5 proudly South African films that rocked the international market

2014-05-27 06:00
Spud 2: The Madness Continues
Cape Town - The South African movie industry in the past few years has been making strides towards becoming a force to be reckoned with in the international market. Here are 5 proudly South African films that played a big part in showcasing our country's creativity internationally.  


Released in 2005, this masterpiece from director Gavin Hood stars Presley Chweneyegae alongside Terry Pheto. Set in the Johannesburg township Alexandra Tsotsi tells the story of a young man who hijacks a car and shoots the owner only to discover a three-month-old baby in the back seat.

Tsotsi won the 2005 Academy Award for best foreign language film and was nominated for the Golden Globe for best foreign language film in 2006. Gavin Hood was also nominated for the 2005 Non-European Film - Prix Screen International at the European Film Awards for his work on the film. The film enjoyed box office success making a $9 879 971 profit with a production cost of $3m.

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District 9

A Sci-Fi thriller released in 2009 from producer Peter Jackson and director Neil Blomkamp. District 9 tells the story of an alien species that take shelter in a Johannesburg township.  A large alien spacecraft is discovered hovering above the township to the displeasure of the South African Government.

District 9 enjoyed international success with an estimated profit of $210 819 611. The production budget was $30m. The film was named one of the top 10 independent films of 2009 by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures. It received four Academy Awards nominations, seven British Academy Film Awards nominations, five Broadcast Film Critics association nominations, and one Golden Globe nomination.

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Long Walk To Freedom

The much publicised biography released in 2013 from famed producer Anant Singh chronicles the life of  Nelson Mandela. From his childhood in a rural village, the obstacles and struggles that he faced as a freedom fighter to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.  

Long Walk To Freedom raked in $27 333 835 at the box office. The budget for this film was $35m. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original song ; U2’s Ordinary Love. It also received 4 golden globes and won a globe for best song.

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This drama released in 2004  tells story of a young mother, called Yesterday (played by Leleti Khumalo), who discovers she has AIDS. Her husband, a migrant mine labourer, who originally gave her the disease, rejects her. Her ambition is to live long enough to see her daughter, Beauty, go to school.

Yesterday enjoyed some international success. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 77th Academy Awards, as Best Film at the 3rd Pune International Film Festival in India. Inaugural Human Rights Film Award at the 2004 Venice Film Festival, Awards for Best Sound, Best Make Up and Best Editing at the 2005 African Movie Academy Awards and Nominated for Outstanding Made for Television movie at the 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards.

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Released in 2010 the comedy directed by Donovan Marsh Spud is based on the popular  novel by South African author, actor, playwright and producer, John van de Ruit. The film captures the humor of life in boarding school, through the diary of John 'Spud' Milton.

The  film was nominated for six South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Cinematographer (Lance Gewer), Best Editor (Megan Gill), Best Sound Designer (Barry Donelly), Best Feature Film, Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film (Troye Sivan), and Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film (Jamie Royal).

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