The 2023 Academy Awards (Oscars) night is five months away, but the drama it evokes is already being felt. Cameroonian filmmaker, Kang Quintus has taken shots at the local selection committee shortly after their choice for International Feature Film from Cameroon was made known.
The local committee selected Eystein Young’s The Planter’s Plantation, a decision that didn’t sit in well with Kang whose The Fisherman’s Diary made the cut in 2020.
“The Cameroon Oscars committee is not for English speaking movies only. It is a Cameroon thing and so there has to be a level playing ground for both English and French speaking films,” Kang stated adding that committee members are “handpicked”.
The Lions Gate CEO in his rants, did not fail to mention names, as he called out Agbor Gilbert, Brenda Elung and Billybob. “You guys need to stop this mediocre way of doing things,” he lashed out.
“… let the members of the Cameroon Oscars committee vote transparently and announce the film selected to represent Cameroon through a press conference… enough of this under the table way of doing things.
But Kang Quintus himself, has been roped in his very own trap. Many entertainers and fans called him out for double standards, given that he failed to elucidate the same observations the year his own movie was selected by the committee. The Fisherman’s Diary went on to stream on global platform, Netflix.
In a follow up post, Kang was not shy to accept accusations of double standards. “All three films selected to represent Cameroon at the Oscars so far were handpicked including my film,” he accepted stressing that the practice has to come to an end.
The filmmaker and entrepreneur is willing to sacrifice his next movie, Nganu on the altar of the nominations committee: “Please don’t handpick ‘Nganu’ when it comes out in 2023 … get a balanced committee and follow the rules like every other country.”
The Planters Plantation
The movie tells the story of a young lady who defies societal constructs and hurdles to uphold the legacy of her departed old man. The legacy, a plantation bequeathed to him at independence is a melting pot that unveils an intriguing plot stacked with captivating scenes and of course, compelling messages.
It features the likes of Stephanie tum, Loic Sumfor and Nigeria’s Nkem Owoh. It made waves after sweeping three awards at the Ecran Noir Festival in Yaounde recently.
What do Oscars regulations say?
According to the Academy Awards, categories are nominated by members of corresponding sectors: Actors nominate their peers and film editors, theirs. The Animated Feature Film and the International Feature Film category under which the Planters Plantation falls are accorded special selection rules.
Each country outside the US is permitted to submit just one movie, through an organisation, a jury or committee composed of a representative section of the film industry.
The Academy Awards also specifies that “the International Feature Film Executive Committee shall resolve all questions of eligibility and rules.”
It remains uncertain however if Kang will officially seek redress at the committee or not.