‘Life Above All’ expected to scoop SA movie awards

2011-01-31 00:00

THE multi-award winning film Life Above All has received 11 nominations for the fifth South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas), South Africa’s equivalent of the Golden Globes.

Three other films — Spud, Jozi and The Incredible Adventures of Hanne Hoekom — each received six nominations, followed by Hopeville, Skin and Schucks Shabalala with five nominations each.

Life Above All, based on the novel Chanda’s Secret, tells the story of a young girl who fights the fear and shame that have poisoned her community.

The film was given a 10-minute standing ovation at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival; received the awards for the best South African feature film and best actress for 13-year-old Khomotso Manyaka at last year’s Durban International Film Festival; and made it into the top nine for selection for the best foreign language film category at this year’s Academy Awards.

Life Above All is contesting the Saftas best feature film category and its lead actresses, Khomotso and Lerato Mvelase, will compete against each other and Anneke Weidemann (The Incredible Adventures of Hanne Hoekom) for the leading actress in a feature film prize.

There are also two nominations for Life Above All’s director Oliver Schmitz, who contests both the directing and writing categories.

His competitors include directors Craig Freidmond (Jozi, writing and directing), Regardt van der Bergh (The Adventures of Hanne Hoekom, directing) and Stephane Sycholt (Themba: A Boy Called Hope, writing).

Life Above All’s Harriet Manamela and Keaobaka Makanyane will compete for best supporting actress with Ella Ramangwane, who is nominated for her work in Skin, and the film’s cast will be hoping to beat Jozi and The Incredible Adventures of Hanne Hoekom to win best ensemble in a feature film.

Spud, which is based on John van de Ruit’s novel about a middle-class teenager who struggles to fit in at his elite private school in the midlands, will contest the best film category againstLife Above All, Jozi, Darfur and Skin.

Spud lead actor Troye Sivan will be hoping to win the best lead actor in a feature film category, where his competitors are Themba Ndaba (Ho peville) and Nat Singo (Themba – A Boy Called Hope).

In the best supporting actor category, Durban’s Jamie Royal (who plays Gecko inSpud) will be hoping to come out tops against Lionel Newtown (Jozi) and Tony Kgoroge (Skin).

One noticeable absentee is Spud scriptwriter and director Donovan Marsh, whose work on the film was ignored by the judges.

This year 18 feature films were entered for the awards, three times as many as the entries in 2010. The Saftas take place at Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams in Melrose Arch.

On February 20 the winners in the non-fiction categories will be named, followed on February 27 by the winners in the fiction categories.

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