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XOLISWA SITHOLE WINS BAFTA (article first published : 2005-05-9)

South African producer Xoliswa Sithole, has become the first South African to be awarded a British Academy Television Award (BAFTA), at the glittering ceremony held in London at the Theatre Royal last month.

Sithole was honoured for her involvement as associate producer on the documentary, Orphans of Nkandla directed by Brain Woods & Deborah Shipley of True Vision Productions (UK). Woods, Shipley and Sithole were awarded the prestigious Flaherty Award For Single Documentary ahead of four other nominees.

The AIDS pandemic has orphaned around a three-quarter million children in South Africa alone. Orphans of Nkandla is a feature length documentary that chronicles a tale of heartbreaking pathos and breathtaking beauty, as audiences witness human tragedy unfurl against a backdrop of vast landscapes and rustic poverty.

Set in the heart of rural Zululand, all the benefits of western civilisation in one of the wealthiest countries in Africa have little effect here. Where the tarmac ends, so does the running water and electricity; nutritious food is a luxury; medical choices are made on cost and availability rather than necessity. Alone, stigmatised and grieving,Orphans of Nkandla tells the story of some of those children. Sithole is no newcomer to this arena having already made her mark with Shouting Silent, a personal story of how Aids affected her family.

Sithole’s next project which is she has already started shooting is another personal documentary where she travels back to rediscover Zimbabwe a land that she grew up in during the years of Apartheid. Sithole is one of the few filmmakers that have been granted an interview by Robert Mugabe.




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