“The Milkmaid” is Nigeria’s official submission for the 93rd Academy Awards in the International Feature Film (IFF) category of the Oscars.
Announcing the selection today, the Nigerian Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the IFF category of the Academy Awards says it received several entries out of which six films – Sanitation Day, Voiceless, Oloture, Ibi (The Birth), The Milkmaid and Eyimofe – sailed through the first vetting exercise. The last stage of three films, it says, had The Milkmaid scoring overwhelming majority votes.
Written, produced and directed by Desmond Ovbiagele, The Milkmaid is a Hausa language thriller on insurgency, especially as it affects women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Inspired by the image on Nigeria’s N10 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.
The film was selected by the 12-man NOSC, having followed the prescribed procedures by the Academy, subject to further determination by the IFF Executive Committee.
Shot on location in Taraba State, The Milkmaid stars popular Kannywood actress, Maryam Booth, alongside Ibrahim Jammal, Anthonieta Kalunta, and Gambo Usman Kona among others. The film owes its other credits to New Jersey-based surgeon, Oluseun Sowemimo as executive producer, Yinka Edward for cinematography, Chuka Ejorh for editing, Pat Nebo for production design, and Hakeem Onilogbo for special effects.
Screened in cinemas in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe, The Milkmaid is an authentic and riveting Nigerian story with global relevance. It commands beautiful acting, ace directing, and great cinematography. The film is Ovbiagele’s sophomore, having written, produced and directed the award-winning Render to Caesar in 2014.
The 93rd edition of the Academy Awards is scheduled to hold on April 25, 2021.
Last year, Nigeria’s official submission, Lionheart, was disqualified for not meeting the non-English dialogue criteria, leading to the controversy on whether or not Nigerian pidgin should not be considered a local language. Although, that rule has been reviewed, giving approval for dialogues in pidgin.
Shot with Hausa, Fulfulde and Arabic dialogues, The Milkmaid
appears to have been made with the original Academy rules in mind and had not left anything to chance.