• A South African film student has been shortlisted for the Student Oscars. The Durban-based student, Nathan Rice has been nominated for the Student Academy of Motion Picture Awards in the best short foreign student film category.

    Rice’s film titled, Homeless, is story about a young man and his younger brother who are forcefully evicted from their shack. The film looks at life of these two homeless brothers and their subsequent journey to find their long lost mother’s home in hopes of a better future.

    Rice said he was inspired by a newspaper article. “I remember I read an article in the newspaper about the removal of shacks so I researched it and decided I wanted to do a film about it. I developed their characters and that’s kind of how Homeless started," explained Rice.

    The 26-year-old nominee, who completed his three-year degree at the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance also known as AFDA, said that this nomination made him speechless.

    "I feel really honoured that it's just been considered. It means that the story has touched a lot of people and I hope it can reach a lot more people and a lot more people can see it and know more about the people in these situations," he said.

    Rice stated that he plans to pursue a career as a writer and director in the local film industry, which he says has a lot of potential.

    "The current film industry is rather small at the moment. But it's growing and from what I've seen, there is a lot of potential in the country. At the moment, we do a lot of servicing to international productions and that." 

    "Slowly, we are becoming independent. I think especially among the young people, there is a lot of talent I see around me," Rice added. 

    Last year in November, the film received rave reviews from the audience and critics at the AFDA graduation festival at Ster-Kinekor’s Cinema Nouveau and Suncoast Cine-centre.

    Homeless has also been entered as AFDA’s nomination for the International Association of Film and Television Schools (CILECT) prize that honours outstanding achievements by students.  

    Rice also said that if he wins he will thank his family for always encouraging and supporting his career, and also his lecturers and peers. “Filmmaking has always been my passion and I hope to make more films,” Rice added.

    Rice aspires to be just like Richard Linklater, an American film director and screenwriter.