Yesterday, the first commercial isiZulu feature film won the Best Film Award at the 3rd Pune International Film Festival in India it was announced today. The award was accepted on behalf of Singh by South Africa’s Consul General in Mumbai, Mr Pieter Coetzee. The Best Film Award also included a $20 000 prize which producer, Anant Singh; director Darrell James Roodt and the entire Yesterday team have decided to donate to HIV / AIDS organizations in India and South Africa.
The Pune International Film Festival is one of the fastest growing film festivals in India and has received significant support from the Maharashtra state government. The festival is committed to the presentation of the best possible international films in cinemas that are equipped with modern, world class facilities. 2005 marked the introduction of cash prizes for Best Picture and Best Director.
“We are very proud of the reaction to Yesterday all over the world and we are thrilled with this honour from the Pune International Film Festival. We are also in discussions about having Yesterday released in India and this will be done with the support of Amitabh Bachchan,” Anant Singh.
Yesterday also screened at the Indian International Film Festival in Goa on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2004. At this screening, Indian Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was appointed by Former President Nelson Mandela as a 46664 Special Ambassador. Inspired by the vision & leadership of Mr Mandela, 46664 aims to raise awareness of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Among the Indian organisations to benefit from the donation would the Freedom Foundation in Goa which Singh visited while attending the Indian International Film Festival in Goa. The Freedom Foundation is the among the largest HIV/AIDS centres in India and has been acknowledged both in India and internationally for the sterling work that it does.
Yesterday is being re-released at cinemas in South Africa tomorrow (Friday, 21 January ) at the following cinemas: MonteCasino, Nu Metro Benoni in Johannesburg; Menlyn in Pretoria; Nu Metro V&A, Canal Walk and Cinema Starz Grandwest in Cape Town; Nu Metro Pavilion in Durban and Cinema Starz Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth. All the cinemas will offer schools discounts on ticket prices for group bookings.
Yesterday, South Africa’s official entry for Oscar Consideration in the Best Foreign Language Picture. The Oscar nominations will be announced on the afternoon of Tuesday, 25 January 2005.
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.