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The Academy accepts "The Milkmaid" Movie as Nigeria's first Oscar entry



The Academy has accepted Nigerian film The Milkmaid as the country first official selection for the 93rd Academy Awards. This was confirmed in a press release published by the Academy on Thursday, listing 93 films from various countries that made the selection among which The Milkmaid was selected 

The movie 'The Milkmaid' is a Hausa language-based movie written, produced and directed by Desmond Ovbiagele. According to the producer, the story juxtaposes the colour and elegance of rural Hausa/Fulani culture against a graphic and visceral portrayal of the harrowing ordeal of conflict victims and the personal and societal implications of the resulting psychological trauma. The film draws attention to the present plight of real-life victims of militant insurgency in Nigeria (internally displaced persons, IDPs), to generate support for their economic & psychological rehabilitation and social re-integration.'

The movie tells a story of a brave rural sub-Saharan Africa girl, Aisha, a Fulani milkmaid, whose quest is to find her missing younger sister, Zainab. Dire and personal circumstances force her to approach the religious militants who were responsible for their separation in the first instance,  she is determined to find her at all cost despite the compromises she must make to do so. However, her pursuit to recapture her blithe past proves to be unexpectedly complicated in a world whose festering conflict provides several paths to becoming a victim with typically irreversible consequences. 

The milkmaid will compete against two rivals African movies co-produced with European money: Cote d'Ivoire's Night of the kings and Lesotho's this is not a burial its a Resurrection. 
The movie was submitted by the Nigeria official selection committee (NOSC) in December 2020. The chairperson of the committee said: "it's heart-warming that the decision of the NOSC has been ratified by the executive committee of the IFF"... And the NOSC is super glad that this year Nigerian movie made the selection unlike 2019  Nigeria's choice Lionhearts which was disqualified for failure to meet the language guideline.