List of South African submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

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South Africa has submitted films for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since 1989. The award is handed out annually by the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States that contains primarily non-English dialogue.[1] It was not created until the 1956 Academy Awards, in which a competitive Academy Award of Merit, known as the Best Foreign Language Film Award, was created for non-English speaking films, and has been given annually since.[2]

Two South African films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film: Darrell Roodt's Yesterday and Gavin Hood's Tsotsi.[3][4] Hood's Tsotsi won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards, the only South African film to do so.[4]


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited the film industries of various countries to submit their best film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since 1956.[2] The Foreign Language Film Award Committee oversees the process and reviews all the submitted films. Following this, they vote via secret ballot to determine the five nominees for the award.[1] Below is a list of the films that have been submitted by South Africa for review by the Academy for the award by year and the respective Academy Awards ceremony.

Film title Language(s) Director Result
Mapantsula [5][6] Zulu, Afrikaans, Sesotho, English Oliver Schmitz Not Nominated
Paljas Afrikaans Katinka Heyns Not Nominated
Yesterday Zulu Darrell Roodt Nominated
Tsotsi Sesotho, Tswana, Afrikaans, English Gavin Hood Won Academy Award
Jerusalema Sesotho, English, Tsotsitaal Ralph Ziman Not Nominated
White Wedding Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English Jann Turner Not Nominated
Life, Above All Northern Sotho Oliver Schmitz Made January Shortlist[7]
Beauty[8] Afrikaans Oliver Hermanus Not Nominated
Little One[9] Zulu Darrell Roodt Not Nominated
Four Corners[10] Afrikaans Ian Gabriel Not Nominated
Elelwani[11] Venda Ntshavheni wa Luruli Not Nominated
The Two of Us[12] Zulu Ernest Nkosi Not Nominated
Call Me Thief[13] Afrikaans Daryne Joshua Not Nominated
The Wound[14] Xhosa John Trengove Made December shortlist[15]
Sew the Winter to My Skin[16] Afrikaans language, Xhosa, English Jahmil X.T. Qubeka

See also


  1. ^ a b "Rule Thirteen: Special Rules for the Foreign Language Film Award". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-26.
  2. ^ a b "History of the Academy Awards - Page 2". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
  3. ^ "Oscars 2005: The Nominees". BBC. 2005-01-25. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  4. ^ a b Zomorodi, Manoush (2006-03-06). "Tsotsi takes foreign film Oscar". BBC. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
  5. ^ Mapantsula appeared on the official Oscar press release in 1989, but Paljas was listed as South Africa's first-ever submission in 1997. It appears likely that Mapantsula was not screened.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Continue to Oscar Race". Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  8. ^ "63 Countries Vie for 2011 Foreign Language Film Oscar". Archived from the original on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  9. ^ Vourlias, Christopher (28 September 2012). "S. Africa picks 'Little One' for Oscar nom". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  10. ^ "South Africa Picks 'Four Corners' for Oscar". Variety. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  11. ^ "Elelwani, the first Tshivenda film selected as South Africa's Oscars entry". National Film and Video Foundation. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  12. ^ Vourlias, Christopher (22 September 2015). "South Africa Sets Drama for Foreign-language Oscar Race". Variety. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  13. ^ "'Call Me Thief' Is South Africa's 2017 Foreign Language Film Academy Award Submission". Shadow and Act. 27 September 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  14. ^ Vourlias, Christopher (1 October 2017). "South Africa Enters 'The Wound' in Foreign-Language Oscar Race". Variety. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  15. ^ Pond, Steve (14 December 2017). "Oscars Foreign Language Shortlist Includes 'The Square,' 'A Fantastic Woman'". The Wrap. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  16. ^ "South Africa's official selection to the 91st Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) Best Foreign Language Film". National Film and Video Foundation. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.

External links

  • The Official Academy Awards Database
  • The Motion Picture Credits Database
  • IMDb Academy Awards Page
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