Jephta will be the fourth female director to be submitted to the Oscars by South Africa.
South Africa’s National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) has confirmed the selection of Amy Jephta’s ‘Barakat’ as its Best International Feature Film submission for the 94th Oscars.
Produced by Ephraim Gordon and directed by Jephta, the film which is South Africa’s first Muslim film shot in Afrikaans, follows the story of of a matriarch who must keep the peace between her four sons returning to their family home for the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations.
‘Barakat’, an Arabic word meaning blessings, premiered in theatres to critical acclaim back in May. The family drama has since recorded a number of firsts. Director Jephta will be the first woman of colour director to represent the country at the Academy awards and the fourth woman.
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Reacting to the film’s selection, director Jephta said: “I am so proud that our small story about a family has reached as many people as it has. To be recognized by South Africa in this way is incredibly special after an extremely challenging year for our film industry.”
“This selection was totally unexpected, but it shows that everyone’s hard work on this project has paid off. This film was a blessing from the beginning and continues to be. It is our Barakat,” Gordon added.
‘Barakat’ stars Vinette Ebrahim, Joey Rasdien, Mortimer Williams, Keeno-Lee Hector, Danny Ross, Quanita Adams and Bonnie Mbuli.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Oscar committee NOSC announced weeks ago that there will be no Academy award submission from Nigeria this year as none of the submitted films met the criteria for the category.