The name “Genevieve Nnaji” needs no introduction in the world of Nigerian cinema. She is the epitome of talent, elegance, and determination, and her journey through the film industry has been nothing short of extraordinary.
In this article, we delve into the remarkable achievements that have solidified Genevieve Nnaji’s status as a Nollywood icon and also explore her latest cinematic venture, “I Do Not Come To You By Chance,” which is set to make waves at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Best Actress in a Leading Role at AMA Awards (2005)
Nnaji became the first actress to win the Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005.
Nnaji who started her acting career as a child actor in the then-popular television soap opera ‘Ripples’ was introduced into the growing Nigerian film industry with the movie ‘Most Wanted.’
She was also one of the best-paid female actors in Nollywood in 2019.
First Nigerian director to submit a movie to Oscars
The 44-year-old actress who decided to not take on more Nollywood projects transitioned to the business side of movie-making.
Nnaji was the first Nigerian debutant director and the first ever to submit a movie, Lionheart, to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, best known as simply The Academy.
Her movie, ‘Lionheart’ was submitted for the Best International Feature Film at the 2020 Oscars.
The movie was however rejected because it clocks in at “just under 12 minutes of dialogue” in Igbo, a language that is native to southeastern Nigeria.
Genevieve’s Lionheart is the first Netflix original Nigerian film
Genevieve who made her director debut in 2018 appeared in ‘Lionheart’ as the lead character. That same year, Lionheart became the first original movie produced by Netflix after it acquired the rights from the actress on the 7th of September 2018.
The validation of Lionheart by Netflix showed that Nollywood had gained recognition for its focus on quality over quantity.
Also, Lionheart was Nnaji’s first movie to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.
Lionheart took Nnaji to Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)—where it was nominated for the Grolsch People’s Choice Award—and Morocco for the International Film Festival Marrakech.
Genevieve makes debut as Executive producer
After leaving the limelight for over four years, Genevieve makes come back as executive producer at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where she is premiering her latest cinematic venture, ‘I Do Not Come To You By Chance.’
The film is set to captivate global viewers as one of the 47 selected titles from 45 diverse countries.
‘I Do Not Come To You By Chance,’ is an adaptation of novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s award-winning debut novel, which shares the same name as the movie.
Nwaubani’s literary masterpiece received the prestigious 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (Africa) and the esteemed 2010 Betty Trask First Book Award.
It also earned the distinguished honour of being named one of The Washington Post’s ‘Best Books of the Year.’
Reports suggest that Nnaji who took the 2018 Oscar snub well, hopes to make amends with the movie ‘I Do Not Come to You By Chance’. Her latest movie transcends language barriers.
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