The Sunday Independent said Lance Gewer, the director of photography for Tsotsi, was in the car of a friend when 3 gunmen held them up in the early hours of Saturday morning outside the friend's Johannesburg home.
The newspaper said he was to fly out Sunday night to Los Angeles for the March 5 awards ceremony and was lucky that police later found the stolen vehicle as his passport and plane ticket were inside it.
Nominated for a best foreign-language Oscar, Tsotsi is a gritty film about a township gangster and car thief.
The paper said Gewer's friend, Johannesburg journalist Boo Prince, discussed the film with one of the gunmen while the hijacking was unfolding.
"I asked him if he had seen the film Tsotsi. He replied that he had seen it then said: 'That is why I am so sorry to do this to you. I saw Tsotsi; it's a good film,'" the paper quoted Prince as saying.