The World Unseen, a locally-made film about two women who fall in love, scooped 11 South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) on the weekend.

The film, which has been compared to Brokeback Mountain, is set in the 1950’s Apartheid South Africa Indian community. It tells the story of the taboo relationship between Miriam, a married woman and mother, and the free-spirited Amina.

This film was awarded the SAFTAs’s Golden Horns for: best director (Shamim Sarif); best supporting actor (David Dennis); best supporting actress (Natalie Becker); best ensemble, best writing team (Shamim Sarif); best cinematographer (Mike Downie); best editor in feature film (Ronelle Loots); best production designer (Tanya van Tonder); Best costume designer (Danielle Knox); best make-up / hairstylist in a feature film (Caera O’Shaughneey); and best sound designer (Barry Donnelly).

The eleven SAFTAs follow closely on international acclaim garnered by The World Unseen, including “World Cinema Best Director” at the Phoenix International Film Festival, “Official Selection” at the Toronto International Film Festival, “Official Selection” at the 51st BFI London Film Festival, and “Audience Award, Best Feature” at the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. It also won a silver medal at the Verzaubert Film Festival.

The World Unseen is based on the award-winning novel by its openly gay director, London-based Shamim Sarif, who has deep roots in South Africa; where her parents and grandparents were born and raised. This heritage inspired her novel, which won the Pendleton May First Novel Award and the prestigious Betty Trask Award.

The World Unseen is scheduled for release in South Africa this Friday 13 February 2009, and stars David Dennis, Colin Moss, Natalie Becker and Lisa Ray.

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