South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) has issued a statement congratulating the makers of the local feature film Life, Above All, for advancing to the top nine in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 83rd Academy Awards (Oscars).
“We are pleased to receive this exciting news,’ says NFVF head of Marketing and Public Affairs. “This is a great achievement bearing in mind that the film was competing with 66 other films from around the world. We wish the team all the best and hope that the film qualifies for the top five.’
Directed by Oliver Schmitz, Life Above All was in September 2010 selected as South Africa’s entry into the Oscars by the South African Academy Awards Selection Committee. In May 2010 Life, Above All received a 10-minute standing ovation at its world premiere at the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival. The film went on to be awarded the Prix Francois Chalais, which was presented to the South African co-producer Greig Buckle. Life Above All also scooped the Best Actress Award by first time actress Khomotso Manyaka (Chanda) at the 31st Durban International Film Festival.
Life, Above All stars Lerato Mvelase (Home Affairs), Harriet Manamela (Hotel Rwanda, Hijack Stories) and Khomotso Manyaka. The film is based on the international award-winning novel Chanda’s Secrets 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 the film a 12-year-old girl (Khomotso Manyaka) faces the challenges of raising her sibling as her mother dies of Aids. The film captures the enduring strength of loyalty and a courage powered by the heart. Shot on location in a small town of Elandsdoorn in Limpopo Province, the story is narrated predominantly in Northern Sotho.
Other foreign language films that have advanced to the next round of the Oscars are:
Algeria, “Hors la Loi’ (“Outside the Law’), Rachid Bouchareb, director;
Canada, “Incendies,’ Denis Villeneuve, director;
Denmark, “In a Better World,’ Susanne Bier, director;
Greece, “Dogtooth,’ Yorgos Lanthimos, director;
Japan, “Confessions,’ Tetsuya Nakashima, director;
Mexico, “Biutiful,’ Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director;
Spain, “Tambien la Lluvia’ (“Even the Rain’), Iciar Bollain, director;
Sweden, “Simple Simon,’ Andreas Ohman, director.
The final five nominated films will be announced on 25 January with the awards presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®.