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THE WORLD UNSEEN
USA: Regent Releasing
UK: Enlightenment Films
Cast: Lisa Ray, Sheetal Sheth, Parvin Dabas, David Dennis, Grete Fox, Colin Moss, Nandana Sen, David Dennis, Rjesh Gope, Bernard White, Natalie Becker, Amber Rose, Avantika Akerkar
Director: Shamim Sarif
Countries: South Africa / UK
USA: 94 mins
UK: 93 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexuality, and violence
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate violence and brief sexual violence
USA Release Date: 7 November 2008 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 3 April 2009 (Limited Release - London)
Set in 1950's South Africa when apartheid was just beginning, THE WORLD UNSEEN follows a free-spirited woman, Amina (Sheetal Sheth), who has broken all the rules of both her own conventional Indian community and the new apartheid-led government. She runs a cafe with Jacob, her 'colored' business partner.
Cafe regulars include Amina's feisty waitress Doris, her gentle "coloured" business partner Jacob and the lively, white local postmistress Madeleine. Long accustomed to the racial barriers of the country and its new laws, Madeleine and Jacob nevertheless share a budding attraction.
When she meets Miriam (Lisa Ray), a young traditional wife and mother, their unexpected attraction is strong enough for Miriam to question the rules that bind her. As Amina helps Miriam's sister-in-law to hide from the police, a chain of events is set in motion that changes both women forever.
Using the stunning South African landscape and jazz tunes of the time, The World Unseen explores a system that divides white from black and women from men, but one that might just allow an unexpected love to survive.
Winner - Best Debut Feature Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival
SAFTA Winner of nine awards, including Best Director Feature Film (Shamim Sarif) Best Writer Feature Film Best Editor Feature Film Best Supporting Actor (David Dennis) Best Supporting Actress (Natalie Becker) Best Ensemble (Acting) Best Cinematographer (Micheal Downie) Best Production Designer (Tanya Van Tonder) Best Costume Designer (Danielle Knox)
Even the fearless Amina, faced with the strength of her feelings and with the reality of Miriam's situation, starts doubting herself. And Miriam finds herself making some courageous choices that will change her own life forever.