'Black Butterflies' Tops South African Film Awards

The biopic about South African poet Ingrid Jonker wins six trophies, including best feature film.

COLOGNE, Germany - Black Butterflies, Paula van der Oest's biopic on acclaimed South African poet Ingrid Jonker, swept the sixth annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) taking six trophies, including best feature film.

Black Butterflies' star Carice van Houten did not qualify for the best actress nod as she is Dutch, not South African. The film, which Beta Cinema has sold to more than 50 countries worldwide, is a Dutch/German/South African co-production. Tribeca Film has U.S. rights.

The SAFTAs elected not to award a best actress trophy this year as only one actress qualified under the SAFTA guidelines. SAFTA organizers, the South African national film and video foundation, said the 10 features accepted for this year's honors "were predominantly male-driven stories." These included Beauty, which won SAFTA prizes for best director (Oliver Hermanus) and the best actor nod for Dean Lotz who plays a repressed white South African homosexual man who begins to obsess about his nephew. Lotz shared the best actor prize with Patrick Mofokeng, who won for his starring role in Lonny Price's Master Harold…and the Boys.

The foundation chastised South African producers for their masculine focus. "This is a far from desirable situation," it said in a statement, urging South African writers and production companies "to bear in mind that as an industry we need to be telling more stories that provide a platform for the luminous female thespian talent our country has to offer."

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