African American Film Critics Association Names Inxeba Best Foreign Film

The build-up to the Oscars is taking shape as awards bodies announce their best films of the year. On 12 December, Inxeba (The Wound) was named the year’s Best Foreign Film by the African American Film Critics Association. The AAFC, the world’s largest group of professional black film critics, will present the award at the 9th annual AAFCA Awards ceremony on 7 February in Hollywood, as awards season is in full swing.

‘Inxeba’, a doomed love story between two men, starring musician and singer Nakhane, has been selected as South Africa’s entry into next year’s 90th Academy Awards®, known officially as The Oscars®, in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.

In 2016, the AAFCA bestowed ‘Moonlight’ with the award for best picture, after which the independent film went on to win the Best Picture Oscar®. A strong advocate for black stories, the AAFCA also named the Ava Duvernay series ‘Queen Sugar’ as Best Drama, and ‘Black-ish’ as Best Comedy in its television category. Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’, a psychological thriller that portraying the contemporary African-American experience, won four awards from the AAFCA, taking the trophies for best film, director, actor, and screenplay.

In Amsterdam this week ‘Inxeba’ was voted the Best Film at the International Queer & Migrant Film Festival.

“The Wound has earned international acclaim and won awards at several international film festivals. IQMF and Bijlmer Parktheater invite audiences to enjoy this beautiful study of clashing Xhosa models of masculinity.”

“Considering the wins around Inxeba, and the prestige of the AAFCA, which is comprised of African American journalists from across the US, this South African film is in the company of the best in the business,” says Helen Kuun, MD of Indigenous Film Distribution which is distributing the film locally. “The AAFCA recognises content that represents the global community, and encourages an environment where multiple voices are welcomed and championed. This award is a huge win for ‘Inxeba’, and for the filmmakers. We are proud to be representing it in South Africa.”

‘Inxeba’ just completed its Academy Awards® campaign in Los Angeles where key members of the creative team represented the film on the ground. “We held 10 exclusive screenings of the film in and around Hollywood over the course of 4 weeks.” explained producer Cait Pansegrouw. “Each screening was followed by a Q&A and a reception where we were able to discuss the film in detail with Academy® members. The film’s interrogation of toxic masculinity resonated deeply with the voters, given everything that is going on in the States at the moment, specifically in the film industry. We are feeling really hopeful about progressing further in the Oscars® race.”

The Oscars® shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film will be announced in the coming days and ‘Inxeba’ (The Wound) is releasing in cinemas in South Africa on 2 February 2018.


South Africa’s Inxeba Shortlisted For Academy Awards Best Foreign Film

: INXEBA (The Wound) the debut feature from director John Trengrove, is among the 9 films shortlisted for the 90th Academy Awards Foreign Language Film Category.

Vija & Initiates

Read the full list of foreign film nominees.

Critically acclaimed drama Inxeba is an exploration of tradition and sexuality set amid the Xhosa rights of passage into manhood.  This year there was a record of 92 foreign language films entered in the Oscars and the last time a South African film made the shortlist was 8 years ago, with Oliver Schmitz’s “Life Above All.”

Since its world premiere at Sundance, Inxeba has collected more than 18 international awards and has found a home in over 30 territories worldwide.  Most recently, it was awarded Best Foreign Language Film of 2017 by the African American Film Critics Association.

Director Trengrove orchestrates a dynamic examination of sexuality, masculinity, and the clash between traditional and contemporary African values.  The film has been lauded by critics and is considered “a milestone in South African cinema (Variety), however, the leadership of the Xhosa Nation does not support the film’s exposure of its sacred initiation process (ulwaluko), nor its connection to a gay love story.  The filmmakers have faced protests, calls by the Khosa King to ban the film and even death threats.

“The film’s interrogation of toxic masculinity seemed to resonate deeply with the Academy voters, given everything that is going on in the States at the moment, specifically in the film industry,” said producer Cait Pansegrouw.  “Bringing this film to light has been an incredible experience.  We are elated to have made it this far and are ready to push all the way to the end!”

“This is the best possible news to end off an amazing year,” said director John Trengrove. “For our film to be included in such incredible company is exciting and incredibly affirming. Also, I have so much love for the passionate team of producers and cast who have worked tirelessly this last month to make this moment happen.”

