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YESTERDAY UP FOR OSCAR (article first published : 2005-01-30)

Yesterday, the ground-breaking isiZulu feature film has become the first South African film to receive an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. The film, produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring, and written and directed by acclaimed director, Darrell James Roodt, stars Leleti Khumalo of Sarafina! fame. A watershed film for South Africa as it is a film of many firsts, Yesterday is the first isiZulu feature film and was made with the support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, M-Net and the National Film And Video Foundation.

Speaking after the announcement of the nominations, Anant 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.”

Director Darrell James Roodt commented, “What an honour! It is absolutely thrilling to receive this recognition. I really enjoyed making this film, especially doing it in isiZulu.”

Carl Fischer, head of M-Net's Local Production division said, "We at M-Net are proud to have been involved in the production of Yesterday. We are delighted that the film has received the Academy Award Nomination in the Best Foreign Language category. This nomination is already a credit to South African creative talent who were responsible for the production of Yesterday. This is a boost for the South African film industry as the film is in the running for the ultimate film award."

Eddie Mbalo, Chief Executive of the National Film and Video Foundation said, “NFVF is proud to have been part of the creation of Yesterday. We are pleased that the film has received South Africa’s first-ever Oscar nomination. This nomination is certainly encouraging for the South African film industry and illustrates the country’s creative competency in filmmaking.”

John Samuel, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation commented, "Yesterday is the first film project for the Nelson Mandela Foundation and we are absolutely thrilled that it has been nominated for an Academy Award. Mr Mandela has been full of praise for this film because he sees the film as an important way of fighting discrimination and stigma that is attached to the AIDS pandemic."

HBO Films will release Yesterday in North America and is also handling the worldwide distribution of the film. 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, South Africa. The 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.

Yesterday is currently playing at Nu Metro Pavilion in Durban and schools discounts are offered on ticket prices for group bookings. The Oscars will be broadcast live on M-Net on the morning of February 28.




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