko, Genevieve Nnaji, and directed by Genevieve Nnaji, was premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and was acquired on September 7, 2018, as first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.
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).
Released worldwide on January 4, 2019 after a December 2018 theatrical release in Nigeria, ‘Lionheart’, which is Nnaji’s directorial debut, tells the story of a young woman, Adaeze Obiagu (Genevieve Nnaji), who becomes saddled with the responsibility of running her sick father’s business 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.
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.
The team is Chaired by Chineze Anyaene, Producer and Director of ‘Ije’; Nollywood’s remarkable box office earner and foremost filmmaker and Chairman of Audio-Visual Rights Society (AVRS) of Nigeria, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun as Vice Chairman.
Others include 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.
Anyaene added that the entries received this year show significant improvements from the previous years.
“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,” she said.
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.
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 honour.
US based ToppyK holds Asa Day, harps on value re-orientation
ToppyK International has announced its intention to hold a cultural event tagged ‘Asa Day’ in the United States of America geared towards cultural revival and value re-orientation abroad.
The event billed for Friday 17 July 2020 will hold at Sacred Heart Church, 537 Grove Street, Irvington, U.S . Also, there would be exposition as well as an award ceremony.
According to a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Alhaja Kudirat Temitope popularly known as ‘Queen of New Jersey’, and made available to Mega Icon Magazine, “the event is going to be loud. Let’s showcase our talents and the beauty of our cultural heritage. All tribes are invited. Let’s come together as one and show the world how great we are.
“ToppyK International is an international organization that is registered in United states that deals basically with fashion and entertainment promotion for less than a decade.
“Asa day programme is all about the exhibition of the values of the cultural heritage of Africa, dealing with Nigeria as a prominent and influential country in the continent
She stressed that the Asa Day programme is aimed at bringing together all the major tribes in Nigeria – Yoruba, Hausa and Ibo and exploring our cultural backgrounds in music, dance and fashion among others.
“It is to further achieve the unification of Africans in the United states, Nigerians in particular, and by extension translate these to further enhancements of the potential of individuals to better the lots of our present abode, the United states and by extension on home countries,” Temitope said.
Gbajabiamila Congratulates Fuji Idol, K1 on Coronation as First Mayegun of Yorubaland
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila has congratulated the King of Fuji Music, Olasunkanmi Ayinde-Marshal, on his selection as the first Mayegun of Yorubaland by His Royal Majesty, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III.
Gbajabiamila said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi in Abuja on Sunday that Ayinde-Marshal’s selection as the first Mayegun of Yorubaland speaks volume of his contributions to the Yoruba race.
The Speaker noted with delight how Ayinde-Marshal, popularly known as K1 De Ultimate, has been mesmerizing Nigerians with his Fuji genre of music over the years.
He said Ayinde-Marshal, who is to be installed by the Alaafin on Monday, January 13, 2020 at the palace of His Royal Majesty in Oyo, has carved a niche for himself, which most Nigerians, especially lovers of Fuji music, have come to cherish so much.
Gbajabiamila recalled with nostalgia how Ayinde-Marshal popularised his music among Nigerians across the length and breadth of the country, irrespective of tribe or ethnicity.
“I have no doubts on my mind that the installation of Olasunkami Ayinde-Marshal as the first Mayegun of Yorubaland is an honour well deserved.
“This is because he has not only become a household name in Yorubaland and indeed Nigeria as a whole, but he has also been a good ambassador of the Yoruba people to the world.
“Here is one individual that has traversed the music industry in Nigeria for over three decades, and not for once has he failed to use his music to promote good values.
“I can say without equivocation that His Royal Majesty and the Oyomesis’ have made the right decision of choosing K1 De Ultimate as the first Mayegun of Yorubaland.
“I congratulate Ayinde-Marshal on this great feat,” the Speaker said.
Mayegun: Alaafin Suspends Fuji Idol, Ayinde’s Chieftaincy Installation
The Imperial Majesty, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has suspended the scheduled chieftaincy installation of Fuji icon, King Wasiu Ayinde as the new Mayegun of Yorubaland.
According to palace source, this decision was in line with the spirit of common empathy and solidarity with the Akesan Market Fire victims.
The installation of the Fuji idol, Wasiu Ayinde as the Mayegun of Yorubaland, which was earlier billed for Monday, 13th January, 2020, has been summarily suspended.
“What befell the people of Oyo, in terms of losses and ruins, is unquantifiable and heart-wrenching.
“The institution of the Alaafin of Oyo respects the mood of the masses. We cannot be celebrating while our people are groaning in pains and utter agonies”, Prince Adeyemi Akeem added.
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