Yesterday which received South Africa’s first-ever Oscar Nomination in the Best Foreign Language category last year, scored another first by becoming the first South African film to be awarded the prestigious Peabody Award in the United States. The Peabody Awards which are administered by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, is widely considered to be the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting and recognizes distinguished achievement in electronic media. This follows the broadcast of Yesterday in the United States on World AIDS day last year.
This year, the Peabody Awards honoured recipients from three continents and in seven languages which reflect the international scope of the competition. Yesterday, was described “as a South African film that personalized Africa’s AIDS crisis.”
“The Peabody Award is a great honour for Yesterday, especially as it is considered to be the Pulitzer Prize of broadcasting,” said producer, Anant Singh. “It is a thrill for us to have a small film from South Africa, in isiZulu, bestowed with this great honour. It is a testament to Darrell James Roodt who wrote and directed the film and the entire Yesterday team,” added Singh.
Singh was with Quincy Jones, doyen of the American music and entertainment industry when he received news of the Peabody Award. Commenting on the Award, Jones said, “The Peabody Awards is a big deal, and very respected all around the world. The Award is not often conferred on feature films and I am thrilled for Yesterday. Congratulations to all, it is a wonderful 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.