Toorbos to be SA's entry for the 93rd Academy Awards

Elani Dekker in Toorbos.
Elani Dekker in Toorbos.
Photo supplied
  • The South African film Toorbos will be South Africa's entry for the 93rd Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category.
  • The film competed against four other local films which included Flatland, Fiela se Kind, STAM, and Wesens.
  • Toorbos is currently showing in SA cinemas.


The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) on Tuesday morning in a press statement announced that Rene van Rooyen’s film Toorbos will officially be this year’s South African entry for the highly coveted Best International Feature Film Award for the 2021 Academy Awards. 

The film which is an adaptation of renowned writer Dalene Matthee’s 2003 best – selling novel of the same name was selected from five film submissions which were received for the 2021 Oscars consideration, and included: Flatland, Fiela se Kind, STAM, Toorbos, and Wesens.  

The South African Academy Awards Selection Committee, comprising of professionals from various fields of the filmmaking value chain evaluated five diverse, rich, and unique submissions. 

Rene’s film has seen great success at the Cape Town International Market and Film Festival, having won an award for ‘Work in Progress’ (WIP) programme. The film has also had a formidable run at the kykNET Silwerkerm Festival. Toorbos premiered in South African cinemas on Friday, 13 November 2020.   

ALSO READ: The duality of a boskind: Toorbos lead Elani Dekker on nature, love and the intuition of women

The NFVF, as an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts & Culture is officially recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, to make submissions on behalf of the South African Film industry.  

"Toorbos’ success serves as great testament of this classic novel and our history as a country. Our filmmakers play a significant role in preserving our history and Rene has managed to capture Dalene Mathee’s novel immaculately. The story of Toorbos is about a historical event in South Africa, which affected the last forest inhabitants of South Africa’s Knysna forest in the 1930s. 

"We wish Rene and her team all the best as their film will be competing on global stages. South Africa is rooting for you," said NFVF CEO, Makhosazana Khanyile. 

Knuckle City was SA's Oscars 2020 entry but did not make the shortlist of nominees. Tsotsi, by Gavin Hood, won the Oscar for South Africa in this category in 2005.

ALSO READ: Dalene Matthee's acclaimed novel comes to life in this 5-star film adaptation

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