INXEBA ia an international co-production between South Africa, Germany, The Netherlands and France, and was produced by Elias Ribeiro and Cait Pansegrouw of Urucu Media, directed by John Trengrove and co-written by Trengrove, Thando Mgqolozana and Malusi Bengu.  It is co-produced by Batana Vundla of Cool Take Pictures with local support from The Department of Trade and Industry, M-Net, Indigenous Film Distribution and the National Film and Video Foundation.

The film stars Nakhane, Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay.  Inxeba will be released in South Africa on 02 February 2018, shortly after the announcement of the five Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Language Film.


9 Foreign Language Films Advance In Oscar® Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 90th Academy Awards ®. Ninety-two films had originally been considered in the category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

  • Chile, “A Fantastic Woman,” Sebastián Lelio, director;
  • Germany, “In the Fade,” Fatih Akin, director;
  • Hungary, “On Body and Soul,” Ildikó Enyedi, director;
  • Israel, “Foxtrot,” Samuel Maoz, director;
  • Lebanon, “The Insult,” Ziad Doueiri, director;
  • Russia, “Loveless,” Andrey Zvyagintsev, director;
  • Senegal, “Félicité,” Alain Gomis, director;
  • South Africa, “The Wound,” John Trengove, director;
  • Sweden, “The Square,” Ruben Östlund, director.

Foreign Language Film nominations for 2017 are determined in two phases.

The Phase I committee, consisting of Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 11. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

Academy members eligible to participate in the Nominations round of voting in New York, London, Los Angeles and, for the first time, the San Francisco Bay Area, will screen the nine shortlisted films in theaters over a three-day period from Friday, January 12, through Sunday, January 14, with three films screening each day. Additionally, international members (who live outside of the U.K.) will be invited to opt-in to stream the nine shortlisted films on the Academy’s member site. Members must see all nine films before casting their ballots.

Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards® will be announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.

The 90th Oscars® will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.


RMB’s Starlight Classics Back On M-Net

RMB Starlight Classics lights up the screen this festive season!
Popular concert returns to M-Net

This Sunday night, (17 December) fans of music and great local content are in for a treat as the RMB Starlight Classics concert returns to M-Net channel 101 at 17:30 for a second star-studded year.

Lead singer of Freshly Ground, Zolani Mahola

The show, which was filmed earlier in 2017, promises to take viewers on a musical journey of Afro-symphonic blends. With award-winning international and South African talent offerings forming part of this impressive show, it comes just in time to herald the festive season.

Gracing the stage of this year’s production are the three internationally acclaimed South African tenors, Siyabonga Maqungo, July Zuma and Sunnyboy Dladla, all of whom returned to South Africa to perform with a number of famous local voices. The Voice SA coach and President of Zoid Afrika, Karen Zoid, is amongst them, along with lead singer of Freshly Ground, Zolani Mahola, opera and musical theatre star Lynelle Kennedy, The Voice SA Season Two runner up Josh Ansley and acclaimed cross-over Jazz trio from Germany, Trio NeuKlang.

Another stage highlight is The Drakensberg Boys Choir, who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. The musical performances are supported by The Johannesburg Festival Orchestra and hosted by Maestro Richard Cock, with additional conducting done by Brandon Phillips.

Viewers can expect an eclectic mix of famous musical numbers, with everything from the classical aria “Nessum Dorma” to Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and Johnny Clegg’s “Spirit of the Great Heart” on the bill!

This popular, festive concert is the brainchild of Richard Cock and Rand Merchant Bank and has been entertaining over 400 000 people for close to two decades.


Coming Up On Carte Blanche – 17, 24, 31 December 2017

Please note that the Carte Blanche team is taking a well-deserved break for the month of December.

As in previous years, M-Net will be broadcasting some of the best Carte Blanche inserts from the past 11 months during this period. Below, please see the Carte Blanche line-ups for Sunday, 17 December, Sunday, 24 December and Sunday 31 December respectively.

