Locals tip Freeman for Oscar

SOUTH African movie lovers are crossing their fingers for multi-award winning actor Morgan Freeman to romp home with the best actor award at the Oscars on Sunday.

SOUTH African movie lovers are crossing their fingers for multi-award winning actor Morgan Freeman to romp home with the best actor award at the Oscars on Sunday.

This is because Freeman on Monday won the best actor award for playing former president Nelson Mandela in the movie Invictus at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Awards.

Part of the movie was filmed in South Africa. The movie is based on the Springbok's triumph in the 1995 Rugby World Cup - a year after Mandela was elected the country's first black president.

Freeman said he felt honoured to have played the role of this international statesman.

"I'd like to thank the academy for this extraordinary honour. Congratulations to Matt Damon on his nomination. I'm especially grateful to Invictus director Clint Eastwood, producer Lori McCreary and the entire cast and crew.

Most importantly, thank you to Nelson Mandela for his encouragement, his blessing and his friendship - without which this film would not have been possible," he was quoted saying.

Another South African movie, District 9, is also in the running for an Oscar. This movie about aliens has been nominated for best picture, the same category as Avatar.

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