While a crisis continues to rock the Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC), ‘The Planters Plantation’, featuring Nollywood’s Nkem Owoh, has been selected as Cameroon’s entry for the 2023 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences awards, otherwise called The Oscars.
The Nollywood star played a lead role in Planter’s Plantation, Cameroon’s fifth Oscar entry.
Cameroon submitted a film for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film (IFF) for the first time in 1980. The film was titled ‘Our Daughter.’
IFF is handed out annually by the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains non-English dialogue primarily.
For the second year in a row, earlier this month, the Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee (NOSC) announced that no Nigerian film is eligible for the International Feature Film category of the 2023 Oscars.
Nigeria’s last Oscar submission was “The Milkmaid” in 2020.
This decision generated furore as the Committee received and deliberated over three prominent films, Kunle Afolayan’s ‘Aníkúlápó’, Mo Abudu’s ‘Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman’ and Femi Adebayo’s ‘King of Thieves.’
While the controversy rages, the Board of the Cameroon Film Industry has submitted ‘The Planter’s Plantation’, directed by Eystein Young.
Shot in Cameroon, ‘The Planters Plantation’ is set in 1960s West Africa. At independence, James Whitaker (Alexander David Silverstone Powers) bequeaths his plantation to Mr Planter (Nkem Owoh).
Years later, Mr Planter’s daughter finds herself battling family and society to preserve her late father’s legacy, a colonial plantation left to him at independence amid disagreements, betrayal and secrets.
The Planters Plantation
The movie, a dramatic musical, is produced by Extrafix Media, BGC Melody Story and Inn Amore Pictures.
Aside from Owoh, ‘The Planters Plantation’ assembles the best of the Cameroonian film industry. Among them are Nimo Loveline as Enanga, Loic Sumfor, Stephanie Tum, and Syriette Che.
Mr Young wrote, directed and co-produced the film, while Don Julio Bats and co-stars Irene Nangi and Quinny Ijang are Executive Producers.
The film recently won three awards at the Ecran Noir Festival, including the Ecran D’or, the first for a Cameroonian Movie in 26years.
It won the ‘Best Cameroon Actress’ and ‘Best Cameroon/Over All Film’ categories.
It has also received international recognition from the prestigious African International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Wales’ Film Festival and multiple nominations at the LFC Awards 2022
No selection from Nigeria
Despite news that the Academy has instructed the Nigerian committee to reconvene for a revote, the NOSC insists that there is no submission from the country.
A committee member Shaibu Husseini had announced that the Academy granted NOSC an extension for a final determination by the members.
The committee chairperson, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi, said that the Oscars organisers did not order the Committee to undertake another voting exercise as speculated.
She noted that the rumour that the Academy was ordering revoting suggests that they were interfering in the internal affairs of the Nigerian body.
“This is not the case, and the Academy has made it clear in its response,” she said.
International Feature Film
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the 15 shortlisted contenders for the international feature Oscar on December 21.
The five nominees will be announced on the 24th of January, 2023, while the 95th Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, on 12 March, 2023.