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Darrell Roodt’s ‘Little One’ Is South Africa’s Entry For Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

Darrell Roodt's 'Little One' Is South Africa's Entry For Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

Well, it’s not Winnie, but the director of that Jennifer Hudson starrer, Darrell Roodt’s latest work, titled Umfaan (or Little One), is South Africa’s selection for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar category.

It doesn’t appear that the film has made its debut yet; at least, I couldn’t confirm that. The film doesn’t have an IMDB listing, and it’s certainly not on Roodt’s IMDB or IMDBPro pages.

And a google search using both the Xhosa and English titles of the film yielded nada. 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.

As the below video interview with Roodt shows, the director was moved by a real-life occurence that inspired the film’s story, which he calls “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 committee described it 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 it.

No trailer, but here’s a short video of Roodt talking about the film, which includes some footage from it:

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