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The Cape Town-born Oliver Hermanus has Bachelor of Arts degree in Film, Media and Visual Studies. After graduating, he worked as a press photographer with a national news agency in South Africa. He completed his Master of Arts degree at the London Film School, after receiving a private scholarship in 2006.
His graduation feature film, «Shirley Adams», premiered in competition at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2009. Oliver was nominated for the Sutherland Award at the London Film Festival and the Ingmar Bergman Debut award at the Goteborg Film Festival. The film has won numerous prizes around the world including the Grand Prix at the Amiens International Film
Festival and three awards at the Durban Film Festival. In 2009 Oliver was selected to attend the 19th session of the Cannes film Festival’s Cinefondation in Paris.
Statement on receiving 2012 BOBIK Award for best feature: "I am greatly honoured to have this award bestowed on our film Skoonheid. As a film director, I strive to tell stories that affect and move people. Cinema can be an agent of social change and this film cuts deep into the still ever present wound of sexual repression and the self loathing that comes with it. I am very proud to have Skoonheid honoured at Side by Side because it is important for creatives and the international community to champion voices of change for equality. The suffering of gay and lesbian men and women is still ever present around the world and our film tries to depict the tragic downfall that can happen when you are not brave enough to be yourself. It is only through telling our stories that we can hope to inspire others to make that change. I thank you, Oliver Hermanus"