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Skin for Best Foreign Film Award

by Mbini
(Pretoria, South Africa)

Skin for Best Foreign Film Award

Skin for Best Foreign Film Award

Skin for Best Foreign Film Award

A new movie, SKIN is the story of our own South African white girl trapped in a black girl skin. It makes one wonder if we are not all just one race, one people, one in all respects. Either way, it really makes no difference what colour a person is.

Based on Sandra Laing's real life story, "skin" is a narration of Sandra's thirty-year old journey and very sad story. Born to white parents and all white grandparents in Piet Rietief and classified as white, Sandra looked black and was rejected by the white community. She was expelled at school at the age of 10. Naturally, she fell in love with a black man and in the apartheid years, that was not even an option. At age 15, they eloped to Swaziland. She was rejected by her own family and even received death threats from her father.

Sandra's children are grown up with their own families. I am still recovering from the sadness I felt when I watched the documentary. In her recent interview with Women and Hollywood, Sandra says about her family:

"I have forgiven my family. I didn't get a chance to ask forgiveness from my father but I did see my mother before she died and now just my brothers are left. They don't want to speak to me. They are still angry with me from when I left home and when I chose black people over them."

Skin, the movie is was released in South Africa on Friday 22 January 2010. The film is currently screened in Brooklyn Nouveau and Wonderpark (Ster-Kinekor) in Pretoria. For tickets visit Sterkinekor website during the week of release.

Skin has already won over 12 Festival awards including the Audience Award for Best Film at the Santa Barbara Film festival, Best Narrative and Best Jury Awards at the Pan African Film Festival, Audience Award at the Afrika Film Festival, Belgium , Audience Award at the AFI Dallas, Best Feature Film at the Palm Beach International Film Festival 2009, and Circle Audience Award at the Film Fest DC - Washington DC.

Starring Award-winning Sophie Okonedo, Sam Neill, Alice Krige, Tony Kgoroge and Ella Ramangwane, Skin is produced by Anthony Fabian, Genevieve Hofmeyr and Margaret Matheson, and directed by Anthony Fabian. The film's release in South Africa is supported by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), The History Channel, Ster-Kinekor, United Independent Pictures (UIP), and Mail & Guardian.

Sandra Laing's life story is also painted in a book called "When She Was White" by Judith Stone.

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