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YESTERDAY AT KWA MASHU FILM FESTIVAL (article first published : 2004-12-13)

On December 17 at 20h00 , the inaugural Kwa Mashu Film Festival will close with Yesterday, South Africa’s Official Entry for the 2004 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language category.

The film will be screened at the Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre at which all screenings of the Festival will take place. In an effort to have as many residents of Kwa Mashu watch Yesterday, there will be three additional free screenings on December18, also at the Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre at 09h30, 11h30 and 18h00.

Having Yesterday screen in Kwa Mashu is of special significance to the township as Leleti Khumalo, the lead star of the film grew up there and has become one of the top actresses of the country in both theatre and film. Lelelti began her acting career in the stage version of Sarafina! and subsequently starred in Sarafina! the movie, Cry, The Beloved Country, Hotel Ruwanda and has recently completed the Faith’s Corner for Videovision Entertainment.

“We are delighted to be closing the first Kwa Mashu Film Festival with Yesterday as the film stars Leleti Khumalo who is a product of Kwa Mashu,” says producer, Anant Singh. “We are also aware that the area has a high HIV /AIDS infection rate and we hope that the film provides inspiration to those affected by illustrating that courage and determination reduce their suffering, while also creating an awareness of HIV/AIDS to those unaffected.”

Director of the Kwa Mashu Film Festival, Edmund Mhlongo said, “We had only one choice to close our Festival and that was Yesterday. The film sends out positive messages to our community – it creates awareness of HIV/AIDS and also inspires people to achieve greater heights, like Leleti Khumalo who is a daughter of Kwa Mashu and a shining role model for our community. We also wish to thank Anant Singh and Videovision Entertainment for allowing us to feature the film in our programme.”

Yesterday has been nominated for the 20th Independent Spirit Awards in the category of Best Foreign Film in Los Angeles. This nomination is unprecedented in the history of the Independent Spirit Awards as it is the first South African film to be nominated and it is the first time that a film has been nominated without having a confirmed release date in the United States.

Yesterday is a Videovision Entertainment production in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, M-Net, The National Film And Video Foundation, Distant Horizon and was shot on location in KwaZulu Natal. Music was composed by Madala Kunene and it is executive produced by Sudhir Pragjee and Sanjeev Singh, produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring and written and directed by Darrell James Roodt.




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