Poignant SA drama to compete for Oscars’ best foreign film

2010-09-13 00:00

AWARD-WINNING South African film, Life Above All, could be representing South Africa at the 83rd Academy Awards next year.

The film has been selected for consideration as South Africa’s official entry into the best foreign film category and, if approved by the Oscars Academy Award selection committee, it will be the South African nominee for the 2011 event.

“Life Above All has proven internationally that it is a story that resonates with the audiences by the reception it received at previous global festivals,” Eddie Mbalo, chief executive officer of the National Film and Video Foundation and chairman of the SA Academy Awards selection committee said.

Directed by Oliver Schmitz (Mapantsula), the film stars Lerato Mvelase (Home Affairs), Harriet Manamela (Hotel Rwanda, Hijack Stories) and 13-year-old newcomer, Khomotso Manyaka.

Based on the international award-winning novel Chanda’s Secret by Allan Stratton, it is an emotional and universal drama about a young girl who fights the fear and shame that has poisoned her community.

In May Life Above All received a 10-minute standing ovation at its world premiere at the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival and went on to be awarded the Prix Francois Chalais.

The film also scooped the best South African feature film and best actress award for Manyaka at the 31st Durban International Film Festival.

Greig Buckle, co-producer of Life Above All said he was thrilled by the news, “I’m shaking and so excited. We’ve received such an unbelievable response wherever the film is showing and we’re getting exactly the results we wished for.”

South Africa’s last Oscar-winning film was Tsotsi (2006).

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