South Africa Selects ‘Knuckle City’ for the 92nd Academy Awards – Best International Feature Film Category

‘Knuckle City’ is this year’s South African entry for the highly coveted best International Feature Film award (previously known as the Foreign Language Film award) for the 2020 Academy Awards.

Six South African film submissions were received for the 2020 Oscars consideration. They were: Flatland, Racheltjie De Beer, Poppie Nongena, Back of the Moon, Knuckle City and Moffie (currently in Venice and on its way to London).

Local film producers submitted their films to SA’s National Film and Video Foundation in August. They were then viewed by 14 jury members from the creative industry and the Jahmil XT Qhubeka’s Mdantsane-based film, Knuckle City, came through as the most relevant SA film.

One jury member said:

Its ‘slice of life’ perspective reminded me of what Quinton Tarantino and Guy Ritchie attempted to do with their earlier films. Knuckle City is not a superficial exploration of familial binds nestled between high octane car chases.

It is, in fact, a dark exploration of a family’s existence in a bleak world with some clever humour to make it palatable. Although this is not the obvious choice, I truly believe it’s the best choice we could have made to represent South Africa at the Academy Awards.

Knuckle City has received critical acclaim since its premiere at the 40th edition of Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).

The Cape Town Knuckle City cast and crew heading to the Durban Film Festival.

Posted by Knuckle City on Thursday, July 18, 2019

The film is currently making its international debut at the Toronto International Film festival (TIFF), where it will premiere in the official Contemporary World Cinema Category and it’s set to premiere in South African theatres on Boxing Day, 26 December 2019.

This richly layered film explores inherent toxic masculinity and the underbelly of the boxing world.

It’s a riveting exploration of the psychology of a fighter from the Mdantsane township, long recognised as the boxing mecca of South Africa.

NFVF CEO, Makhosazana Khanyile, said: “What an amazing journey Knuckle City has had thus far, the film is as hard-hitting as its title suggests. It’s quintessentially South African but also a very universal tale and touches on so many themes making it dark and relatable all at once.

“I think Jahmil is a fearless storyteller and we wish this film the very best as it competes on an international scale.”