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Another World First for ‘Yesterday’

The production team of South Africa’s first-ever Oscar nominated film, Yesterday, are on their way to Los Angeles to attend the Emmy Awards on Sunday, 27 August. The film has been nominated in the Best Film category. This nomination marks the first occasion that a film has received nominations for both Academy and Emmy Awards. The team comprising of producers Anant Singh and Helena Spring, executive producers Sanjeev Singh and Sudhir Pragjee, writer/director Darrell James Roodt and lead star Leleti Khumalo will be in attendance at television’s top awards event at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, hosted by Conan O’Brien, the critically acclaimed host of NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

Yesterday will be vying for the Emmy Award with competition from Flight 93, The Flight That Fought Back, The Girl In The Cafe and Mrs. Harris. The Emmy Award is the television equivalent of the Oscars and recognises excellence within various areas of the television industry. It is also a symbol of peer recognition from the membership of Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Producer Anant Singh commented, “It is really exciting to have received the Emmy nomination which is the ultimate award for the television industry. We are proud of Yesterday’s achievements among which were the Oscar Nomination last year and the Peabody Award earlier this year. We are delighted that our small film in isiZulu is competing against the big budget English language films produced by the major television networks in the United States.”

Writer/Director Darrell James Roodt said, “Yesterday has been full of surprises – it keeps getting recognition around the world. I am thrilled with the Emmy nomination and hope that we return to South Africa with the prize.”

Carl Fisher, CEO of M-Net’s Local Production division said, “We at M-Net are proud with the Emmy Nomination received by Yesterday and to have been involved in the production of the film. This is the first time that a production in which M-Net has been involved in has received an Emmy Nomination.”

Also on Sunday, 27 August, co-lead of Yesterday, Kenneth Kambule will represent the film at the African Film Series in Berlin. The event is being held under the banner of the respected NGO, Initiative Southern Africa, and is aimed to counteract the dwindling socio-political recognition of Africa and its increasing ahistorical and apolitical perception in Germany.

Yesterday is an HBO presentation of 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.

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