AFDA Johannesburg alumni Ernest Nkozi’s master’s thesis film, “Thina Sobabili” (The Two of Us) keeps up the running in the fast lane. After winning the Audience Choice award at Pan African Film Festival 2015 in LA and the Audience Choice Award at the Jozi Film festival 2015, “Thina Sobabili” has not only been selected as the only African film to screen at this year’s Urban World Film Festival but also for the most prestigious prize of all. Ernest’s film has been selected by the South African Academy Awards selection committee and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) as South Africa’s submission for the best foreign-language film for the Oscar race.
The film, set in Alexandra, South Africa’s largest township, tells the story of two siblings who escape tragedy in the impoverished slum to build a life together.
Nkosi called the selection a “great honour,” adding that while the film was produced “on a very limited budget,” he is “confident that it will dazzle the world.”
Vuyo Sokupa, of the NFVF, described the film as “engaging” and said it was selected because it “addresses issues that (South Africans) are faced with on a daily basis.”
Should “Thina Sobabili” get the foreign- language film nomination nod, it would join previous South African selections “Yesterday” (2005) and 2006 Oscar winner “Tsotsi.”