The Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, is ranked third in the world after Hollywood, and Bollywood, but is yet to win an international award. A member of the Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee, Shaibu Husseini, has attributed the failure of Nigerian movies to win international awards to poor quality of production and terrible subtitles.
Husseini said the Oscar award, for instance, was meant for films produced in foreign languages, and Nollywood movies that use subtitles do not meet up to that standard, and has never been nominated since the inception of Oscar award, among others.
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According to Mr Husseini’s statement, he said:
Nigeria has not been lucky to have entries there because we don’t produce targeting those kinds of awards. We just produce to send DVD into the market. There is no conscious effort to produce for Oscars. All these films that you see getting into Oscar, whether in the main category, even the language categories, once they start producing it, they are targeting those Oscar awards.
They are targeting Globe (awards), they are targeting big awards because whether we like it or not, those awards have a way of helping publicity for the film, they have a way of marketing for the film. And what does the Oscar Foreign Language Category entail? It entails that you must do a film in your local language, in a language that is local to you and in a language that is considered a foreign language.
And it must be like 70 per cent of your local language and if you must use English at all, it must be like 30 per cent. Apart from that, it must be well subtitled and it must be of quality. The committee now is like four years old but we have not been able to have entries that will qualify Nollywood movies.
Husseini also commented on the recent outrage trailing the 2016 Oscar nominations where no black actors were nominated in the major categories. He said that in the past, blacks received nominations, but added that this year they had not participated in any major movies that would earn nominations. Hopefully, 2016 would be a bright year for an intentional award, with the likes of prominent Nigerian movie directors like Kunle Afolabi, Emem Isong and Rukky Sanda, who intend to transform the face of Nigerian films.