South Africa has selected Oliver Schmitz’s Life Above All as its entry for the best foreign film category at the 2011 Academy Awards.

Based on Allan Stratton’s award winning novel Chanda’s Secret about a young girl in an AIDS-ravaged community in South Africa who fights to rescue the people she loves. the film stars Lerato Mvelase (Home Affairs), Harriet Manamela (Hotel Rwanda, Hijack Stories) and Khomotso Manyaka, who was picked up a best actress award at the Durban Film Festival for her performance.

The film premiered at Cannes, where it enjoyed a standing ovation and went on to win the Fancois Chalais prize awarded to films dedicated to the values of life affirmation and journalism.

It has been chosen by the South African Academy Award Selection Committee and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF).