Skoonheid

Directed by Oliver Hermanus, Skoonheid tells the story of a man who is the product of apartheid and feels excluded from the new South Africa. Raised within the confines of conservatism, Francois Van Heerden carefully constructs his life to achieve societal approval, but experiences a sterile existence that fills him with profound regret and the conviction that his is a wasted life.

The first co-production film under the South Africa/ France co-production treaty, Skoonheid was the first Afrikaans film to be selected for the Cannes International Film Festival's Un Certain Regard section.

News from Toronto, Canada, where the film was screening in the Official Selection of the Toronto International Film Festival 2011 reported that the film secured an American distribution deal with TLA Releasing. Channel24 also reported that the film was also sold to the territory of Poland.

Peter Goldsmid, South African Academy Selection Committee spokesperson said the film stood out as a representation of good South African filmmaking meeting all the criteria. “Our decision was unanimous. Skoonheid was by far the best film; it held the audience, it had a protagonist with real internal conflict, it had a strong structure it is a compelling, assured piece of work by a confident director with a distinctive vision and point of view. What also stood out were excellent performances and the assured realization of the world of the story. It clearly met these are universal criteria.”

Oliver Hermanus, Skoonheid's director was excited when the news was shared with the team, "I am extremely honoured and proud to have Skoonheid represent South Africa as the official country selection for the Academy Awards. It has been an amazing year for us as a team, we strove to produce something provocative and thought provoking, and it is extremely rewarding and encouraging to see our work be acknowledged and supported in this way. I will keep my fingers firmly crossed for a nomination!" he said.

Skoonheid has successfully been distributed in the UK, Holland, Australia, France, Germany and Italy.