The Executive Committee for the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars has confirmed the eligibility of Nigeriaâs official submission, âThe Milkmaidâ, for the 93rd Academy Awards.
This was confirmed in a list released by the Academy on Thursday showing all eligible films from 93 countries in the IFF category.
The Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) had submitted âThe Milkmaidâ to the Academy in December 2020.
The official acceptance of the film by the Academy is a first-time feat for Nigeria at the Oscars, having disqualified âLionheartâ, the countryâs first submission in 2019 on the basis of language defect.
The first shortlist of 15 films in the IFF category will be announced on February 9, 2021. Another shortlist is expected to be released in March, ahead of the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony on April 25, 2021.
Written, produced and directed by Desmond Ovbiagele, âThe Milkmaidâ is a Hausa language-based thriller on insurgency, especially as it affects women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Inspired by the image on Nigeriaâs 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 prove complicated.
Reacting to the official acceptance of âThe Milkmaidâ by the Academy, Chairperson of the NOSC said, âIt is heart-warming that the decision of the NOSC has been ratified by the Executive Committee of the IFFâ, noting that âthe feat underscores our strict adherence to the rules of the biggest film awards scheme in the world.â
Expressing great excitement, Anyaene-Abonyi said: âHaving sailed through the eligibility stage in the IFFâs selection process, there is no looking back for us at the NOSC. I commend the great effort of every member of the committee. This is a job well done. And while we wish âThe Milkmaidâ and indeed our country further success in the remaining journey towards the 93rd Academy Awards in April, we look further into the years ahead with greater determination to continue to play on this global stage. If we have done anything to get Nigeria to the present feat, rest assured that the NOSC will do even more in the coming years of the Oscars.â