The Nigeria Official Selection Committee (NOSC) has maintained its stance that no Nigerian film should be submitted for the International Feature Film (IFF) award of the 2023 Oscars.
NOSC, last month, failed to submit an entry to represent Nigeria in the 2023 IFF, a situation that filmmakers had blamed on the introduction of a “no film eligible” category in the framework for the committee’s internal voting.
The voting procedure in September that resulted in the majority of the committee’s members voting against any of the three competing films—Kap Films’ “Anikulapo,” EbonyLife Films’ “Elesin Oba,” and Euphoria 360’s “King of Thieves” caused a serious internal problem.
This move caused tension within the committee, culminating in the resignation of some of NOSC’s members, which include Mildred Okwo, Shaibu Husseini and Kenneth Gyang.
A few pained by the turn of events wrote to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the organisers of the Oscars, seeking its intervention to allow filmmakers to vote again and submit an entry.
AMPAS later granted the NOSC a one-week extension to reconvene, a grace that was expire on October 21. Since then, several allegations of bribery and intense lobbying for ‘Elesin Oba’ were considered major reasons for the current unrest.
The NOSC has since been divided against itself, with members arguing that redoing the voting process amounts to asking filmmakers who already voted consciously to backtrack on their judgments about the earlier vetted entries.
In a leaked video recorded on Thursday October 20, 2022 , the committee voted 9-6 in favour of “protecting” the initial votes of September 3, 2022. Members of the 15-member committee who voted against include Mahmood Ali-Balogun, the committee’s Vice Chairperson, Mildred Okwo, Shaibu Husseini, Ego Boyo, Moses Babatope, and Kenneth Gyang.
In the second ballot following the AMPAS intervention, nine of the NOSC’s 15 members opted to not revote.
This is not the first NOSC would declare that no entry submitted to it was adjudged eligible to compete in the IFF.
After making significant inroads in 2021 with ‘Milkmaid’ and being dropped from the first shortlist, Nigeria didn’t come up with a movie to vie in the 2022 edition as the NOSC filed that none of its options were good enough.