Oscars selection committee Finally speaks on rejecting ‘Anikulapo’

The Nigerian Oscars committee (NOSC) has finally spoken on the reason they rejected Kunle Afolayan’s Anikulapo movie for the 2023 Oscars.

Empire earlier reported that despite the positive reviews Anikulapo has gotten in countries all over the world since its premiere, the Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) did not find it worthy for 2023 Academy Awards nomination list.

Expressing his disappointment on his movie rejection, Kunle Afolayan via Instagram wrote “I am so pleased and delighted that the whole world has decided to tag ANIKULAPO film a masterpiece even though the Nigeria Oscar selection committee think its not worth submitting for the Oscars. Will keep doing my own thing”.

Giving reasons for the rejection, the Nigeria Oscars committee which is led by Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi and responsible for submitting a Nigerian film in the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars, revealed that the decision by NOSC to add “No Film is Eligible” as a voting category cost Nigeria the opportunity of having a film submitted for consideration for Oscar.

“While Eleshin Oba got five votes, Anikulapo and King of Thieves got one vote each.

“Eight members of the 15-member committee however voted for “No Film is Eligible”, a strange category that ensured none of the films makes it to the Oscars,” the source told Qed.

“The committee’s job is not to determine the film that will win an Oscar but to submit one that meets the criteria.

“Getting a title mention alongside other countries that have films submitted for the Oscars – even if we do not win – would have been good for the Nigerian film industry,” the source disclosed.

NOSC had a deadline of October 3 to submit a film for the 2023 Oscars but the committee announced on September 19 that it will not be submitting any.

Speaking on the decision, Anyaene-Abonyi (Chair person) said “Nigerian films had, no doubt, improved significantly as the awareness of the requirements has since grown among filmmakers, and potentially soon, we just might be bringing this award home in succession.”

This is the second year in a row that Nigeria would not submit a film for the IFF category of the Oscars.

The last submission by the committee was The Milkmaid in 2020.

Meanwhile, in the course of criticising the movie, ‘Anikulapo’, Nigerian gay rights activist, Bisi Alimi without mincing words rated the movie which currently is among the top ten on streaming platform Netflix, 2/10.

According to the public speaker, “Anikulapo is SHIT! 2/10.

“What I have learnt from Anikulapo and many films like it is that Nigerians like bare minimums; you don’t even need to put in the effort, just the minimum with loads of shinning, and you are god!

“I am not critiquing the movie cos I want to be the odd one out, because tbh, that’s too much job with Nigerians. I am critiquing it because it has potential and it lost it 3mins into the film.

“First, that film has no business being 2hrs! Nigerian filmmakers need to stop that rubbish of pushing film to 2hrs and then filling it up with all the garbage in idumota.

“Many have argued the set design was unique; sorry, I didn’t see it. I guess what people mistake for the set is the camera. The film made use of good cameras, and it made the picture very clean; believe me, Tunde Kelani has been doing that for ages, nothing new.

“I was upset about the set portrayal of the Oyo empire. Which Oyo was that? Ibeju lekki oyo? And that bird? What was that? Not even in the days of Eye Jumijoke do we have birds like this.

“That brings me to the dialogue! Jeez! Nothing profound, nothing in depth, just basic. I think he was trying to avoid too much talking in the film, but then, there was less non-verbal acting, so the dialogue most times made no sense.

“And we can now ask the question about the story. What was the story about? If it was about a man who can wake the dead because of his encounter with death and the power he received, why didn’t he get the ability from the bird himself?

“Shola Shobowale did well; glad she was not typecast, but is she needed in that film? The answer is no. The Oyo palace story was to build up to explain why the Olori did what she did, why I get that, and why spent more than 30mins telling us.

“The ending? Does it mean there will be part 2? And how many times did he die in the film? I counted 3. Do they make any sense? The dying, I mean, cos the only death that has meaning to the film was the second one with the Olori.

“I am not here to spoil your joy, and I just wanted good films to come out of Nigeria. I do. As a graduate of theatre, it pains me when I see the bare minimum from people who can do better, and this is not about budget; I have watched movies shot on mobile phones and meagre budget telling a compelling story and great acting.

“Today is Monday, and I am not here for wawulence before you people will come and be attacking me; I am just sharing my opinion; you don’t have to agree with it. Peace!”

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