Thina Sobabili, a film by Ernest Nkosi, has been confirmed as South Africa’s official entry for consideration into the Annual Academy Awards’ (Oscars) Best Foreign Language Film category. The South African Academy Award selection committee and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) made the announcement after intensive deliberations. If the film is approved by the Oscars Academy Award selection committee, it will move forward to the next step of the Oscars selection process.
Set in South Africa’s biggest township, Thina Sobabili is a story of siblings; Thulani and Zanele as they journey through life knowing that they have no one but each other to lean on. With Alexandra Township serving as a vibrant backdrop, the siblings escape tragedy and build a life together where big brother Thulani is over protective of his younger sister.
Winner of 2015 Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) and Jozi Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award, Thina Sobabili, marks the directorial debut of Ernest Nkosi. It stars Emmanuel Nkosinathi Gweva, Busisiwe Mtshali, Mpho ‘Popps’ Modikoane, Richard Lukunku, Thato Dhladla and Zikhona Sodlaka.
“It is a great honour to be selected as South Africa’s consideration for Oscar’s 2016. Although we produced the film on a very limited budget, we believed in its quality and were confident that it will dazzle the world. Earlier in the year we were honoured with the Audience Choice Award at PAFF and at the Jozi Film Festival, and believe that more is yet to come for the film,” said Ernest Nkosi after receiving the news.
As the custodian of film in South Africa, the NFVF is recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences as the body that represents the country’s film industry, thereby affording the organization the authority to make submissions on behalf of the South African film industry.
“The committee deliberated on the films submitted this year, and concluded that Thina Sobabili will best represent the country. The film addresses issues that we are faced with on a daily basis,” said Vuyo Sokupa, head of Production and Development at the NFVF.
Should the Oscars Academy Award Selection Committee nominate Thina Sobabili as a South African entry, the film will join award-winning Tsotsi (2006) and previously nominated Yesterday (2005) as South Africa’s representatives at the Oscars. The Oscars will be held on 28 February 2016.