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Ministerial endorsement for Nigeria’s Oscar Best International Film entry

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Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has commended the emergence of The Milkmaid as Nigeria’s entry for the International Feature Film category of the 2021 Oscars.

The minister had, in a statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media, stated that the film is a testament to the progress, which the local film industry has made in the areas of professionalism and international competitiveness, while also highlighting Nigeria’s potential as a viable destination for cutting edge film productions.

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Alhaji Mohammed pledged the government’s full support for The Milkmaid’s success at the 2021 Oscars and urged all Nigerians to fully support the film’s quest for a noteworthy run at the 93rd Oscars. It will be recalled that the film was selected by the 12-member Nigeria Official Selection Committee (NOSC) having followed and met the prescribed procedure of selection by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

The selection was officially announced on December 1, 2020, by the NOSC, headed by a filmmaker and education administrator, Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi. Written, produced, and directed by Desmond Ovbiagele, the film is a Hausa language-based thriller spotlighting insurgency and extremism, especially as they affect women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The film, which recently garnered eight nominations at the 2020 Africa Movie Academy Awards, narrates the story of a Fulani milkmaid who confronts extremists in a rural African community in a quest to locate her missing sister, and details how efforts to recapture her disrupted past became complicated. While entertaining sensitises and facilitates insights into the predicament of victims of insurgency, especially women and children, thereby contributing to ongoing efforts aimed at eradicating extremism from the society.

Technically crafted to the highest international cinematic standards, The Milkmaid showcases the natural beauty of Nigeria’s topography such as the Mambilla Plateau in Taraba state, while highlighting the richness of the subregion’s colourful Hausa and Fulani cultures. US-based Nigerian surgeon, Oluseun Sowemimo, is credited as the Executive Producer of the film.

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