Top Ten Videos to watch

A Man Operating A Tv Camera
Maurice White
'News One Now' With Roland Martin Taping
Bill Cosby
Activists In Los Angeles Gather To Burn Likenesses Of The Confederate Flag
Flint Firebirds V Windsor Spitfires
CBC Message To America: Rep. Conyers Addresses The Damage Inflicted On Our Communities By Poverty, Mass Incarceration And Lack Of Economic Development
Iowa Caucus Ted Cruz
NewsOne Now NAACP Image Awards Preview
Student sitting at a desk in a classroom
Slavery Stock image
The 16th Annual Wall Street Project Gala Fundraising Reception
Ava DuVernay
Roland Martin Blasts Stacey Dash For Comments About BET, Black Networks
President Obama Delivers State Of The Union Address At U.S. Capitol
Ava DuVernay
2016 North American International Auto Show
Democratic National Committee Presidential Primary Debate
88th Oscars Nominations Announcement
Democratic debate
Dream Speech
GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Charleston
US President Barack Obama speaks on the
2011 Winter TCA Tour - Day 5
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18, 2015: Two wooden stand-in Oscar statuettes are ready to be taken on
Woman Holding Dollars - Isolated
President Barack Obama Delivers His State Of The Union Address
Leave a comment

Actresses Khomotso Manyaka, right, and Keaoboka Makanyane, left, watch the Oscar nominations on an internet feed with fellow pupils at the School of the Arts in Johannesburg, Tuesday Jan. 25, 2011. The two are proud to been part of a film with an important lesson about AIDS in a country where teens like themselves carry heavy burdens because of the disease. The film almost made it to the Oscars with "Life, above all." It had been among nine possible best foreign language film nominees, but did not make the final cut when the Oscar five were announced. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

JOHANNESBURG — Two young South African actresses said Tuesday they’re proud to have been part of a film about the harsh realities of AIDS in their country even though the movie missed the final cut for an Academy Award nomination.

“Life, above all” had been among nine possible best foreign language film nominees, but was not one of the final five chosen.

The film based on Canadian writer Allan Stratton’s 2004 novel “Chanda’s Secrets,” is set in impoverished, rural South Africa, a world of prejudice and superstition surrounding AIDS. Twelve-year-old Chanda shows maturity and courage beyond her years when the disease strikes her family.

Khomotso Manyaka, 15, who played the lead character, said she hopes young viewers will leave her movie with the message that “they don’t have to keep secrets.”

“HIV is not something that you can hide,” said her co-star, 14-year-old Keaoboka Makanyane. “You have to talk about it so that you can get help.”

Both teens come from the same small town in rural northeastern South Africa and are in their first year as boarders at South Africa’s equivalent of New York’s “Fame” school. They earned full scholarships to the prestigious National School of the Arts in Johannesburg on the strength of their performances in the film.

The two teens, who had never before been out of the country, also have had a chance to see the world since the movie’s release, going to film festivals in Europe and the Middle East.

On Tuesday, they gathered with fellow students to watch an Internet feed of the Academy Award nominations announced from the United States.

The movie’s director, Oliver Schmitz, praised both young, first-time actresses.

“I’m proud to have gotten this far,” Schmitz said in a telephone interview from his base in Germany. “I’m proud of the movie.”

Years of South African government inaction have been reversed recently, but the legacy of official denial and the disease’s continuing fierce stigma have helped leave the country with more people living with HIV than anywhere else in the world.

Some 5.7 million of 50 million people are infected with the virus that causes AIDS, and South Africa has more than 1 million children orphaned by AIDS, many left to take responsibility for younger siblings.

Another South African movie with an AIDS theme, director Darrell James Roodt’s “Yesterday,” was a best foreign film nominee in 2005.

Also On News One: