The Milkmaid is a Hausa language-based thriller on insurgency, especially as it affects women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Desmond Ovbiagele’s ‘The Milkmaid’ has lost out in the Oscar run.
15 foreign films have advanced in the Oscar race and Nigeria’s official entry failed to make the first shortlist in the International Feature Film category announced Tuesday.
“The Milkmaid” is a Hausa language-based thriller on insurgency, especially as it affects women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Inspired by the image on Nigeria’s 10 Naira note, the film tells the story of a Fulani milkmaid who confronts extremists in a rural African community, in a quest to locate her missing sister, and how efforts to recapture her disrupted past proved complicated
The selected films will advance to the next round of voting in the international feature film category.
Films from 93 countries were eligible in the International Feature Film category, the most in Oscars history.
Two African films, “Night of the Kings” (Ivory Coast) and “The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia) did make the shortlist.]
The other 13 films that advanced to the next round of voting from the category are, Bosnia and Herzegovina, ‘Quo Vadis, Aida?’, Chile, ‘The Mole Agent’ Czech Republic, ‘Charlatan’, Denmark, ‘Another Round’, France, ‘Two of Us’ and Guatemala, ‘La Llorona’.
Others are Hong Kong, ‘Better Days’, Iran, ‘Sun Children’, Mexico, ‘I’m No Longer Here’, Norway, ‘Hope’ Romania, ‘Collective’, Russia, ‘Dear Comrades!’ and Taiwan, ‘A Sun’.
The Executive Committee for the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars had confirmed the eligibility of Nigeria’s official submission, “The Milkmaid”, among other contenders for the 93rd Academy Awards on January 30.
The official acceptance of the film by the Academy is a first-time feat for Nigeria at the Oscars, having disqualified “Lionheart”, the country’s first submission in 2019 for not meeting the non-English dialogue criteria.
This led to the controversy of whether or not Nigerian pidgin should not be considered a local language.
Although the Oscars has since reviewed the rule, giving approval for dialogues in pidgin, ‘The Milkmaid’, shot with Hausa, Fulfulde, and Arabic dialogues appear to have been made with the original Academy rules in mind and had not left anything to chance.
Another shortlist is expected to be released in March, ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony on April 25, 2021.
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