South Africa in the running for 5 Golden Globe Awards

Distribution

Football isn't the only reason why 2010 will be a good year for South Africa. With five Golden Globe nominations directly linked to the country, Hollywood is sure to take note.

Locally filmed District 9 received a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture category, with South African director Neill Blomkamp and partner Terri Tatchell jointly nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

The other film with a local connection, Invictus, received three nominations in the Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director categories. Another local twist which many may miss is British actor 's Chiwetel Ejiofor nomination for the made-for-TV film Endgame, in which he tackles the role of Thabo Mbeki.

The District 9 writing duo had finished the screenplay - which incorporates the idea of one race in an impoverished area being kicked out by the race already present - when the film was shot in Joburg during last year's xenophobic violence.

While the film-makers stuck closely to the script, much of the dialogue was ad-libbed, and careful scrutiny by an observant local viewer will identify some of the film's news footage as having been recorded at the time.

The satirical sci-fi thriller has also been short-listed for the best visual effects category at the Academy Awards and nominated for best visual effects, director, screenplay and editing at the International Press Academy Satellite Awards (which is a split from the HFPA).

The Golden Globe nomination pits the duo against the screenwriters of The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, It's Complicated and Up In The Air.

Morgan Freeman, nominated for Best Actor (drama) as Nelson Mandela in Invictus, said he had been looking for the best material since 1996 and "their agent gave us a book proposal by John Carlin" which became Tony Peckham's incredible script.

"It is fitting that we receive news of this nomination while we are back in South Africa, while preparing to premiere Invictus for thousands of children in Soweto. When the HFPA acknowledges us, they also honour the wisdom and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

"This was a proud day for us all - the entire cast and crew who made our work possible, the majority of whom are South African." Freeman was nominated alongside George Clooney (Up In The Air), Tobey Maguire (Brothers), Colin Firth (A Single Man) and Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart). Matt Damon was nominated as best supporting actor for Invictus, while Clint Eastwood received a best director nod for the film.

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