The groundbreaking isiZulu feature film, Yesterday has been nominated for the 20th Independent Spirit Awards in the category of Best Foreign Film. The Independent Spirit Awards are held annually under the auspices of the Independent Film Project (IFP), the United States based organisation dedicated to providing resources, information and avenues of communication for its membership of independent filmmakers. The Independent Spirit Awards Ceremony will be held on February 26 in Santa Monica, California. In September, Yesterday was selected to be South Africa’s official entry for Oscar Consideration in the 77th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language category.
The nomination of Yesterday 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.
Other films nominated for the Best Foreign Film Independent Spirit Award are the Spanish films, Bad Education, directed by Pedro Almodovar and The Sea Inside directed by Alejandro Amenabar; the South Korean film, Oasis, directed by Lee Chang-Dong and the French film, Red Lights directed by Cedric Kahn.
Producer of Yesterday, Anant Singh commented, “We are delighted with the nomination of Yesterday Best Foreign Film category of the IFP Independent Spirit Awards. We are thrilled to be the first South African film to have received a Spirit Award Nomination. The nomination has come as a complete surprise as Yesterday has not been released in North America yet. We hope that this nomination is the beginning of a successful Golden Globe and Oscar campaign for Yesterday.”
HBO Films will release Yesterday in North America and they are also handling the worldwide distribution of the film.
Yesterday is being screened today at the International Film Festival of India in Goa with Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan hosting the screening. Also, in honour of World AIDS Day, Yesterday is being screened free-of-charge at 24 cinemas across South Africa today.
HBO Films presents in association with Distant Horizon, a Videovision Entertainment Production in association with Nelson Mandela Foundation, M-Net, The National Film And Video Foundation and Exciting Films, Yesterday. The film was shot on location in KwaZulu Natal with the music composed by Madala Kunene and is executive produced by Sudhir Pragjee and Sanjeev Singh, produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring and written and directed by Darrell James Roodt.