17 December 2017 at 19:00 & again on M-Net Plus 1 [901] at 20:00

Bush Racing

Bush racing has become a popular underground pastime in which retired race horses are literally raced to their death. It’s a brutal sport run by gangs across the Western Cape for gambling purposes. Carte Blanche asks: why has law enforcement failed to put an end to this cruel sport?

Producer: Annalise Lubbe
Presenter: John Webb

Mars One

It’s the trip of a lifetime… a one way ticket to Mars, and three South Africans have been shortlisted to join the colony.  Mars One is one of the space missions aiming to establish a permanent human settlement on the Red Planet. Several unmanned missions will be completed, establishing a habitable settlement before carefully selected and trained crews finally depart for Mars. Carte Blanche explores this extraordinary mission.

Producer: Diana Lucas
Presenter: John Webb

Scarred, But Not For Life

Almost six years ago a routine early morning drive to the gym changed the life of Kim McCusker in an instant. After a minor bumper bashing, the taxi driver responsible, refused to give his details to her fiancé. Hoping to assist, Kim approached the taxi, but she never got to his window, because he accelerated, knocked her over, and seconds later she was dragged for 780 metres under the vehicle. Carte Blanche tells the remarkable story of her recovery, her will to live, and her family’s love and support that made it all possible.

Producer: Joy Summers
Presenter: Derek Watts

A cut above – SA’s sheep shearing champion

The sporting rivalry between South Africa, New Zealand and Australia is legendary but there’s one sport in which South Africa is the undisputed World Champion – blade sheep shearing.  Recently 400 competitors from 31 nations battled it out in the International Sheep Shearing Championships and once again, South Africa came out tops.  It’s a physically demanding sport but for titleholder Mayenzeke Shweni, sheep shearing is more than just a game.  Carte Blanche meets a winner, who’s a cut above the rest.

Producer: Carol Albertyn Christie
Presenter: Claire Mawisa
Watch the trailer

24 December 2017 at 19:00 & again on M-Net Plus 1 [901] at 20:00

Declining Adoption Numbers

In recent years, the rate of child adoptions in South Africa has declined substantially. Now the Department of Social Development in KZN is accused of deliberately slowing down the adoption process in the province, leaving hundreds of children stuck in places of safety without the hope of finding loving families. Carte Blanche explores a system in crisis.

Producer: Sophia Phirippides
Presenter: Claire Mawisa

Tissue Regeneration

How do you mend a broken heart? New medical research on the zebra-fish could hold the answer. This tiny little freshwater fish has an amazing ability to regenerate its own heart, spinal cord and other tissue and this could offer hope of recovery to millions of people living with permanent heart damage after a heart attack. Carte Blanche explores this medical discovery.

Producer: Eugene Botha
Presenter: Derek Watts

Transport Crook

It’s an easy con – pull in the deals, get subcontractors to do all the work, pocket the big bucks and disappear without paying.  That’s how one middleman in the transport industry almost got away with stealing millions from transporters. Carte Blanche tracks down this elusive scamster.

Producer: Nicky Troll
Presenter: Devi Sankaree Govender

Granny runs Geneva

At 86, Deirdre Larkin has proven that age is just a number.  She holds the half-marathon world record for women over eighty-five, and she’s also broken the South African 10km record for women over 70. After seeing her story on Carte Blanche, sponsors rushed to help Deidre run her first race in Europe.  Now, she’s collected another title at the Geneva Half Marathon. Carte Blanche heads to Switzerland with this remarkable athlete.

Producer: Kate Barry
Presenter: Derek Watts
Watch the trailer.


31 December 2017 at 19:00 & again on M-Net Plus 1 [901] at 20:00

Trevor Noah: A Carte Blanche Special

In 2014, Trevor Noah was just a well-known stand-up comedian with a recurring role as a contributor on one of the biggest talk shows in the USA.  Now at 33 years old, Noah is taking on the Big Apple in a big way.  His path from apartheid South Africa to the anchor chair of The Daily Show is the stuff of dreams. With a best-selling book already in the bag, sold-out shows around the world and multiple international awards, Carte Blanche takes you behind the scenes into the New York life of South Africa’s favourite export.

Producer: Diana Lucas
Presenter: Devi Sankaree Govender
Watch the trailer.