First Oscar nomination for South African film
Acclaimed South African Indian filmmaker Anant Singh is thrilled that his film Yesterday has been nominated as the country's first ever entry to the Oscars.
The highly acclaimed, groundbreaking film in the indigenous isiZulu language deals with a woman's determined battle to fight the stigma of HIV/AIDS in a village. The film was made with the support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, pay TV channel M-Net and the National Film And Video Foundation.
Speaking after the announcement of the nominations, Singh said: "We are ecstatic and proud to have received South Africa's first Oscar nomination.
"Yesterday is a South African film, in an indigenous language and one that showcases our country's amazing creative talent in a local story. The nomination is certainly encouraging for the South African film industry and it is a testament to all who were so passionately involved in the film."
John Samuel, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, commented: "Yesterday is the first film project for the foundation and we are absolutely thrilled that it has been nominated for an Academy Award."
Mandela himself said in a statement: "It is indeed a great achievement for Yesterday to be nominated for the prestigious Academy Award. We at the Nelson Mandela Foundation are proud to be associated with Yesterday, which we saw as a very simple, yet powerful story.
"In our fight against HIV/AIDS, we need these kinds of stories which tell us not only about challenges, about difficulties and tragedies but also, about hope, and Yesterday is all about hope.
"This Oscar nomination highlights Yesterday as a South African film and the resulting international exposure will help us in our fight against discrimination and stigma that is attached to the AIDS pandemic. We congratulate Anant Singh, Darrell James Roodt and all those involved with Yesterday in achieving this milestone in the world of cinema."
Mandela was lauded recently for publicly declaring that his eldest son had died of AIDS.
Now all South Africans will be giving the thumbs up for a new euphoria after local lass Charlize Theron caused hysteria here when she was named Best Actress at the Oscars last year.