Local film wins Oscar

Edward Tsumele and Sapa

Edward Tsumele and Sapa

It was late last year that the media was called to assemble at the Atlas Studios in Auckland Park to be introduced to a new series of documentaries curiously called Why Democracy?

The documentaries were later screened on SABC, exploring the concept of democracy and whether it was the best model of governance. Little did we know that one of these documentaries would one day walk away with a big award.

One of those packages, which looks at the issues of democracy throughout the world, won an Oscar in the Feature Category in Los Angeles, US, on Sunday.

The film, Taxi to the Dark Side, was produced by Cape Town filmmaker Don Edkins, and conceptualised and directed by Alex Gibney.

It is based on an Afghan taxi driver who died after brutal interrogation by the US military in 2002.

Edkins, who did not attend the ceremony, said the fact that the film won an Oscar shows the strength of film-making in the country. The film was one of two South African-coordinated, Edkins-produced films in the Why Democracy? project that were short-listed for the awards.