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TSOTSI (article first published : 2005-09-5)

Gavin Hood’s third feature film, Tsotsi has been officially submitted into the Foreign Film Category of the 78th Academy Awards.

The South African selection committee for the Academy was facilitated and convened by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO). This committee consisted of six members with Ferdi Gazendam from Ster Kinekor Pictures as Chairperson.

Tsotsi has already received rave reviews from international media and will be screened officially at the forthcoming Toronto International Film Festival which takes place from September 17 to 21. The film is an adaptation of Athol Fugard's play which is set in the 60's but transposed to the present and its authenticity is enhanced by the use of language, i.e. township lingua franca, “Tsotsi Taal”.

The film tells a story of a township hoodlum “Tsotsi” (played by Presley Chweneyagae) who learns to take care of an infant whose mother he shot during a car hijacking. Caring for the child gradually repairs Tsotsi’s broken spirit, a trajectory that could have been over-sentimental or unbelievable in lesser hands. To feed the infant Tsotsi forces a widow single mother, Miriam (Terry Pheto) who shares her milk with the child.

Tsotsi was produced by Paul Raleigh (of Moviworld) and the cast includes Presley Chweneyagae as the lead character with Mothusi Magano, Kenneth Nkosi, Zenzo Ngqobe and Zola.

“We are delighted that for the second year in a row we are able to present a project of this calibre at one of the most prestigious film award ceremonies. We congratulate the producers of the film, the cast, and crew who were involved in the making of this film”, said Eddie Mbalo and Lulama Chakela (on behalf of the Selection Committee).

Tsotsi will be screened in South Africa through Ster Kinekor Pictures on September 16.




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