Filmmaker shortlisted for Oscar nomination

Durban North filmmaker, Nathan Rice.
Durban North filmmaker, Nathan Rice.

LOCAL resident and AFDA student (Durban campus), Nathan Rice’s film, Homeless, has been shortlisted for a nomination for the Student Academy of Motion Picture Awards in the best short foreign student film category.

Rice’s film, which was shot in the Greenwood Park and Springfield Park areas, was the the highest-scoring of over 60 short films, based on the audience and critics’ scores at the recent AFDA graduate festival held at Ster-Kinekor’s Cinema Nouveau and Suncoast Cinecentre.

“I am extremely humbled that I was shortlisted for a nomination for the student Oscars, and a little speechless,” said the excited 26-year-old.

“Just being considered is an honour, it means that the film has resonance and that people have acknowledged that the themes in the film are relevant in South African and today’s society.”

The film will also be AFDA’s nomination for the CILECT prize, the largest and most prestigious international association of film and television schools.

Rice shot most of his 13-minute film in the Greenwood Park and Springfield Park areas.

Rice shot most of his 13-minute film in the Greenwood Park and Springfield Park areas.

The former Kranskop resident said the film represented not just a physical homelessness, but also a homelessness of the soul.

The film, starring Cebo Zikhali, tells the story of a young man and his younger brother, who have been forcefully evicted from their shack at the Kennedy Road Informal Settlement. Left with nothing but a few meagre possessions and the older boy’s precious trumpet, they set out along Durban’s railway tracks in search of a new home and a better life.

“The film took a year from its conceptualisation to the writing. My production team and I scouted several areas around Durban and we felt the railway line around Greenwood Park and Springfield Park were perfect spots.

“I wanted to highlight a very visceral reality for the disadvantaged communities around South Africa. Music plays a massive role in the film with the trumpet, and in a way the metaphor was that he lost his home when he was evicted. But he also finds his home in the music,” he said.

Shiraz Habbib

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