Can he lift a junior gong?

31 January 2013 - 02:01 By ANDILE NDLOVU
Miklas Manneke
Miklas Manneke

South Africa might have finally found a way to break the Germany and Scandinavian stranglehold on the Student Academy Awards - a German-born South African.

For the past decade, Germany and Denmark have monopolised the Foreign Film Award category.

Not that South Africa has never snagged the category. Tristan Holmes won it in 2006 with his film Elalini.

Now 23-year-old German-born South African Miklas Manneke is hoping his perspective of both countries gives him an edge. He has entered his 27-minute film Kanye Kanye, loosely translated to mean "together".

"I feel freer here [than in Germany, where my father is from], and there are plenty of stories to tell," he says.

"The idea started from my previous film, Electricity, where we looked at what perceptions people have of South African cinema, and we knew that people only saw stuff like tsotsis, poverty and violence. But people are born in the townships, they live there, they learn to love there and eventually die there. That's the story we wanted to tell."

It is a heart-warming and funny story about the forbidden love between teenagers (played by third-year acting students Gundo Ramulifho and Bongeka Sishi).

What are Manneke's chances of winning the Oscar come June 8?

He is modest: "It's just such a great honour to be nominated that winning would be the cherry on top. The climate of the world right now is about so much fighting - so it's more important that the film touches lives than wins an Oscar."