Former investment banker and Nigerian triple-threat filmmaker (writer, producer and director), Desmond Ovbiagele (Render to Caesar), has responded to The Milkmaid not being shortlisted in the Best International Feature Film category at the 93rd Academy Awards.
In a recent public statement on how the race for the Oscars has impacted Nollywood, Ovbiagele said, “We are proud of what our Oscar run has meant for our cast (Anthonieta Kalunta, Gambo Usman Kona, Maryam Booth) and crew, for the Nigerian film industry, and for Nigerians everywhere.
“We wanted to tell a story that truly reflected the impact and complexities of religious insurgency in Nigeria on those who experience it by force or by choice.
“Achieving that and being recognized as belonging among the best of the best in international storytelling through film is an incredible honour and we are thrilled that we’ve opened the door for a greater diversity of stories to be told.”
The Milkmaid is Nigeria’s second Oscars submission and the first to be eligible. Prior to the Oscars, in 2020, the film was one of the highest award-winning films at the 16th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) where it took five awards out of eight nominations.
The film is expected to screen (as the opening film) at the New York African Film Festival and the Pan African Film Festival this year. Its makers are also in talks for global distribution partnerships.