Darrell Roodt’s latest work (not Winnie), titled Umfaan (or Little One), was South Africa’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar category. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the final nominations list of 5.
But the film will be released theatrically in South Africa on April 26 (no word on whether it’ll travel). It also has a new trailer and an official poster, both embedded below.
Recapping… the film tells the story of a child rape victim left for dead in a township near Johannesburg, and is eventually found and rescued by an older woman, who becomes very close to the little girl, and decides to launch her own investigation into the girl’s rape.
In a recent interview with Roodt, the director said that he was moved by a real-life occurence that inspired the film’s story, which he called “a film for the new South Africa.”
It’s worth noting that since South Africa first submitted a film for Oscar consideration in 1989, a total of 8 films have been submitted, and of those 8 titles, 2 have made the final short list of films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film – the first being another Darrell Roodt film, titled Yesterday (2004), and a year later, Gavin Hood’s Tsotsi, which ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards – the only South African film to do so.
In praising this year’s selection, the South African selection committee described Little One as “a universal story made local… a poignant, moving and minimalist narrative which is unapologetically South African.“
With descriptions like these (Roodt calling it “a film for the new South Africa,” and the committee’s “unapologetically South African“), I certainly hope it heads west, so I can see what exactly it is they mean with those descriptions.
The film stars Lindiwe Ndlovu, along with Vuyelwa Msimang, Mutodi Neshehe, Nompumelelo Nyiyane, Luzuko Nqeto, Vicky Kente, Jonathan Taylor, Thami Baleka, Richard Lukunku and Sarah Kozwoloski.
New trailer and poster embedded below: