Inxeba looks to be a strong Oscar contender

AwardsWatch, which tracks and predicts the nominees and winners of the Oscars, has given Inxeba an 80% chance of winning the Foreign Language Film race. The forum states “The film will be able to stand out from the pack and it also has many elements in its favour: diversity, a world rarely seen, an important and shocking narrative and powerful drama”. By exploring the psychological and physical wounds in initiation school with great artistry and sensitivity, the film represents what voters love: a film that goes deeply local to offer a story of global resonance.

This year, a record of 92 films are vying for the Oscars foreign language film nominations. Inxeba is currently being screened at Landmark Theatre in Pico Boulevard and the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica among others. Official screenings of the film for the 75th Golden Globe Awards also take place between now and early December.

The film’s director, John Trengove, told news blog DeadlineHollywood how Inxeba is an important film to bring the strands of homosexuality and tradition together. “When we first started speaking about the possibility of making a queer South African film, people like Robert Mugabe were saying that homosexuality is un-African and threatens traditional culture. It’s more than a queer love story; it also investigates issues of hypermasculinity.”

In the same interview, Niza Jay, who plays the role of Kwanda, an initiate who challenges the notion of tradition, said the film will have a long lifespan given all the issues it speaks to, particularly those of masculinity and manhood which are close to his heart. “I knew I had to be involved from the moment I auditioned for the role,” he said.

The film’s journey to the Oscars began with a hugely successful world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and was followed by its European premiere as the opening film on the Panorama programme at the 67th Berlinale in Germany.

The 92 films competing for the Oscar will be cut to a shortlist of nine before Christmas, with announcement of the 5 nominations following in late January 2018.

In South Africa, viewers will be able participate by voting for or against the film at People’sChoice screenings hosted by TimesLive in Johannesburg and Cape Town in early December.

Inxeba (The Wound) is releasing in cinemas in South Africa on 2 February 2018, shortly after the official five nominations for Best Foreign Language Film 2018 are announced by the Academy in Los Angeles.

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Arts Desk
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